UH System

Digital media program leaves the nest

Shuttle Service 2x5 011314The University’s digital media bachelor’s program has outgrown its home in the College of Technology and will be solely offered at UH-Sugar Land.

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.”

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  • NOT a fan of the idea. I believe I had to take one DIGM class for my major (whether it was a college/major requirement, I forget) and it’d suck to have to do it all the way over in UH Sugar Land. Even with the shuttle, it means more commuting time, adjusting to the campus layout there, etc.

    “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.”
    No! This is the University of Houston, not the University of Houston and Sugar Land. UHSL should stay as a satellite campus where students can have a choice of a lot of the classes and bachelor degrees offered at the main campus. However it should not have its own separate degrees and classes that aren’t offered here. Moving DIGM completely over there sucks because not everyone likes Sugar Land or wants to have to go there to take courses. This is a bad move, and I personally hope it doesn’t pan too well.
    I’m also getting pretty tired of DIGM being so Mac-focused, when there’s a lot of digital media houses that don’t use Macs for every single process (where even most popular programs are even better optimized on PCs, if you read tech publications.) So expensive, and I’m guessing Apple must’ve reduced the price to a substantial level to get their foot in the door.

  • I wonder who “responded positively” because most of the people I’ve heard are pretty “ugh” about it.. Also we won’t be getting said new computers for a few months from what I’ve heard, so that was kind of misleading last semester, because I probably won’t even get to use them.. And I agree with the other poster about the Mac-centric learning. I’m guessing most businesses, unless they’re really up there and have money to burn, aren’t going to waste money on Macs and required separate Mac accessories when they could get an equivalent PC for half the price.

  • of course this is 100% terribad news. idk anyone who said that they are ecstatic about moving to UH sugar land. why? because people who go to UH want to study at UH. not go to some remote campus with less students, less school dynamic, and a ridiculous commute time. Everyone take pity on me please because I’m DIGM and this has made me reconsider my major

  • I really wish the junior classes, more digital media classes in general, would be offered at the main campus. I really feel this is the major for me but realizing that it won’t be here (only offered at SL) makes me think I have to change my major. The commute will be long enough already and this just interferes with the thriving college experience.

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