By Sean Tepper
Associate News Editor
Ryerson has announced they will be offering a new Digital Specialization Program as early as May 2012.
Provost and vice-president academic Alan Shepard revealed Friday they are collaborating with the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) to establish the course.
“This new program is going to formalize, in an academic way, opportunities that students can have in the DMZ,” Shepard said.
Pending senate approval, the 12-week course will be available to students in any faculty and will consist of two components: a theory course offered in the fall and winter semesters and an applied course offered in the spring/summer semester.
“The program’s designed to boost credentials of any Ryerson student in digital entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy.
The applied semester will begin with a one-week XTREME Boot Camp where students will attempt to develop innovative products and services. After that, students will take part in a team-based project for the remainder of the course.
Heralded as the first of its kind in Canada, it will begin as a pilot project with roughly 20-40 students taking part in its inaugural year. Shepard said Ryerson will not be turning down any prospective students.
The senate is expected to make a decision in early April, meaning the credits from the initial course will not be put towards degrees. Shepard said he is hoping for other programs to accept it towards their degrees.
“If it’s the first program in Canada and they do it well, then I think it will bring a lot of attention to Ryerson,” said Vincent Nguyen, a first-year engineering student.
Fellow engineering student Syeda Fayyaz thinks the program will be beneficial for students, especially those in specialized programs.
“For engineers it’s very uncommon to have a business background,” she said. “I would take it because it would be a great asset … it’s very interesting.” To apply, students will submit a portfolio and resume in addition to taking part in an interview process.