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Howard Community College and Carroll Community College Receive National Science Foundation Grant to Support Entertainment Technology Programs

Columbia, MD – Carroll Community College (CCC) and Howard Community College (HCC) have received a joint award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education program to support associate degree and certificate programs that train students for in-demand careers as audio-visual systems specialists.

Over three years, the $427,583 grant award—divided and granted individually to the two colleges—will fund equipment, staffing, and assessment. HCC and CCC collaborated on the grant application, titled “Addressing the Need for Innovative Education of Audio-Visual Specialists.” Both CCC and HCC 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.

“A grant award from the NSF speaks to the highly technical nature of this emerging field. It is a prestigious validation of the goals of our program. We are very encouraged and grateful to NSF,” said CCC President Dr. James D. Ball.  “We greatly look forward to our collaboration with Howard Community College in this endeavor.”

“Howard Community College is pleased to partner with Carroll Community College to develop an academic program that will meet the high demand for audio-visual systems specialists in our region,” said HCC President Kate Hetherington. “The NSF grant will support the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment and ongoing training to keep our collaborative academic programs on the leading edge.”

Courses will be taught by faculty members with substantial industry experience. They will educate students on the application of electrical, lighting, and acoustical theories and designs.

“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. CCC and HCC have already formed partnerships with over 20 local businesses and organizations to offer students training opportunities that may lead to employment.

Learn more about entertainment technology at HCC.

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