If you are a student of the iSchool at Drexel, like me, you’re probably aware by now that this is the last year we will be iSchool students. Earlier this week, Drexel announced the end of the iSchool of Drexel. Drexel also announced the end of the Computer Science department in the College of Engineering and the end of some graduate-level programs in Goodwin. But, it isn’t really the end, instead it’s a merger of the three programs and colleges. A merger that should have happened a long time ago.
Now, I have mixed thoughts on this merger. When I decided I wanted to go to Drexel, I did so because of the iSchool. Not because it was a “up-and-coming university” nor because of the co-op program. Both of those things are nice, sure, but for me the small community in Drexel known as the iSchool was more important. While yes, the size of the iSchool means you’re more likely to meet someone new every year rather than day, I like that. Drexel was the only university I looked at that could offer a small community feeling while having a city university feeling too. Not as big of a city as say New York, but a city nonetheless. Well, that community is about to become a fair bit larger.
To be honest, I don’t know how large the CS program at Drexel is nor how large the program from Goodwin is. But, I am expecting a number of new faces around the iSchool. Some of them I already know, but most of them I don’t, as I have had zero interest in willing going to the ugliest Drexel-branded building on campus, University Crossings. That said, I’m less than thrilled we’re (the iSchool) inheriting that as part of the transition to CCI. What I am thrilled about is the iSchool may finally see an expansion. I doubt I’ll be around to see it, but it has been due for one for a number of years now. However, Drexel has said they are looking at finding or building an entirely new building for the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI for short). To that, I say hell no.
I love the iSchool. While it’s far from being all shiny and new like the URBN Center or GHall and used to be a hospital, I love it. Sure our two subbasements are structurally unsound, which is slightly concerning, but it’s a great little building. Thanks to the lights that were added a couple of years ago, the outside is beautifully lit at night and the Alumni Garden is a great place to sit on a nice day. So are the balconies, which are used so little, I’ve unofficially made the third floor one my office. Yeah, the DragonFly connection sucks, but so what else is new?
So enough rambling, while I’ll miss the awesome perks that came with being an iSchool student, I think Drexel made the right move. Personally, I’ve never been able to keep track of what technology-related major belonged to what college at Drexel (save for IT and IS obviously). When I’ve told people who only know Drexel as an engineering school that I’m an IT major, they ask “So you’re in the engineering school then, right?” to which I have to explain what the iSchool is and in return and that yes, the Computer Science department is part of the CoE. If you didn’t follow any of that at all, good. Case in point. The current distribution of technology majors at Drexel is an epic clusterfuck. Hopefully, CCI will live up to its promise to fix that.
For the official announcement, head on over to the CCI’s website.
(Legal ya-da ya-da: The opinions and views expressed above are those of my own and are not representative of those of Drexel University, The iSchool at Drexel, nor the College of Computing and Informatics. Please don’t sue me Drexel, tuition is outrageous enough already. Drexel Dragon “borrowed” from cci.drexel.edu)