By Darren Johnson
Long Island University’s Post campus has reorganized several of its most popular programs under a new banner, the College of Arts, Communications and Design, creating an exciting synergy between majors in the performing and visual arts and communications and digital technology.
The announcement was made this past spring, and this new effort not only stresses inter-disciplinary collaborations between previously separate departments, but also is student-centered: Working one-on-one with professors who have direct ties to the industry, useful internships (including in nearby New York City) and understanding the business aspect of each major are focuses and trademarks of the new College.
“The range and quality of programs offered by our College of Arts, Communications and Design ensures that our already flourishing arts education at LIU Post will continue to attract the most talented and dedicated students,” said Dr. Kimberly Cline, president of LIU. “We offer close proximity to the arts capital of the world and also a beautiful, bucolic Gold Coast campus — truly the best of both worlds for nurturing creativity — along with a faculty of award-winning professionals.”
The new College encompasses 30 majors – everything from Film to Journalism and PR to Theatre to Digital Game Design to Fashion — so if you’re thinking of attending LIU Post, chances are you will at least have some classes in this division.
LIU Post has always been good at stressing top internships and other types of hands-on learning, as well. Students in the majors now under the College of Arts, Communications and Design partner with companies like HBO, NBC, MTV, Amazon Studios, the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway shows and more. As well, especially, students in programs like film and video game design are taught how to bring their own products directly to market. Graduates often land at top entertainment companies upon graduation.
“Our alumni and current students embody the promise of an LIU Post arts education,” said Noel Zahler, dean of the College of Arts, Communications and Design. “It’s where rigor meets nurture and results in creativity and success.”
But it’s not just about sending students to New York City. LIU Post also has its renowned Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, bringing top national acts on campus year-round. Students work closely on these productions, and the acts conduct exclusive workshops and master classes with the students, as well. The Post Theatre Company has won 14 Kennedy Center awards.
“The College is expanding out the role of the arts for all students,” explained Jeffrey Kane, Vice President for Academic Affairs, in an interview. “And our arts offerings have changed dramatically over time. We now have embraced digital, and have filmmaking, including documentaries, gaming and graphic design. … The complexity of the arts today requires a larger commitment, and we are not only meeting that commitment, but also sharing this commitment University-wide.”
Currently, nearly 400 students at LIU Post are studying in an arts-related field, and they can specialize to their tastes. Some students study architecture while others study furniture design and others making apps and the digital arts, Kane said. All students are exposed to the financial aspect of the arts – how to make one’s passion a career.
Kane also noted that students today don’t have the technological barriers of the past. For example, in the film program, LIU Post can now offer all students access to high-end digital cameras, and open up direct-to-market streams that past generations didn’t have access to.
Theatre program students can write, produce and direct plays, produced by the University. For writers and those interested in television, the campus’ proximity to the City and professional access to the dozens of shows that film there are an easier “in” for students.
“Students learn their craft well before applying for graduation even,” Kane said, noting that many working experts in the arts come to LIU Post to teach. “The talent we can draw upon is extraordinary.”
Kane noted that transfer students “can expect the same rich experience and opportunities in the arts as a traditional, incoming freshman.” LIU has always gotten a high number of transfer students, and works with them to fit right in.
“They could call LIU or they can talk to their community college transfer advisers, or go to our web site (liu.edu) and see the diversity of course offerings our students inspire,” Kane added.