DataComm Curriculum

No matter which graduate program you choose, you'll tailor your education to your unique interests and career goals with electives from other Agnes Scott graduate programs, including data visualization, evaluation and assessment methods, social innovation, technology leadership and management, and writing and digital communication.

Each class connects once a week in the evening, Monday through Thursday from 6:30-9:15 p.m., of Saturday at either 9:00-11:00 a.m. or 1:00-3:45 p.m.

Master of Science

Our master of science program requires 11 classes (33-credit hours) to complete. Students enrolled in 2-3 classes a semester can receive their degree within 18 months.

Core Courses (18 hours)

EAM-620: Data Collection (3.00)

This course prepares students to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and will address, how, when, and why different methods are deployed. In this course, students will learn about quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, sampling strategies for quantitative research, how to design effective survey questions, conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews, understand the role of sample size, select categories of quantitative variables, and assess the reliability and validity of their measurement tools.

EAM-630: Data Analysis (3.00)

This course provides an overview of the theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and teaches practical skills related to data management, analysis, and theory development. Students will learn to code and interpret qualitative data and to interpret statistics most commonly used in evaluation sciences.

EAM-635: Data Analysis II (3.00)

This course introduces students to a variety of statistical methods for multivariate data. Multivariate analyses are complex methods that build upon the univariate analyses covered in EAM-630 Data Analysis I. Topics will include methods for hypothesis testing (multivariate analysis of variance [MANOVA]), multiple regression, data reduction (factor analysis, principal components) and classification (cluster analysis). Course prerequisite is EAM-630.

Course requisites: EAM-630

APT-615: Ethical Use of Technology and Data (3.00)

ETHICAL USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DATA--In this course students will research, identify, formulate perspectives, and discuss ethical challenges in the use of technology and data. Ethical challenges investigated may include, but are not limited to: environmental impacts, privacy considerations, public safety, workplace exposure, data gathering and sharing, and intellectual property. Students analyze a range of case studies related to ethical issues in emerging technologies and data collection and use.

DVS-600: Principles of Data Visualization (3.00)

PRINCIPLES OF DATA VISUALIZATION--This course covers the fundamental elements of the database, semi-structured data, and unstructured data. Students will gain familiarity with data visualization concepts, techniques, and tools, including acquisition, augmentation, and restructuring; data storage and aggregation; access to parallel and distributed computing; high-volume data, disparate sources, and performance; and streaming data and dynamic queries. The student will learn to use several programming languages and software packages to create a range of data analyses and visualizations.

DVS-630: Communication of Data (3.00)

COMMUNICATION OF DATA. In this course, students will develop the oral and written presentation skills demanded in data-driven environments. Students will learn to identify and articulate business questions and then translate data into compelling and effective narratives for decision-making. This course will introduce students to a variety of media that can be used in the analysis, interpretation, creation, and transfer of information. The importance of understanding the context, the audience, and the intended use of the data are emphasized.

Elective Courses (15 hours)

APT-600: Foundations of Applied Technology (3.00)

FOUNDATIONS OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY--This course uses problem based learning to introduce students to a variety of technology domains used to address human needs and challenges. Technology domains of study may include electrical, mechanical, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, cybernetics and computer technology. Students analyze a range of case studies and identify technology solutions for scenarios presented. Additionally, students are introduced to methodologies to conduct experimentation and testing.

APT-610: Systems & Critical Thinking (3.00)

SYSTEMS AND CRITICAL THINKING--This course introduces systems thinking as an approach to problem solving and a way to address future needs. Systems thinking allows students to view a problem or need from a holistic perspective rather than the individual parts. This course also incorporates concepts to promote critical thinking, creativity, and innovation.

APT-620: Modeling & Simulation for Insight (3.00)

MODELING AND SIMULATION FOR INSIGHT--Students in this course utilize modeling and simulation to enhance their skills in communications, decision making, optimization, cause and effects analysis, and engineering economics. The course introduces deterministic and stochastic modeling techniques, as well as different simulation methodologies. Topics include problem formulation, conceptual modeling, simulation methodologies, verification and validation, design of experiments, simulation execution, and output analysis.

DVS-640: Advanced Visualization Design (3.00)

ADVANCED VISUALIZATION DESIGN--This course focuses on designing effective, compound data visualizations that contain information-rich graphics and multiple elements in order to tell a story or create an argument. Emphasis will be placed on static and dynamic dashboards and report card style visualizations that are often utilized in organizational and management settings. Students will gain working knowledge of R, Python, and other Cs+ languages.

EAM-610: Principles of Evaluation Design (3.00)

This course will examine the role of evaluations in organizations, policy making, programmatic decision-making and fundraising. It will introduce research designs commonly employed to monitor ongoing programs and measure outcomes. The course will also address strategies for engaging stakeholders in evaluations. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify the appropriate research design for a specific evaluation need, taking into consideration financial and logistical constraints. Students will also design logic models to guide evaluation planning.

EAM-640: Project Management (3.00)

Successful interventions and evaluations depend on strong planning and project management skills. This course covers skills and strategies related to budgets, planning, stakeholder engagement, staff supervision, and fundraising. Additionally, students will learn about different leadership styles and will work to develop leadership skills.

WDC-614: Grant and Proposal Writing (3.00)

This course covers the complete process of grant and proposal writing and the contexts and strategies of the philanthropic environment. Students will learn how to research funding opportunities, identify and plan successful projects, devise achievable goals and budgets, write proposals for public and private foundations, follow up on both successes and rejections, and incorporate digital technologies.

WDC-615: The Craft of Analytical Writing (3.00)

In this workshop-style course, students will hone the writing and speaking skills necessary for success in their academic and professional careers. Reading assignments will focus on developing sophisticated critical analysis and argumentation skills adaptable for different purposes and audiences. Writing assignments will focus on developing clear, persuasive prose at the sentence, paragraph, and essay levels, culminating in drafting and revising an original research paper, which students will adapt for a 10-15 minute oral presentation.

WDC-630: Visual Thinking & Web Design (3.00)

Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development relating to web and mobile platforms. This course equips students with a working knowledge of industry-standard creative software and Cascading Style Sheets and acquaints them with principles of accessibility and UX.

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