Top Multimedia Schools in Kansas: 2024 Guide to the Best Programs

Looking for the top multimedia schools in Kansas? This guide covers Kansas State University, the William Allen White School of Journalism, and Wichita State University. Learn about their degree programs, facilities, and industry connections.

  • Kansas State University excels in multimedia education with diverse degree programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and strong industry connections, preparing students for various media roles.
  • The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs, emphasizing hands-on learning and ethical communication.
  • Wichita State University’s School of Digital Arts provides specialized training in areas like animation, audio production, and game design, supported by advanced facilities like Shocker Studios.

Kansas State University: A Leader in Multimedia Education

Kansas State University, a renowned name in multimedia education, offers numerous services and programs tailored to arm students with the skills required in the modern media landscape. From video and audio conferencing to video editing and live webcasting, K-State provides comprehensive multimedia services that cater to both students and faculty. Utilizing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, students learn to collaborate effectively in virtual environments and enhance their communication skills.

The university’s commitment to future workplaces, community engagement, and strong relationships is evident in its Communication Studies program, which emphasizes leadership and effective communication. This comprehensive approach readies graduates for a variety of roles in the media industry.

Degree Programs

Kansas State University provides a wide range of degree programs in communication and media studies, designed to align with industry requirements. Students have the option to choose from various concentrations, including:

  • Multimedia journalism
  • Digital marketing communications
  • Media arts & production
  • Sports media

These concentrations offer a diverse range of specializations for students to pursue. Additionally, specializations in organizational communication, legal advocacy, and emerging technology provide a broad spectrum of opportunities for students.

Through hands-on training and practical projects, students learn essential skills that prepare them for successful careers in the media industry. The curriculum is designed to ensure that graduates leave prepared to excel in various professional environments, equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Campus Facilities

The campus facilities at Kansas State University are truly noteworthy. The university boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including:

These facilities allow students to engage in a range of multimedia activities, from video editing and encoding to distribution.

Moreover, the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab offers the following equipment and software for video editing:

  • Video editing workstations equipped with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, supporting self-service video creation and format conversion
  • Digital video camcorders
  • Audio recorders
  • Tripods

This equipment and software enhance the practical learning experience, allowing students to bring their creative visions to life.

Industry Connections

Kansas State University distinguishes itself in cultivating strong industry connections, offering students priceless opportunities to interact with professionals and gain practical experience. Students can explore careers in:

  • Reporting
  • Multimedia
  • Marketing
  • Production
  • Public relations

with connections to esteemed organizations like ESPN,, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Programs such as KTRAIN align talent strategies with industry demands, ensuring that students are well-prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. These industry connections not only enhance students’ educational experiences but also pave the way for successful careers in the competitive field of multimedia.

William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications

The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications is committed to offering learning pathways that equip students for their prospective careers. The school focuses on transforming students into future:

  • leaders
  • creators
  • thinkers
  • agents of change

Through hands-on learning experiences, students can gain valuable knowledge and skills that are often difficult to acquire through online or remote learning methods. By participating in person, they can fully immerse themselves in the educational process and benefit from real-time feedback and interaction with their peers and instructors.

These pathways are designed to educate students to be ethical and enlightened communicators, ready to take on the challenges of the modern media landscape. The school’s commitment to experiential learning ensures that students leave well-prepared for a variety of career paths in journalism and mass communications.

Undergraduate Programs

The William Allen White School’s undergraduate programs offer a Bachelor’s degree with a broad array of concentrations tailored to students’ interests. There are a variety of options available for students, such as:

  • Multimedia journalism
  • Digital marketing communications
  • Media arts & production
  • Sports media

This allows students to select the program that best aligns with their interests and career goals.

The school’s Multimedia Journalism Concentration Chair provides specialized guidance and support to students pursuing this concentration, ensuring they receive a comprehensive and focused education. These programs are designed to equip students with the skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields.

Graduate Programs

For those looking to advance their education, the William Allen White School offers several graduate programs, including a Master of Science in Journalism (MSJ) and online programs in Digital Content Strategy and Integrated Marketing Communication. These programs are tailored for working professionals, allowing them to balance their studies with their careers.

The doctoral program emphasizes research that delves into and elucidates global media industry issues, enabling students to make significant contributions to the field. These graduate programs are designed to deepen students’ understanding and enhance their skills in journalism and mass communications.

Student Life

Student life at the William Allen White School is vibrant and engaging, with numerous clubs and organizations available for students to join. These include:

These clubs provide opportunities for students to work in various areas, such as news, marketing, public relations, social media, video, and advertising.

Additionally, students can engage in sports media opportunities, gaining experience in reporting, play-by-play, multimedia, marketing, production, and public relations.

Wichita State University: School of Digital Arts

Wichita State University’s School of Digital Arts provides a Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) in Media Arts, blending creativity and technical prowess to ready students for careers in the video game, film, or recording industries. This program is designed to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving digital media landscape.

The BAA in Media Arts is a comprehensive program that equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen fields. The combination of creative and technical training ensures that graduates are well-prepared for the demands of the industry.

Shocker Studios

Shocker Studios is a cornerstone of Wichita State University’s School of Digital Arts. This 35,000 sq ft facility includes:

  • an animation studio
  • a computer lab
  • a motion-capture studio
  • film studios
  • recording studios

The studios are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, such as Motiv Body software and dot suits for precise motion-capture work, making it ideal for computer animation projects.

The film production space at Shocker Studios features over 100,000 cubic feet, including black and white cycloramas and one of the largest green screen cycloramas in the Midwest. These facilities provide students with the tools and environment needed to create high-quality digital media projects.

Program Offerings

The Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Arts at Wichita State offers several specializations, including:

  • Acting for digital arts
  • Animation
  • Audio production
  • Collaborative design
  • Game design
  • Filmmaking

Each specialization is designed to provide students with focused training in their area of interest.

For example, the Acting for Digital Arts program focuses on film work, motion capture for animation and video games, and voice work for audio productions. The Animation program covers skills from Foundation Drawing to Digital Animation, preparing students for careers in bringing artwork to life.

Visit and Explore

Prospective students are encouraged to visit Wichita State University to explore the campus, meet faculty advisors, and interact with current students. These visits provide a firsthand look at the facilities and the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the university environment.

Visiting the campus allows prospective students to see the resources available to them and understand the community they will be joining. It’s an invaluable step in making an informed decision about their education.

Career Outcomes for Graduates

Graduates from Kansas’s multimedia programs are thoroughly prepared to embark on a range of high-demand, high-paying positions. They are educated to be ethical and enlightened communicators, ready to forge the future of the media industry. Many find employment in fields such as:

  • Broadcasting
  • Digital media
  • Public relations
  • Corporate communications

The strong emphasis on practical skills and industry connections ensures that graduates are well-equipped to meet the demands of their chosen careers. Kansas multimedia graduates often find themselves in rewarding roles that leverage their unique skill sets, such as:

  • Graphic designers
  • Web developers
  • Video editors
  • Social media managers
  • Content creators

These career opportunities highlight the versatility and value of a multimedia degree from Kansas.

Success Stories

The success stories of Kansas multimedia program alumni are a testament to the quality and impact of these educational institutions. Whitney Manney, for example, creates wearable art and textile designs featured in Peacock’s sitcom Bel Air, showcasing the diverse career paths available to graduates.

Other notable alumni include Roberto Lugo, known for his ceramics that integrate hip-hop, history, and politics, and Paul Briggs, who has worked as a Story Supervisor for Disney films like Frozen and Big Hero 6. These stories highlight the significant achievements of graduates and the diverse opportunities available in the multimedia field.

Skill Development

Students in multimedia programs across Kansas foster vital skills through practical projects and the application of industry-standard tools. They learn to use Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, among other software. These tools are essential for digital image retouching, web page design, video editing, and motion graphics creation.

The practical experience gained through these projects is invaluable, providing students with the skills needed to succeed in their careers. Collaboration with industry partners further enhances this learning experience, ensuring that students are well-prepared for the demands of the media industry.

Industry Demand

The demand for multimedia professionals continues to grow, with significant opportunities in digital content creation, social media management, and interactive media design. Kansas employers face a notable skills gap, actively seeking qualified professionals to fill these roles.

Alumni from Kansas multimedia schools often find prestigious positions with top media companies like CNN, ESPN, and The New York Times. These high-profile roles demonstrate the strong industry demand for graduates and the value of a multimedia education in Kansas.

Research Opportunities

Kansas multimedia schools present a myriad of research opportunities, enabling students to participate in advanced projects and delve into innovative solutions. The University of Kansas offers numerous research initiatives in areas like digital inclusion and media representation.

Students can participate in various research groups, such as the EmTech & Public Interest Tech Group and the Science/Environmental Comms Group, which focus on societal problems and environmental communication, respectively.

Faculty Expertise

The faculty at Kansas multimedia schools bring a wealth of expertise to their teaching and research. For instance, Professor Hyunjin Seo leads the EmTech & Public Interest Tech Group, addressing societal problems through digital technologies and focusing on digital equity and misinformation. This group fosters a collaborative research environment, allowing students to work closely with faculty on impactful projects.

Associate Professor Hong Vu specializes in science and environmental communication, leading projects on climate change and green consumption through the Science/Environmental Comms Group. These faculty members not only provide academic knowledge but also real-world insights, enhancing the educational experience for students.

Student Projects

Students at Kansas multimedia schools have numerous opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research projects. For example, the Science/Environmental Comms Group involves students in projects like fact-checking climate change information and studying the impact of media use on plastic waste policy support. These projects allow students to apply their knowledge to real-world issues, developing innovative solutions.

At Wichita State University, guaranteed applied learning or research experiences are part of every degree program. This ensures that students gain practical experience, enhancing their skills and preparing them for successful careers in multimedia.

Collaborative Efforts

Collaboration is a cornerstone of multimedia education at Kansas schools. Wichita State University’s School of Digital Arts emphasizes collaboration between students, faculty, and industry professionals, creating a practical learning environment that mirrors real-world scenarios. These collaborative efforts enhance learning and help solve real-world problems.

The EmTech & Public Interest Tech Group works closely with community partners to conduct research on online misinformation and digital civic engagement. Such partnerships provide students with valuable insights and experiences, preparing them for future careers in the media industry.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

For numerous students pursuing multimedia degrees in Kansas, financial aid and scholarships play a pivotal role. Various options, including:

  • grants
  • loans
  • scholarships
  • work-study programs

are available to help students manage the cost of their education. By applying for financial aid through the FAFSA, students can determine their eligibility for different types of financial assistance.

These financial aid options ensure that qualified students have the opportunity to pursue their educational goals without financial barriers. Some of the financial aid options available include:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Work-study programs
  • Student loans

The availability of aid and scholarships makes multimedia education accessible to a diverse group of students.

Types of Aid

Numerous types of financial aid are available to students, encompassing:

  • Grants: typically need-based and do not need to be repaid, making them an attractive option for many students
  • Loans: must be repaid with interest after graduation or upon leaving school
  • Work-study programs

These options provide students with various ways to fund their education.

Work-study programs provide part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. These programs offer flexibility and valuable work experience, making them a practical choice for many students.

Scholarship Opportunities

A variety of scholarships are available to students pursuing multimedia degrees in Kansas. For instance, the Loren Dolezal Community Service Award is given for outstanding service to the filmmaking community. The Mike Gunter Distinguished Service Award in Film recognizes students for their dedication and service in the film area.

Other scholarships, such as the Bill Gilbert Award and the Sherman Halsey Award, support students passionate about careers in film production and Theatre and Film and Media Studies. These scholarships help alleviate financial burdens and encourage students to pursue their career aspirations.

Application Process

To apply for financial aid, students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application assesses financial need and determines eligibility for grants, loans, and work-study funds. It’s important to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible to maximize the chances of receiving aid.

In addition to the FAFSA, students may need to submit documents such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements for scholarship applications. Meeting all application deadlines is crucial to ensure consideration for all available financial aid and scholarships.