THE NEED TO REVISE THE VAT PROGRAM CURRICULUM
The VAT Faculty propose changes to the curriculum based on a 5-year period
of development. These changes respond to three over-lapping areas of concern:
The needs of the institution, the needs of our students, and the requirements
of the National Science Foundation Grant. The proposed changes consist of
descriptions of existing courses, creation of new courses and reshaping
of the VAT curriculum.
1. The needs of the institution require that: A) we fulfill our pedagogical
responsibilities by staying current in the teaching of time-sensitive
technologies; B) we maintain and increase enrollment in the Program; and,
C) we reach out to all new and enrolled BMCC students to make the program
accessible to anyone who wishes to pursue higher education in this field.
In addition the VAT program will benefit from strengthening core academic
competencies in order to improve performance on the CPE exam, rates of
graduation, and other measures of achievement in the college.
2. The needs of the VAT students are to graduate with a cluster of skills
-- academic, cognitive, interpersonal and technical -- that will prepare
them to succeed in the competitive and fast changing moving-image industry
or in a four-year college program.
Students need to have a carefully structured curriculum that provides
enough flexibility for working students/parents to enroll in classes and
sections that advance their progress towards graduation while providing
a choice of lab-production and non-production courses. We also know that
many of our students require an introduction to basic science and technology
concepts and terminology.
3. The National Science Foundation imposes a specific timetable and
First, the NSF grant requires that we infuse HD technology
into the syllabi of 11 of our courses through a 4-semester cycle over
the life of the grant. This is not the same as creating new courses because
it addressed the type of technology that will prevail in 2008, but not
learning principles and outcomes. This infusion of HD technology is separate
from the institutional process for presenting new or revised courses to
the BMCC Curriculum Committee, Faculty Council, etc.
Second, the NSF grant requires that all aspects of the VAT program --including
teaching and recruiting -- encourage the enrollment and success of women
and nontraditional students. Demographically, male students are the majority
in the VAT program in a college whose majority is female. Women are under-represented
in the Program.
This broader initiative has resulted in the addition of tutoring, College
Now courses, and new outreach programs, as well as the reshaping of the
curriculum to be more attractive, more up-to-date, and more flexible.
This is a crucial part of the strategy for bringing women into the VAT
program. Information about these program enhancements as well as the course
descriptions are critical to our recruitment efforts.
Substituting new courses for current courses.
When the CCC course descriptions were written, video technology
was more stable and long-lived than it is today. Course descriptions that
include specific hardware and software references are now obsolete and
The VAT faculty have created new courses to replace five exiting VAT courses
and the course descriptions differ from their predecessors in the following
ways: 1) We have described learning outcomes and 2) We eliminated references
to specific hardware and software models or configurations. We have added
some new language to describe the learning outcomes. The changes include
clearer explication of learning outcomes and omission of specific time-sensitive
hardware and software references. The learning outcomes of the course remain
constant and will not change when new technology is used.
The VAT faculty request that, following a thorough review, these changes
be approved and included immediately in advertising and recruitment materials.
Updating our course descriptions is crucial to our recruitment efforts.
Our obsolete marketing materials discourage potential students from enrolling
in the college.
Adding New Courses
• Some skills and learning outcomes that are important in the
contemporary Video Industry are not being taught in our curriculum.
• Some skills and knowledge sets need to be emphasized
to attract more women and non-traditional students and to insure their
• We are teaching new courses to enhance writing skills (VAT
151 “From Script to Screen.”), to promote technological
literacy (VAT 100 “Introduction to Video Technology”), and
to teach special-effects/modeling skills (VAT/MMP 401 “Introduction
to 3D Animation”).
• We have written 2 new courses to address the need for ever-expanding
technological expertise: VAT 350, “Digital Video Publishing”
and VAT 120, “Career Planning/The Digital Portfolio.”
• We have created a course that addresses the skills needed for
success in an enormous portion of the video industry: the producing and
management of media projects. This course is VAT 305 Production Management
(and replaces CCC 300, “Budgeting for Audio-VisualProductions.”)
• We will develop a course in Digital Cinematography to address
creative aspects of capturing and using the moving image. VAT 3XX is part
of the NSF grant and is scheduled for development next in 2007-2008.
All new courses were designed in consultation with our steering committee.
VAT 350, VAT 305 and VAT 3xx were approved at the 4/26/06 meeting of the
The VAT faculty request consultation and support for approval and implementation
of these recommended changes.
Recent changes in the video/audio industry, specifically the convergence
of video/audio/effects editing, make the audio courses (VAT 165 “Sound
for Performance and Digital Media I” and VAT 265 “Sound for
Performance and Digital Media II.”) increasingly attractive to many
VAT majors. Structuring the Audio and Video courses as separate FOMIs
has blocked access to these course for many VAT majors and discouraged
successful completion of the degree program.
We propose to collapse the FOMIs so that the Audio FOMI be eliminated and
all VAT majors choose 4 of the 6 basic lab-production courses and one additional
elective. We offer 9 high-quality VAT production courses (3 of which are
electives) This will give our students more flexibility in selecting courses
and scheduling class time to match their interests without sacrificing the
quality of the hands-on preparation that distinguishes our program within
Other changes allow all VAT majors to choose between CIS 100 “Introduction
to Computer Applications and MMP 100 “Introduction to Multimedia and
to choose between SPE 240 “Interpersonal Communication” and
SPE 245 “The Mass Media.”
Examples of the increased flexibility offered by the new Curriculum:
Student A wishes to be a camerawoman.
She takes VAT 161 “Studio Production I” and VAT 261 “Studio
Production II” for experience in operating studio HD cameras and
takes VAT 171 “Remote Productions and Editing I”and VAT 271
“Remote Productions and Editing II” for experience in shooting
with hand held cameras and doing post production on the footage. She may
then add VAT 3xx “Digital Cinematography” or VAT 302 “Lighting
Student B wants to become a producer/director.
She may take VAT 161 ““Remote Productions and Editing I”
and VAT 261 ““Remote Productions and Editing II” to
get maximum experience in the studio and the control room. She then broadens
her knowledge by learning about dialogue replacement and sound mixing
in VAT 165 “Sound for Performance and Digital Media I” and
shooting on location through VAT 171 “Remote Productions and Editing
I”. Her best elective will be VAT 305 “Production Management.”
Student C wants to work in Video/Audio but
is not ready to narrow her interest during her time at BMCC. She can take
VAT 161, VAT 165, and VAT 171, and any 200 level lab-production course.
She can sample graphics by taking VAT 301, “Introduction to Graphics
for Television”. Each of these students will graduate with extensive
experience in hands-on courses as well as VAT foundation courses and basic
liberal arts courses.
These recommended changes are consistent with the preferences of the moving
image industry and enhance the qualifications of our students in an intensely
competitive market for both entry-level opportunities and career advancement.
All of the revisions listed above have been approved by the curriculum committee
of the VAT Program and were passed by the Speech Department on 9/13/06.
See Appendix C Proposed Program requirements.
The VAT faculty request approval of the curriculum revision described above
for implementation in the Fall 2007 and inclusion in advertising and promotion
pursuant to university approval.