The School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University is proud to announce the creation of a new Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Social Networking. The CAS in Information Innovation: Social Networking is one of the first graduate-level certificate in the emerging field of social media.

“In today’s quickly expanding reliance on information, each new innovation in information science brings new nuances and requires new skills, but also relies on our core expertise in users, technology, information, and systems,” said iSchool Dean Elizabeth Liddy. “Providing a certificate specific to social media cements our commitment to ensuring our students are prepared for the expanding skill set needed by information professionals”

The CAS in Information Innovation builds on the increasing focus of the iSchool on innovation, entrepreneurship, and social media. Students will focus on foundational concepts in innovation and information found in all of the iSchool’s graduate degrees, but the curriculum is designed to easily adapt as new technologies and methods emerge in the information industry.

“Much like web technologies a few years ago, principles of social media which are new now, may in the future be enmeshed in our more traditional programs of study,” said iSchool Professor of Practice and the University’s social media strategist, Anthony Rotolo. “Until then, we need a way of showing that our students are leaders in social media, as well as able to adapt to future change within organizations and society.”

The certificate is the next step in ensuring that the iSchool is a leader in the field of social media. Previously, the iSchool kicked off a “Social Media 101: Join the Conversation” speaking tour in which Liddy and Rotolo travelled across the United States meeting with iSchool alum in various cities, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and Denver. In addition, the iSchool partnered with the College of Visual and Performing Arts to host a three-day Social Media Futures Charrette in which graduate and undergraduate students with a diverse set of skills and expertise met to discuss the future of social media.

Through the efforts of the social media team led by Rotolo and iSchool Online Communication and Relationship Manager Kelly Lux, the University developed a partnership with Foursquare, the location-based social network founded by SU Alum Dennis Crowley. Syracuse University was also recently named the second most influential college or university on Twitter by the social media ranking service Klout due to the efforts of the social media team led by staff and students at the iSchool.

“The iSchool was studying social media before it was called social media,” said Rotolo. “We were studying new trends in user-generated content and information sharing years ago that eventually became what we now know as social media.”

The iSchool already offers classes in social media, including IST 486/686: Social Media in the Enterprise and IST 400/600: Social Media for the Music Business (both taught by Rotolo), IST 688: Social Web Technologies, and IST 685: Social Networking in Libraries, but this certificate will tie these courses together to create a specialty in social media for iSchool graduate students.

Students wishing to complete a CAS in Information Innovation will take 15 credit hours. Six of these hours are from electives within their Emergent Topic focus area, as well as IST 620: Advanced Topics in Information Innovation and a required course on change management IST 683: Managing Information Technology-Enabled Change.

Applications for the CAS in Information Innovation will be accepted starting in Fall 2011. Students will be able to complete the CAS in online format and in conjunction with any of the iSchool master’s programs.