Publish Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:24:21 -0700

Crafton Hills to offer new Digital Media courses in Virtual and Mixed Reality, Level II 3D Modeling

The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed many industries or even brought them to a halt, but the demand for Multimedia, Graphic Design and Animation is greater than ever. Crafton Hills College (CHC) is ready to meet that need with exciting new classes this fall, including brand new courses in Virtual and Mixed Reality, and Level II 3D Modeling.

The new Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) course will give students an introduction to designing for these emerging technologies as well as experience with the industry’s leading technologies, hardware, software, and the basics of development. Students will also get hands-on experience with current Augmented Reality (AR) and VR applications using leading VR headsets and learn about the Virtual Augmented Reality and MR development process using an industry standard game engine.

CHC’s new 3D Modeling course will build upon what students learned in the Level I course and will improve their skills in creating and animating characters and other objects used in 3D animations and games.The instructor who will be leading this class and the VR and MR class is the newly-hired Peter Gend, who comes to CHC with years of experience in animation, game design and visual effects.

According to Dr. Iris Kern-Foster, an assistant professor of Digital Media at CHC, CHC’s curriculum is current and prepares students to work in these emerging fields immediately after receiving their certificate or degree.

“The demand has increased in digital sculpting, game design, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and User Experience (UX) design. Our challenge as educators is to attach meaning to the related terms appearing in job announcements to our students,” she said. “Graduates entering the workforce, either employment or in entrepreneurial endeavors, are expected to embrace technological change and to see creative opportunities in challenges they face.We strive to teach a way of innovative thinking, curiosity, and flexibility in addition to technical skills.”

“We had a lot of new students who started during the pandemic - especially in the animation program - and I am very happy for them to have a campus experience in our labs and meet their classmates in person,” Kern-Foster said. “I am looking forward to welcoming our new students to the digital makerspace and the vibrant digital media culture at CHC.”

CHC Multimedia student Elizabeth Mulica said she would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in creating in the digital space.

“Being involved as a student in the Multimedia department has been and continues to be an amazing experience with wonderful and helpful professors,” Mulica said. “It’s really been a great opportunity to learn how to create digital pieces with industry standard programs, while having a great experience in the process to express yourself!”

CHC’s Multimedia program offers associate degrees and stackable certificates in Animation, Graphic and Media Design, Web Development and User Experience Design. New programs coming soon are certificates in Virtual Reality Design and Digital Illustration. Students can also earn an Associate in Science in Digital Animation, or Graphic and Media Design, or a Certificate in Graphic and Media Design.