The Northwest Difference
The interactive digital media major at Northwest is an interdisciplinary program involving an emphasis in computer science, graphic design or new media. The courses offer a cross-section of skills in design as well as written and visual communication. The major produces graduates who are proficient in art, photography, design, communication, computer programming and legal or ethical considerations as they relate to media.
Northwest offers computer labs equipped with open source software that prevents students from having to purchase additional software.
Minor in Interactive Digital Media
A minor in interactive digital media minor is an interdisciplinary minor that teaches students the fundamentals of design, computer graphics, web publishing and web development. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 24 credit hours.
100% of students graduating with a degree in interactive digital media continue their education or find employment within six months after graduation. Below is a list of job titles related to this major:
- Web developer
- Help desk
- Instructional designer
- Software developer
Knacktive combines six disciplines (computer science, English, graphic design, marketing, mass communications and public relations) into a one-semester interactive and collaborative course. The student-led teams conduct market research, analyze data, write creative strategies, and developed an integrated, digital marketing communication campaign and promotional materials for a real-world client.
At the end of each course, the team makes a formal presentation or client pitch in an attempt to convince the client to use their project. This experience aligns with the digital marketing and advertising agencies competing for clients.
The following organizations have been clients of Knacktive:
- 2011 – Cincinnati-based LasikPlus Vision
- 2012 – Science City, located in Kansas City at the Union Station
- 2013 – Tri-State Ford
- 2014 – Horace Mann Laboratory School
- 2015 – DecisionFx, located in Kansas City
To ensure Northwest is performing at the highest level of education, the professional advisory team, a group of 40 expert employers, evaluates the curriculum and discusses the up-and-coming techniques and opportunities for faculty and students alike. Students are allotted an hour to meet and network with the employers.
The School of Computer Science and Information Systems’ “Road Show” group consists of six to eight students who prepare and present computing materials to students in local K-12 schools, connect with teachers, support efforts to incorporate computing into curriculum and recruit students.
Teacher nights at Horace Mann Laboratory School provide Northwest students with opportunities present to parents and teachers about new technology tools.
DigEm promotes the increased knowledge of design, development, creativity and applications of IDM as well as computer programming, new media and visual imaging, and communication among individuals working in the professional environment and students with an interest in all areas of interactive digital media.
Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.
The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.
Although internships are not required in the interactive digital media major, they are highly encouraged to gain real-world experiences.
Northwest is involved, not just academically but with job placement after school. We have a 95 percent job placement rate for undergraduate students – there are many colleges that don't have a job placement rate as high as we do, and that shows Northwest is very involved with its students. Northwest really cares about you.
Jasmine Black '12