Digital media program leaves the nest
Chancellor and President Renu Khator said that the UH System Board of Regents will consider transitioning UHSL from a regional teaching center to a branch of the main campus, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“We will continue to make the transition in the early part of 2014,” Khator said to the Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce. “We are hearing you loud and clear: You want to have a full presence of the University of Houston, with full rights and privileges that come with it.”
Starting this semester, enrolled students can take shuttles to UHSL that will run throughout the day from both campuses. All digital media faculty members have moved into offices in Fort Bend County, ensuring students’ access while in Sugar Land.
Technology professor Jerry Waite, who oversees the program, said he received a call from College of Technology Dean William Fitzgibbon who asked him if he would be interested in moving to UHSL.
“Since our entire college is growing rapidly, and since none of the current construction on campus benefits us, the only way we can grow without being strangled by lack of space to handle student demand would be to go to Sugar Land. It is important to note that sophomore digital media classes are still offered on the main campus, but that Wharton County Junior College, our partner at Sugar Land, also teaches the equivalent courses,” Waite said.
“This will result in substantial cost savings for students. However, first-time-in-college students who elect to study on the main campus can still do all their coursework from UH and just catch the shuttle for Sugar Land.”
The program will be located in a new building at UHSL, equipped with the latest Mac Pro computers and a substantial amount of space to house the growing student demand.
Assistant technology professor Monika Zarzycka has been involved in the transitioning process and said she believes its new home at UHSL is a good idea for the program and its students, most of whom responded positively to the news.
“Since we will have newer and bigger facilities at UHSL, we will not only focus on perfecting our current digital media program but also on expanding into other areas of the digital media industry, such as animation and gaming,” Zarzycka said. “The future looks very promising for the digital media program, and I’m looking forward to its growth and expansion.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this great program.”