Under a special memorandum of understanding signed recently, the District of Mission will secure $500,000 in seed funding to establish the UFV Mission campus as the primary site for the delivery of the UFV Graphic and Digital Design diploma program.
“The District of Mission is very committed to forging partnerships with the University of the Fraser Valley that will strengthen its presence in our community,” noted former Mission mayor James Atebe. “This agreement recognizes our focus on developing local post-secondary education opportunities and promoting economic growth; choosing to locate a flagship program with a focus on art and design in Mission goes well with the artistic focus of our community.”
The two-year, 60-credit Graphic and Digital Design diploma will provide students with a foundation of design skills, from which they will go on to learn about digital design for print and web. The courses in the program will also serve programs in media arts and the minor and extended minor options in graphic and digital design in the UFV Bachelor of Fine Arts program.
“This is a field that advances at an extremely rapid pace, so when we considered offering programming in this area, we knew that it would require significant capital investment in order to outfit our labs with the latest equipment and software,” noted UFV provost and vice president academic Eric Davis. “We are extremely grateful that the District of Mission has recognized this need and is stepping forward to partner with us.”
The two-year diploma program is being revived and updated, after being dormant for nearly a decade, in order to prepare local students for careers in the graphic and digital design field. It was previously based at UFV’s Abbotsford campus.
The financial commitment from the district includes start-up funding for the renovation of the Mission campus, purchase and installation of equipment, development of courses and programs, and marketing and student recruitment. The planned date for launch of the program is September 2012.
Graphic design program graduates will be prepared to work in traditional area such as design studios, newspapers, and magazines, but will also be ready for work in web design, design for applications for the burgeoning smartphone application market, the video game industry, and animation studios.
Although some will find work locally or set up home-based virtual studios, Mission’s location on the West Coast Express line also opens the opportunity for graduates to commute to Vancouver and its busy design community.
Heritage Park Centre has housed UFV’s Mission campus since 1996, along with a secondary school, and a community theatre. The UFV Mission campus currently offers a variety of courses in areas such as liberal arts, business, human services, criminal justice, computing, and kinesiology, as well as upgrading courses.
This article is featured in the fall 2011 issue of UFV Skookum magazine