lakeland florida degree

SEU Now Offers Master of Arts in the Art of Design Management

LAKELAND, Fla. – Southeastern University, located in Lakeland, Florida, is accepting applications for its new master’s degree: A Master of Arts in the Art of Design Management. Created to teach students how to combine a mastery of business skills with the principles of art and design to develop their creative strengths and leadership techniques, the program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and will begin in fall 2021.

A collaborative effort between the College of Arts & Media at SEU and the Jannetides College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, this 36-credit program emphasizes the development of each student’s unique strengths — something the business college dean, Dr. Lyle Bowlin, said is needed in higher education. 

“Too often graduate programs are geared to strengthening your natural tendencies,” Bowlin said. “However, the real need is to learn more about what drives each personality, and then it will be possible to thrive in your organization. This is what is unique and powerful about the master’s degree in the Art of Design Management. This program will bring together storytellers and quants in a cooperative learning environment.” 

The coursework will be delivered in a hybrid format, requiring students to enroll in online and on-campus classes. Students will take courses such as Information Technology, MBA Principles, and Economics from the business side, while also engaging in classes like Leadership Philosophy, 2-D Design, and Creative Communication from the arts side. 

The diverse coursework offers students in this program an avenue to becoming innovative problem-solvers capable of leading organizations as a result of their ability to recognize the various strengths and weaknesses within themselves and their colleagues. This unique program fills a niche in current degree offerings. 

Steve Scruggs, president of the Lakeland Economic Development Council, recognizes the importance of this new degree. “This program will perfectly situate aspiring entrepreneurs and creative professionals to be the next generation of business leaders and creative problem solvers. It’s a welcome addition to the offerings by our local higher education institutions.” 

Two courses, which book-end the degree, are the linchpins of the program: The Lost Chord and The Art of Design Management. The first course, The Lost Chord, dives into the students’ personal understanding of their calling. 

“Our true calling is not necessarily what we think we are called to in our lives,” Bowlin said. “Too often in searching for meaning or what we feel is missing, we focus on the ‘real’ world and completely miss out on the spiritual dimension that is always with us. We must also learn to combine our physical gifts with our spiritual calling to really understand what our service to this world might be. One of the key goals in this class is to help each of us better understand that our ‘chord’ is so much more powerful than going through life hitting one key at a time.”

The Art of Design Management class is the final course — the capstone — of the program. This six-hour class will place small groups of students with local organizations to have them synergistically solve real-world business problems. By asking students to draw on their artistic skills while investigating the complexities of modern businesses, they will demonstrate the new and innovative problem-solving skills necessary for next-generation leaders.

More information about this program, including how to apply, can be found on the College of Arts & Media website here.

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