The University of Washington’s Master of Communications in Digital Media program already teaches the ins and outs of intelligent relationship-building strategies and is now adding an additional degree focused on communication within networks.

Under the roof of the UW Communication Leadership program, a “sister” degree will be created alongside the MCDM. It’s called MCCN: The Master of Communication in Communities and Networks.

“The expansion is due to an explicit recognition that there are communications professionals who want to earn an advanced degree in a way that leverages the growing importance of communication within organizations, networks, systems, and communities,” writes Hanson Hosein.

The original MCDM program has been around since 2001 and will still be a full-fledged degree. Now, students will be able to earn dual MC degrees.

“In many ways, the creation of the Communication Leadership program is a culmination of the evolution the MCDM has taken over the last few years,” the department writes. “As we expanded the degree’s curriculum, we sought ways to proficiently organize the courses in a way that made sense to the individual student. With these two degree emphases, the path is clearer, students have more options, and we have the latitude to continue to invest in courses that make the most sense for our constituents’ objectives.”

The MCDM program leaders spent the last six months planning the pivot and reaching out to industry advisors.

“They were the ones who told us that there’s great demand now for leaders who have strong communication experience in connecting people, ideas and skills to effect successful outcomes,” Hosein wrote. “They told us that they were less interested in a program that produced graduates with certain skills, and rather sought potential hires that could instill a particular aptitude to managing and leading the dramatic professional change that so many are presently facing.”

The UW still has to give this formal approval, but Hosein said he expects that by mid-February. Students and other interested members are encouraged to provide input into the new changes on the program’s Facebook page or through Twitter. You can also learn more about the program at the Feb. 4 information session.

Previously on GeekWire: Camera + cloud: Fun with photos at GeekWire, and a Four Peaks TV sneak peek

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