Spring Term in Austin

DCI 275 - Immersive Digital Culture Experience

4 credits


4 weeks in Austin

Professor Jason Mickel


On site in the technology hub of Austin, TX, we'll explore the world of technology start-ups. This immersive and intensive course will give students an exploratory experience of the working world while building both technical skills such as software for prototyping, HTML/CSS, product management as well as interpersonal skills around presentation, teamwork, and networking. This course is heavily team-focused and project-based. Students will learn to take a rigorous customer-focused and design thinking approach to produce creative solutions for a real company. Students will leave speaking the language of a technology company and having formed valuable connections to professionals in Austin. Mentorship to help you develop professional skills and personal presentation will be a strong component of this course.

Who This is For?

This course is available to students in all years and all majors. We strongly encourage students majoring in the humanities to apply. Whether you've always wanted to work in tech or you have a curiosity about the tech world and what opportunities exist beyond becoming a developer, this is for you.


DCI 108 or DCI 110 or JOUR 341 or register for DCI 190: Getting Started with HTML/CSS (1 credit, Winter 2020)

What You Will Be Able to Do After This Experience

You will become competent in designing a website from the ground up using industry-standard design software, building the site using HTML and CSS, and finally launching it. You will come away with a new way of problem solving with an empathetic lens towards the user experience and a stronger sense of how to learn ever-evolving technical skills. You will also discover the power of relationships and your ability to leverage your network to find the right fit career and job opportunities. At the end of this experience you should feel confident in your abilities to pursue and land an internship in a technology company.

Big Ideas & Essential Questions

As we go through the course, keep the following questions in your mind:

  • How do technology companies build products and speak to different customer segments?
  • How are ethical questions around privacy, equity, and access addressed by technology companies?
  • What other roles beyond software developer are available in technology companies?
  • How do my personal strengths and interests translate to entry-level roles?
  • Who are you designing for and how does that change based on your audience?

Program Fee (Paid to W&L): $5,750

Estimated Additional Costs: Estimated at $750 for airfare, books, and spending money. 

Unlimited meals and housing in Austin are included in the program fee.

For further details, please contact Prof. Jason Mickel at mickelj@wlu.edu.

There is no application process for this course, but you must have instructor consent. Please submit this short form to indicate your interest in the course