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Online Digital Media Degree

Associate Degree in Digital Media

NEXT CLASS: AUG 24th | FALL 2020 applicants: Enroll by JUNE 30th to lock in 2019/20 tuition.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

About This Program

The Sessions College Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) in Digital Media is an intensive two-year degree program for students seeking to enter careers in video production and editing, animation, or motion graphics. Designed for high school graduates and adult learners, the program offers a strong foundation in visual design and a working knowledge of software and production techniques essential for contemporary digital media.

Digital Media students begin their program with first year studies focused on art and design fundamentals. Second-year classes place an emphasis on techniques for time-based media. Students gain a training in Adobe Premiere, Animate, and Autodesk Maya and foundation in video making and motion graphics.

My favorite part about working as a digital media artist for a media company is that I am able to continue to be creative through many different mediums, whether it’s motion graphics in post production, graphic design, or photography.

Janel Damiani

AOS in Digital Media, Program graduate

Student Work By: Ileia Centracchio, Logan Barlow

Program Benefits

Launch your Creative Career

Earn a degree and launch your creative career in our most rigorous 2-year program.

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By Creatives, for Creatives

Collaborate with a community of creative learners and industry professionals.

Maximize Your Portfolio

Projects put you through your paces as you build a body of work. Your program culminates with a guided portfolio review.

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Structure and Flexibility

Weekly deadlines keep you on track, but with no set login times you can build your studies around your schedule.

Education You Can Afford

Affordable programs with low per credit tuition, and financial aid available for those who qualify.

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Convenient Online Application

Fast, convenient, and student-centered application process.

The Curriculum

The Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Digital Media is a 72-credit program completed in two years. Part-time schedules are available.

Digital Media Major - Year One

First Semester

Second Semester

Third Semester

Digital Media Major - Year Two

Fourth Semester

Fifth Semester

Sixth Semester

* Elective course may be replaced by any other 3-credit course in the program, subject to availability and prerequisites.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Program highlights for Digital Media majors in the AOS program.

DIG 201 Digital Video Editing I - 3 credits

Learn the art and craft of editing videos from two award-winning filmmakers. The course explores techniques that can be applied in a range of non-linear editing programs, including Adobe Premiere Pro. Yet the main focus is not just on developing software skills; it's on exploring the magic behind video editing. Challenging projects including editing a commercial, an interview, a narrative scene, a music video, a video diary, and a text title sequence.

DIG 204 Digital Video Production - 3 credits

Learn how to control white balance, aperture, and shutter speed, to get high quality images from your digital video camera. You'll explore the different types of shots and camera motion techniques used by the pros and learn how to do location scouting, plan props, wardrobe, and sets, and work with talent. Course lectures challenge you to think about different storytelling conventions in narrative and documentary movie-making and address the fundamentals of sound recording.

DIG 210 Animate I - 3 credits

Get a thorough, hands-on introduction to Adobe Animate, learning how to draw and import artwork, organize it using symbols and layers, and animate it using a range of techniques from basic tweening to frame-by-frame animation. Animation techniques will include motion tweening, scaling and rotating objects, nested animations, shape tweens, masks, frame by frame animation, and lip syncing.

DIG 205 Intro to Motion - 1.5 credits

This course introduces topics of motion in animation and video through research and observation of real-life movement and movement in animation. Students learn basic principles of visible motion (including physics principles) and apply these principles to written analysis and practical explorations including flipbook-style animation. Topics include movement of objects and characters.

DIG 211 Maya I - 3 credits

Autodesk Maya combines powerful tools for the major areas in 3D content creation: modeling, animation, texturing, and rendering. Many of today's top video games are created in Maya, from characters, to models, levels, and more. You'll develop a thorough understanding of the Maya toolset, learning how to create, edit, and refine polygon models, add textures and apply UV maps, develop basic animations, and export scenes for team or client preview. Class projects include working with primitives, complex inorganic models, character modeling, texturing, animation studies, and exporting a scene.

DIG 209 Time-Based Media - 3 credits

This course teaches students how to apply their digital media skills to narrative contexts and build their portfolio with high concept work. Students will explore narrative theory, visual development, pipeline testing, iteration, and creative direction for digital media projects. They will also study conventions of time based media genres, including movie trailers, PSAs, commercials, and music videos.

DIG 214 Character Animation I - 1.5 credits

Learn how to apply the classic principles of character animation to 3D models using Autodesk Maya. Learn major principles of animation including squash and stretch and anticipated movement. Using Maya's high-level animation tools, you'll gain insight into the professional animator's approach, learning to work with hierarchical characters, create effective poses, and properly time your shots.

DIG 221 After Effects I - 3 credits

Adobe After Effects is a powerful application used to create motion graphics and visual effects for film and video. After Effects is used in a variety of contexts, including broadcast graphics, music videos, feature films, video rotoscoping, corporate presentations, and conferences. In this 6-lesson course, you'll learn how to use After Effects to create sophisticated motion graphics, using text and object animations, compositing videos and images, and adding audio and effects. You'll learn how to set keyframes on a timeline and work with transform properties, motion paths, masks, and effects, developing a solid foundation in this increasingly popular and versatile program.

OUTCOMES

Program Outcomes

By completing the program, Associate Degree in Digital Media students develop the following competencies:

1. Video

Shoot and edit engaging videos utilizing skillful production, camera, audio, and non-linear editing techniques.

5. Storytelling

Conceptualize, compose, and deliver images, animations, and movies demonstrating an effective use of visual communication and storytelling.

2. Technology

Create images, animations, and movies by effectively and efficiently using creative software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate, After Effects, and Premiere, Autodesk Maya, and other industry technologies.

6. Critical Thinking and Writing

Employ critical thinking to generate, support, and convey ideas through writing for academic or professional contexts.

3. Animation

Prepare and present short animations employing basic animation techniques using 2D and 3D artwork.

7. Portfolio

Apply creative problem solving and constructive feedback to conceive, produce, and present an impactful body of work that showcases your skills to employers and potential clients.

4. Art/Design Principles

Demonstrate the ability to produce visually compelling work by applying knowledge of color, pattern, detail, and composition.

Outcomes Assessment

To learn more about our outcomes assessment process, visit our Academic Team

Sessions Student Work

FACULTY

Natalie La Scala Natalie La Scala is a Denver-based media artist and educator.
Margaret Penney Margaret Penney is a teacher, designer, writer and media artist.
Greg Marlow Greg Marlow is a freelance animator and digital artist.

VIEW ALL PROGRAM FACULTY

Get expert feedback in classes taught by our industry-leading faculty.

Instructor Biography Degree(s) Earned
Andrew Shalat

Andrew Shalat is an author, designer/illustrator, educator, and Mac expert who is a regular speaker at Macworld and has written several books on design for McGraw-Hill and Peachpit Press.

  • MFA, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • MA in English and American Literature, Brandeis University
  • BA in English Language and Literature, State University of New York at Stonybrook
Bill headshot

Bill Drastal is an artist and animator who works for Bento Box Entertainment, an Emmy award-winning animation studio that produces network programs. Bill has experience developing character designs and animations for video games.

  • BS in Media Arts and Animation, Art Institute of California, San Diego

Carolyn Zaikowski is the author of the novel A Child Is Being Killed (Aqueous Books, 2013) whose fiction, poetry, and essays have been published widely.

  • MFA in Creative Writing, Naropa University
  • BFA in Psychology, University of Massachusetts
Greg Marlow

Greg Marlow is a freelance animator and digital artist. His work can be found in Sid Meier's Civilization V and several of the game's DLC and expansions as well as the XCom: Enemy Within expansion.

  • MS in Digital Media (Character Animation), East Tennessee State University
  • BS in Digital Media, East Tennessee State University, Certificate in Animation, Animation Mentor
Jessica Peltz

Jessica Peltz has more than 20 years of industry experience in graphic design as an Art and Creative Director with ad agencies, design firms, publishing companies, and in-house corporations.

  • MA in Graphic Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • BA in Mass Communication, George Mason University
Jordon Schranz

Jordon Schranz is an audio/visual artist and designer whose work has been exhibited internationally in New York, Chicago, El Paso, Berlin, Bogotá, and Ciudad Juárez.

  • MFA in Combined Media, City University of New York
  • BFA in Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art

Kevin Hedgpeth is an Arizona native who makes his home in Phoenix, where he actively writes and illustrates in addition to teaching college-level visual arts courses. He is co-author and illustrator of several published books.

  • BA in Studio Art at Arizona State University
Kristen Becker

Kristen Becker is an educator and a graphic and business designer specializing in e-commerce. With over 12 years of experience as an award-winning educator, Kristen has developed curriculum and taught courses in graphic design, multimedia, and e-commerce/marketing.

  • MA in Digital Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • BA in Environmental Systems, University of Maryland
Lynne Cuda

Lynne R. Cuda is a 30-year IT professional who has worked in project management overseeing company-wide information systems selections, implementations and upgrades at hospitals, universities, and private companies.

  • MA of Computing Science, Texas A&M University
  • BS in Communications/Advertising, University of Illinois-Urbana
Michael Hamm

Michael Hamm is a Senior UX Designer who has worked for Oracle Corporation and Expedia, and an Adobe Illustrator expert with over 20 years of experience in the creative field.

  • Diploma in Graphic Design, Art Institute of Houston
Natalie La Scala

Natalie La Scala is a Denver-based media artist with 20 years of work experience in creative direction, project management, and higher education. Recent clients include Z1CareerZone, Engage, LLC, and the Performing Arts Academy.

  • MFA in Film and Television, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • BA in Studio Art, University of Kentucky
Piper Nilsson Faculty profile image

Piper Nilsson is a graphic/Web designer and educator. Piper has been working with the Web since 1997, working in various roles as a designer, programmer, and information architect, Piper blueprinted sites for such global clients as MetLife, Pepsi, ETS, and Citibank.

  • AOS in Graphic Design, Pratt Institute
Taz Tally

Dr. Taz Tally is the president of Taz Tally Seminars and Taz Tally Photography and author of numerous graphics and print production books and instructional videos, CDs, DVDs and online training courses on scanning, prepress and printing, Photoshop, and color correction.

  • PhD in Geology, University of California Santa Barbara

View all faculty.

Job Facts

An associate degree in digital media from Sessions College can help launch a career in the field. Take that first step today. Take a look at some related job statistics:

Facts are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. For more information on digital media, film, and animation industry careers, visit: National Association of Broadcasters, American Cinema Editors, or American Advertising Federation.

63%

The median annual wage for film and video editors was $61,180 in May 2017, 63% higher than the median for all workers.

13%

Employment of film and video editors and camera operators is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

GETTING STARTED

Our online application process makes getting started easy, fast, and convenient.

What's the Admissions Process?

Classes start in January, April, and August, with early start options in February, June, and October.

Students entering the program are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any students under 18 years of age will need to provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

To apply, you’ll need to complete our convenient online application and provide an application essay, official transcripts from high school OR for any college degree completed, and 5-10 samples of your art/design work. (Transcripts must be provided for any course you wish evaluated for credit transfer.)

How Long is the Program?

The Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) program is a 72 credit program completed in six semesters or two years by a student on a full-time schedule. Students with transfer credit can graduate in under two years and part-time schedules are available.

Will the Program Fit My Schedule?

Weekly deadlines help you stay on track. And with no set login times, you can build your studies around your schedule, wherever you are located. That’s why more than 50% of our degree students complete their programs while working full-time. 

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • A digital camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and white balance .
  • A digital video camera and ability to connect it to a computer to capture footage.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate, After Effects, and Premiere CC software.
  • MS word or equivalent application
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.
  • A Web hosting account with an ad-free hosting service.
  • Webcam, headphones or speaker, VPN connection, and microphone connected to the computer for live proctored exams.

There are no textbook or course material costs to participate in this online program. Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

What are the Program Costs?

The current tuition for full-time Associate Degree students is as follows:

Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Program
$365 per credit
$4,380 per semester
$13,140 per year
$26,280 total program tuition
Tuition for part-time students is $415/credit and paid by semester. Federal financial aid available for eligible students. Ask about our $500-$2,000 scholarships for exemplary applicants.

A $200 registration fee is required to process your enrollment in the program. Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from the scheduled beginning of program orientation. See Associate Degree Tuition and Payment options.

* Effective July 1, 2020, the tuition for Associate Degree programs will increase to $435/credit, for full-time and part-time students. Applicants who complete enrollment and acceptance prior to June 30th can enroll at 2019-2020 tuition rates.

Is Financial Aid available?

Federal Student Aid. Federal student aid is available to students who qualify. If you are eligible, you may be able to fund your program using Pell Grants and Federal student loans. Check out our Financial Aid Information pages and ask to set up an interview with our Financial Aid Director.

Military Student Aid. Military servicemembers and their families who are eligible for GI Bill Education Benefits or active service member Tuition Assistance (TA) may also be able to utilize these programs to pay for their education.

Adult Learner Scholarships. Ask about our innovative scholarships for adult learners. The Designed for You Scholarship Program can help you offset your tuition costs. 

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