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ftve, art digital media

Creativity and Technology Bring Art to Life

Jun 24, 2022

“When I started the art digital media program at DVC, I was a working, single parent. It was not easy, but I did it. I strongly believe in the inner power each student has,” said Yudy Herrera Orellana.

Yudy Herrera OrellanaHerrera Orellana thinks the art digital media program is ideal for students seeking a well-paying career combining artistic talent with technical skill. The program prepares students for exciting roles at marketing agencies, mobile app / web development companies, game studios, and more. While at DVC, students gain skills using specialized software commonly used in creative industries.

Herrera Orellana completed an associate in arts in design and visual communications, as well as an associate in arts in business administration and management. She credits her education for giving her career the boost it needed.

“At DVC, I learned the technical skills needed to perform much of my work that I do today as a program manager at BRIDGEGOOD,” said Herrera Orellana.

BRIDGEGOOD is a creative agency that provides technology access, design opportunities, and professional resources to job seekers.

“I develop, organize, design, and execute the Inspire Oakland Billboard Campaign, coordinate the user experience (UX) design apprenticeship, manage our design studio clients, and more,” said Herrera Orellana.

The connections Herrera Orellana made with her DVC instructors were especially helpful. 

“The faculty care about the material they are teaching and really want their students to excel. Develop a working relationship with them. You’ll be surprised how supportive they are throughout your student journey,” said Herrera Orellana. 

Art digital media at DVC

Art DM student“We have seen so much growth in digital media as well as film, television and electronic arts. There are many options for students. Our goal is to prepare students for both transfer to a four-year university and entry-level jobs in these creative industries,” said Joann Denning, department chair for media studies at DVC.

Students enrolled in the art digital media program can tailor their education towards their preferred career goal. They can choose from one of four specialty areas:

  • Animation
  • Game design
  • Graphic design
  • Interaction design

Art DM student“Our art digital media program enables students to truly make a career out of their passion, with many opportunities available to students with a certificate or associate degree,” said Denning.

Degrees and certificates

Associate in arts 

  • Animation
  • Digital media 
  • Game design
  • Graphic design
  • Interaction design for web and mobile platforms 

Certificate of achievement

  • Animation
  • Digital media
  • Game design 
  • Graphic design – available fully online
  • Interaction design for web and mobile platforms 
  • Motion graphics
  • Web design – available fully online

Certificate of accomplishment

  • Art digital media – foundation

Career opportunities

  • 2D animator
  • 3D animator
  • Art director
  • Creative director
  • Game designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Interactive designer
  • Interface designer 
  • Mobile app designer / developer
  • Motion graphics designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Production artist
  • Sound designer
  • Storyboard artist
  • Video editor
  • Web designer
  • Web developer

Film, television and electronic media at DVC

FTVE studentsStudents who study film, television and electronic media (FTVE) learn skills that prepare them for careers in the entertainment industry, including film, broadcasting, online media, and more. 

“Some students transfer to continue their education at a four-year university, but many students complete the program and seek entry-level jobs in the film and television industry. This could include working as a production assistant on a set, an assistant editor for a production company or supporting a live TV broadcast,” said Sahra Bhimji, assistant professor of film production at DVC.

Degrees and certificates

Associate in science for transfer

  • Film, television and electronic media

Associate in arts 

  • Television arts

Certificate of achievement 

  • Television arts

Certificate of accomplishment

  • Television arts – basic writing for digital medium
  • Television arts – film production
  • Television arts – studio production

Career opportunities

  • FTVE instructorAudio board operator
  • Camera operator
  • Cinematographer 
  • Editor
  • Graphics technician
  • Grip
  • Independent filmmaker
  • Producer
  • Production assistant
  • Rigger
  • Screenwriter 
  • Studio technician
  • Technicians for news and local broadcasts
  • Teleprompter operator
  • Visual effects artist

Facilities upgrades 

Art ComplexStarting in fall 2022, the art digital media and film, television and electronic media programs will be housed in a new two-story art complex on the Pleasant Hill campus. Co-locating with other art programs including photography, painting and drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and more, the brand-new spaces will help students build skills and foster inter-disciplinary collaboration.

“The move to the new art building is very exciting! We will have three art media labs, a state-of-the-art production studio, and a printing lab,” said Denning.

Bhimji is particularly enthusiastic about the new production studio.

“The studio will have a new mixing board with live streaming capabilities, and top-quality film lights, enabling students to learn to program lighting,” said Bhimji.

Both Bhimji and Denning are excited about investments in a new virtual production technology that will offer new opportunities for students to develop in-demand skills with camera tracking and the motion of actors. 

“If students want to mix together animation, video game design, and visual effects, they will be able to experiment with that,” said Bhimji. 

The programs will also offer an equipment loan program. This will enable students to check out cameras, microphones, and laptops to work on projects outside the classroom or studio.

“One of our goals is to bring industry to campus to use the new production studio. This would give our students hands-on experience working for real clients,” said Denning.

Job outlook

Flexibility and ongoing skill development is important for those pursuing a creative career.

“Data shows that workers need to regularly acquire new digital skills to stay ahead of job market changes and to advance in their careers. Job opportunities for people with digital media skills continue to grow,” said Denning.

To ensure that students continue to develop the skills needed by local industry, DVC has forged deep relationships with many Bay Area companies, including Kyocera, LinkedIn, 23andMe, First Person, and BRIDGEGOOD

Yudy Herrera Orellana and BRIDGEGOOD provide many opportunities for art digital media students. The annual billboard design competition enables students to design billboards for the City of Oakland. BRIDGEGOOD also offers a UX design apprenticeship that enables DVC students to have hands-on learning in UX, UI (user interface) and product design.  

Herrera Orellana encourages students to be proactive in building their career. She said, “The workforce is very competitive. While there are many jobs out there, not every job is the right one for you. School is the first step to becoming a professional, but don’t stop there. Explore the field you want to be in. Attend events, read articles and develop your network.”

Bhimji strongly recommends that students interested in film, television and electronic media consider DVC. 

“DVC is a great place to have small, hands-on classes where you get to try all the roles in a film production or television studio and also build your portfolio to show future employers or prepare for transfer,” said Bhimji.

For more information about industry-leading creative career paths at DVC, visit:

Film, television and electronic media at the San Ramon Center

DVC San Ramon studentsDid you know DVC San Ramon offers several FTVE classes? These classes can be applied towards a FTVE degree or certificate, and they can also be used to fulfill general education requirements. 

DVC San Ramon classes include:

  • FTVE 200 American Cinema/American Culture
  • FTVE 210 American Ethnic Cultures in Film
  • FTVE 280 American Cinema 1900 – 1950
  • FTVE 281 World Cinema 1900 – 1960
  • FTVE 282 American Cinema 1950 to the Present
  • FTVE 283 World Cinema 1960 to the Present

Online equity project for art digital media

Art DM studentsDVC is one of 12 community colleges participating in a project focused on reducing inequities in academic and career outcomes for underrepresented minority groups enrolled in online education programs. Each participating college will receive $30,000 over two years to support their project. DVC chose to focus on art digital media (ARTDM).

“The online equity project is part of a national grant called CTE CoLab. Each college team will develop and implement an action plan to reduce equity gaps for students of color,” said Joann Denning, department chair for art digital media and film, television and electronic art at DVC.

CTE CoLab is funded by ECMC Foundation. The collaborative is comprised of the Urban Institute, World Education, Inc., the National Council for Workforce Education, the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Instructional Technology Council, and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers.