The University Senate of Michigan Technological University


Proposal 33-14

(Voting Units:  Academic)


“Proposal to Shelve

Contemporary Culture Concentration in the Communication, Culture, and Media (CCM) Program”

 Humanities Department

Submitted for Consideration to the Michigan Technological University Senate


1.      Name of program:

Communication, Culture, and Media


2.      Final Term concentrations was offered for new admits:

Spring 2014


3.      Plan to complete all enrolled students and any returning students:

Shelving of the CCM concentration Contemporary Culture will not affect enrolled and returning students because none of the courses that satisfy the concentration requirements are being dropped from the Department’s catalog. Matriculating students will be able to take the courses required under the concentrations either as offered by the CCM program or by other programs in the Humanities Department (English, Liberal Arts, Modern Language) who will continue to offer them. Students will also be given the option to transfer their program of study into the existing program without concentrations. Once all students are either graduated or transferred, we will propose eliminating the Contemporary Culture concentration. Starting Fall 2014, there will be no new freshman enrollments in concentration areas.


4.      Reason for elimination:

The CCM faculty are proposing to shelf the Contemporary Culture concentration in the program in order to streamline the curriculum around one area of focus, media and culture. We are not proposing to eliminate the overall degree, which remains a BA in Communication, Culture, and Media. The reasons for this change are as follows:

·         Offering concentration areas has not been very successful in attracting many students to our program. CCM has offered concentrations for seven years, but we are finding that most students are interested in the media area, particularly as our emphasis on media includes production skills in addition to the general learning objectives mandated in the University’s strategic goals;

·         By concentrating our efforts on media and culture as the focus of the major, we believe we can produce a more cohesive program that will be easier to recruit under and more attuned to job placement for our students. Given the popularity of similar programs around the country, we believe we are responding to shifting economic and technological conditions that favor media studies programs and that attract students in the contemporary moment;

·         Shelving the concentrations until final elimination will allow the program enough flexibility such that we can retain our curriculum’s emphasis on creative and critical analysis in relation to media, culture, and technology in historical and contemporary contexts;

·         By focusing our efforts on one program area, we will be able to simplify the program’s requirements by offering two categories of courses, “Major credits” and “Additional Credits” on one audit. The audit procedure for three concentrations was confusing to students and required undue time and effort during advising. However, we also plan to provide students with advising around “suggested areas of focus” (i.e., “film & media studies; “digital media”; and “journalism and social media”) to better assist them in planning their course of study as CCM majors. Attached is the list of requirements that we wish to appear on the revised CCM audit.


5.      Financial Impact:

We do not anticipate that there will be any negative financial impact to the department or university. On the contrary, we believe that the eventual elimination of concentrations will result in a more efficient use of faculty/staff efforts and university resources (e.g., advising, recruitment, retention). We anticipate this change will help us increase our enrollment and grow our program.





Introduced to Senate:  9 April 2014
Approved by Senate: 23 April 2014
Approved by Administration: 27 June 2014