The College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) have integrated to form the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts. The integration has united the creative forces of FIU and is the result of a collaborative, faculty-led process involving professional staff, students, and alumni. This strategic partnership will facilitate new opportunities across disciplines specifically in the areas of graphic and 3-D design, animation, artistic expression, media, and communication arts.
The new college will be led by Dr. Brian Schriner, Dean of the College of Architecture + The Arts since 2011. Earlier this year, Dr. Juliet Pinto, Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism + Media, was named Interim Executive Director of the newly formed School of Communication + Journalism (SCJ). She has worked closely with department chairs and CARTA leadership to ensure the integration ran smoothly and that a mutually beneficial outcome was achieved for both schools.
Merging two organizations can be a daunting task, but when common goals and a strong synergy exist between the groups, the transition is positioned for success. “CARTA is a perfect home for the SCJ. As a hub for cutting-edge design, arts, community and engagement, it also is a place focused on improving global industry, expression and collaboration. Communication in all its forms is inherently interdisciplinary, and our efforts at the SCJ are in perfect sync with CARTA’s endeavors.” Dr. Pinto explained.
Students will continue with their current courses of study and the names of existing majors and degrees will remain unchanged; however, the combined resources of CARTA and the SCJ will foster research and degree offerings aimed at better preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century’s information, technology, and innovation economies. In fact, a primary objective of the new college is to lead the nation in developing unique learning opportunities and trans-disciplinary degree programs, while also becoming an integral voice in the national STEM to STEAM discussion.
Other key goals are to increase strategic enrollment at the undergraduate and graduate levels and to improve student retention and time-to-graduation rates. There will be a concerted effort to expand career services and improve resources available to help students find employment upon graduation. The new college will also focus on increasing the numbers of faculty and enhancing the level of support they receive in the areas of teaching and research. The Biscayne Bay Campus is set to experience an increase in performances, exhibitions, and courses in the visual and performing arts throughout its facilities due to the integration.
As Dean Schriner points out, “The SCJ and CARTA have both been defined by our commitment to provide students with the most innovative, state-of-the-art curriculum designed to prepare them for success upon graduation. This integration is a logical and exciting progression of that commitment and will result in a unique, national brand exemplifying the very best FIU has to offer.”