This fall, the Redmond-based, world-renowned DigiPen Institute of Technology is kicking off a series of continuing education programs to help professionals enhance their skill sets and/or provide anyone — with a high school diploma or above — with introductions to video game programming and art/animation for video games.
Registration for the continuing education courses is open until Friday, Oct. 1, with a $35 registration fee. The continuing education classes will run for 10 weeks, Oct. 11-Dec. 17, on weeknight evenings from 6-9 p.m. at DigiPen’s new, comprehensive campus, 9931 Willows Rd. in Redmond. One of the continuing education courses will also be available online.
Continuing education course offerings ($595 each) include “Introduction to 3D Animation,” Wednesdays at DigiPen; “Introduction to 2D Game Programming” Tuesdays at DigiPen; “Introduction to 3D Game Programming,” Thursdays at DigiPen; and “Introduction to 3D Game Programming,” online on Wednesdays. Online classes are taught using synchronous Web conferencing technology. Online students are required to have broadband access and may be required to have software not provided by DigiPen.
Admission to DigiPen’s continuing education programs is open to anyone with a high school diploma or General Education Development certificate (GED).
DigiPen is also authorized by the Washington Workface Training Board to grant students Continuing Education Units (CEU) for every 10 hours of instruction. Since most of DigiPen’s continuing education courses are 30 hours, students are eligible to receive 3 CEU credits for each course.
For people already working in the video game industry or any other industry, the opportunity to take “a 10-week course with professional credit, taken after the work day, is almost like a healthy substitute for Happy Hour,” noted Tarsi Hall, communications manager at DigiPen.
“Maybe you’re at Microsoft or maybe you got laid off from a job and want to develop skills for various game platforms. Employers are looking for these skills now,” said Hall. “It’s a growing field, definitely, and it’s also a minimal time and financial commitment, not like committing to getting a second Master’s degree. A lot of people don’t have the capital to do that. Maybe in just 10 weeks, learning to make an iPhone game, you can go back to your employer with an idea to make more revenue.”
Hall said DigiPen ran a pilot version of a continuing education program about two years and saw a lot of interest in this concept.
“We’re launching this now, to all of the public with a high school diploma or above,” said Hall. “You don’t have to have a Bachelor’s degree. It could be someone who graduated from Redmond High School recently or 10 years ago, somebody who maybe has been working as a Web developer but doesn’t have a degree. We don’t want to close that person out, based on their credentials. We’re helping people to grow a new skill and hoping to feed the local economy.”
Heidi Munoz, who oversees the K-12 education programs at DigiPen, is also spearheading these continuing education programs for adults.
“This is tailored toward people who never learned animation, programming or the language of drawing,” said Munoz. “It could be a designer who wants programming knowledge or a programmer who needs to learn art. They can get a taste of both worlds in a college environment, on-site and in their back yard.”
Through the K-12 and continuing education programs at DigiPen, said Munoz, “We’re bringing in people of all ages and all levels of academics. DigiPen’s mission is not to get just the kids who are already devoted to science or art but also trying to educate kids and adults in general, whether or not they intend to attend DigiPen (full-time).”
To register for the continuing education courses at DigiPen Institute of Technology, visit https://www.digipen.edu/prospective-students/academics/continuing-education/.
For general information about DigiPen, visit www.digipen.edu.or call (425) 558-0299.