New media program prepares students for the future

Staff Report

DOBSON — Surry’s new Digital Media Technology – Graphic Design program was designed with new media in mind; new media are the channels of communication that rely on digital distribution and not so surprisingly, the channels that are becoming increasingly more popular.

Where the newspaper once ruled as the most prominent and reliable way of receiving information, online sources have assumed the crown, taking viewers and advertisers with them.

This shift has left news outlets, ad agencies, and other businesses that employ traditional graphic designers with a predicament on their hands, as they are now taxed with finding talented designers who are also equipped with the technological skills necessary to excel in today’s climate.

The solution is Surry’s new DMT program, launching fall 2018, which is a marriage of Surry’s current Digital Media Technology and Advertising & Graphic Design programs.

The program’s Lead Instructor Jay Smith said, “Our hope is to prepare students for the future. The move away from print media has, especially over the last 10 years, really changed the way graphic designers work. There are now so many parallels between graphic design and digital media that many of our students in either program are already taking the same classes.”

Typically, graphic design students focus on the artistic, creative side of things — designing advertisements, logos and other graphics for print media as well as creating website interface designs — while digital media technology professionals work in more technical realms such as animation, web design, and audio and video production.

Surry’s new program pulls together an array of complex and complementary skills — the creative and aesthetic sensibility needed for eye-catching ads and the technological sophistication required to influence viewers across a diverse range of social media platforms using animation and other digital skills. The revamped program offers an Associate in Applied Science degree option as well as two certificate options.

Both certificate options can be completed through Surry’s Career and College Promise initiative, which provides high school students in Surry and Yadkin counties with a way to earn college credits tuition free.

Donna Haynes, a Business Education teacher at Starmount High School, is currently instructing an Adobe Visual course that teaches students how to use several of Adobe’s most prominent design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Upon hearing news of the new program at Surry, Haynes saw an immediate and positive response from her students.

“Many of the kids I teach can’t afford to go away to college. Even community college tuition rates seem daunting to them. Having the opportunity to take classes in the new Digital Media Technology – Graphic Design program, tuition-free is perfect for our students. I watched their eyes light up when I told them about this program,” Haynes said.

Registration for fall and summer classes is ongoing at Surry Community College. To learn more about the program or sign up for classes, contact Student Services at 336-386-3264 or go to www.surry.edu.

Staff Report