Campus Spotlight: West Liberty University
At a time when many colleges and universities are cutting programs, West Liberty University (WLU) is in the midst of ramping up offerings in key academic areas. Learn more about this West Virginia school and its new College of Arts and Communication.
Innovating as an Institution
Perhaps you haven't heard of West Liberty University, but the school offers a significant success story during what are difficult times in higher education. Many schools are downsizing or eliminating departments in the wake of funding cuts, but WLU has expanded programming this year by creating the College of Arts and Communication.
The new college at West Liberty University brings together the Department of Music and Theater, the Division of Art and the Department of Journalism, Communication Studies and Visual Art. The result: A dynamic academic body that offers 'some of the most technologically driven degrees' at the school. The college also plays an important role in providing on-campus cultural events and bringing the university and community together.
The addition of a new college at West Liberty University can be viewed as a response to the growing need for more professionals in vital sectors of the economy. In our rapidly evolving society, technology and media are becoming part of our lives in new and ever-present ways. As such, one large focus of the College of Arts and Communication will be to offer programs examining where media and technology intersect. The university's intention is to produce graduates with interdisciplinary backgrounds that will allow them to compete in the 21st century job market.
An Evolution of Academics
The College of Arts and Communication at West Liberty University was not conceived and formed overnight. Rather, a number of important academic and infrastructural developments have helped make the new college a possibility. Perhaps chief among these was WLU's commitment to build a new Media Arts Center.
Opened in 2006, the Media Arts Center for the first time provided West Liberty students with access to television and recording studios as well as enhanced editing tools for broadcast and digital media. An emphasis on new media in curricula has allowed students to pursue programs in website design, multimedia production and publishing. State-of-the-art facilities have opened up hands-on learning opportunities that allow students to develop skills they can instantly transfer to 21st century workplaces.
While brand new, the College of Arts and Communication has emerged as the largest academic body at West Liberty University, surpassing in size the College of Education, College of Sciences and College of Liberal Arts. The size of the college reflects the current importance of technology-related skills and WLU's desire to provide academic programming relevant for a rapidly changing world.