Starting this fall, technically-minded students interested in the behind-the-scenes action of a stage production can pursue an associate degree or certificate programs that will train them for in-demand careers as audio-visual systems specialists.
Howard Community College (HCC) and Carroll Community College (CCC) recently received a joint award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education program in the amount of $427,483 to support the degree and programs. Over three years, the grant award – divided and granted individually to the two colleges – will fund equipment, staffing, and assessment.
Both HCC and CCC are creating parallel programs – known as entertainment technology – that will share research and resources. As a result of this partnership, CCC and HCC offer the only public, associate degree programs for multimedia and presentation technology in the mid-Atlantic region.
“The grant will provide rigorous hands-on-training to help meet the demand of this industry,” said Bill Gillett, chair of dance and theatre at HCC. “Audio and video systems specialists are in demand to support live presentations at convention centers, colleges and universities, corporate events, government events, and in theaters.”
Seth Schwartz, director of production/theatre management and project coordinator of entertainment technology, said, “Audio and video systems specialists require advanced training in industry-specific technology that supports a multitude of presentations, which in turn, support a multitude of events. These specialists are employed at venues with integrated, complex communications needs.”
The entertainment technology programs are starting with tremendous industry support. HCC and CCC have already formed partnerships with more than 20 local businesses and organizations to offer students training opportunities that may lead to employment.
For more information, visit our Entertainment Technology associate and certificate pages, part of the Theatre, Dance, and Entertainment Technology Department.