The MSJC Photography program offers adult learners digital production and workflow skills. Photography students are immersed in project-based, active, and real-world production challenges as well as creative skill set development. Career-oriented photographers embark on a path of inquiry that explores visual communication by creating images with professional visual impact, industry-standard quality, and mastery of digital asset management.
The program of study will impart the following PLOS:
· Conceptualize and produce creative photographic solutions to client and self-assigned photographic challenges.
· Demonstrate professional-level understanding of exposure essentials and photographic principles.
· Demonstrate the ability to analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and defend photographic production techniques in the studio and on location.
· Employ current photographic workflow and skill sets in the digital paradigm.
· Have knowledge of a historical perspective of photographic genre and significant photographers.
In 2018 the Photography program at MSJC awarded 14 Certificates and 10 AS degree completions. These completion data have been consistent since the total and capricious removal of studio course repetition over a decade prior when completion numbers where slightly higher. Now only a select few disciplines benefit from course repeatability for studio or other skills practices – hardly an equitable policy, however, undeniably the current rule. Students are left to wonder why some studio or skills repeatability are permitted, while others are not.
The program maintains complete program curriculum offerings every Spring and Fall term since the inception of the Digital Photography AS Degree in 2004. This capability and student opportunity bolsters the streamlined ‘Pathways’ guiding students to efficient completion of the AS degree within four semesters. The Certificate and AS degree have both averaged a 5 year completion rate duration from 2016 through 2018.
Both the Photography Certificate and AS degree can be completed on a student’s path toward transfer. Accessible skills training for all demographics including disproportionately impacted populations depend on technology availability, community populations, and close associations with related visual arts programs like Digital media, Visual Communications, and Art. Newly formed pathways in these related disciplines work to reinforce enrollment.
Outreach programs include: gallery and digital exhibitions, Pixel River Project (community of practice since 2014), institutional website gallery presence, institutional marketing exposure, routine studio outreach and ‘Eagle Day’ tours. Selective job-shadowing work assist employment opportunities introduce students to the professional work environment. These occupational and outreach programs influence the health of the program as well as its continuing service to the community. Additional variables include the institutions level of technology support. Therefore, projections should only be based on recent historical data. Otherwise the ravages and ramifications of the pandemic response, and system policy to remove the practice students so desperately need to prepare for the industry would result in blind optimism. We will likely maintain our completion rate in the future commensurate with the consistent levels proven over the last two decades and outlined above.
Digital photography, communication aesthetics, and image editing is ubiquitous in the business and culture of our 21st century Web 2.0 Internet age and economy. The learning research behind multimodal communication of digital photography, videography, interactive infographics, websites, and audio web tools has pioneered a path to a more meaningful and comprehensible hyper media between creators, influencers, and information age business people, as well as internet-based social interaction. How many decades have passed since you last snail-mailed a printed image to anyone – 1decade, perhaps 2 decades?
The MSJC Digital Photography AS Degree started its evolution in 1998 with its first curricular offering in response to the digital paradigm shift. Its dedication to learning in the digital age has been a steady march for students looking toward the future. This Digital Photography AS Degree marked the end of instruction in traditional silver halide emulsion-based photographic techniques nearly two decades ago. Our students are technophiles and early adopters. The MSJC Digital Photography program serves students hungry for digital industry-standard workflow training, production, and digital asset management preparation for the future. We also serve students misled by profit-based tech schools, or other CCC system learning institutions teaching obsolete chemistry-based curriculum. We have helped many students transition their learning and college investment to a valid program, offering a Certificate and AS degree involving digital tools and workflow exclusively. The MSJC Photography Program is dedicated to making our community college student training forward thinking by insuring that no time or resources are wasted teaching an obsolete paradigm.
The entire program is project-based preparing students for employment and advanced study by teaching them to create products and digital portfolios that demonstrate critical thinking skills and real-world production acumen. Problem solving through collaboration and effective teamwork is encouraged through all levels of facilitation and instruction. Students develop the language of digital photographic production while mastering exposure essential and related photographic principles to gain total creative control over professional production tools like Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, and Lighting variability. Both location and studio production are explored as hands-on production spaces. Adult learners synthesize the evolution of hardware and software technology tools in preparation for rapidly developing capture and editing techniques. These digital principles operate in a wider context when applied to diverse disciplines like photography, digital media, visual communications and art.
Historical reference and perspective enhances production skill sets through constructive criticism, image deconstruction and analysis of significant figures and genre in photography. Learners are encouraged to explore the medium through the lens of their own cultural history. They develop life skills and ethics that respond to social and cultural traditions in their own communities and that of their clients and peers. This social constructivism helps them to break into the industry via event photography in their local community as well as enhancing further study in 4-year institutions. It is a positive state of affairs that an ADT in photography does not exist as our transfer students consistently relay feedback that they found themselves going ‘back in time’ at four-year institutions with regard to industry-standard workflow.
Digital photographers, earning the Photography AS Degree, practice interpersonal skills and ethical business practices with real clients in a facilitated and scaffolded learning environment. Their exploration in photographic theory, studio and lighting production, and digital workflow methodically prepares them for the business and art of professional photography with industry-standard tools and technique in today’s commercial setting.
Semester 1: 16 units
· PHOT-125, Digital Photography Production I - 3 units
· DIG-110, Introduction to Digital Media - 3 units
· ENGL-101, College Composition - 4 units
· GUID-116, Integrative Career/Life Planning - 3 units
· COMM-100, Public Speaking - 3 units
Semester 2: 15 units
· PHOT-524, Digital Photography Production II - 3 units
· ART-120, 2D Design – 3 units
· HIST-136, Cultural History of American Motion Pictures – 3 units
· PS-101, Introduction to American Government and Politics – 3 units
· MATH-115, Ideas of Mathematics – 3 units
Semester 3: 16 units
· PHOT-525, Digital Photography Production III - 3 units
· PHOT-790, Digital Imaging Studio Laboratory – 1 unit
· PHOT-530, History of Still Photography – 3 units
· DIG-190, Video Production I – 3 units
· ART-104, World Art – 3 units
· ANTH-101, Physical Anthropology – 3 units
Semester 4: 13 units
· PHOT-791 – Professional Production Studio Laboratory – 1 unit
· BADM-104 – Business Communications – 3 units
· DIG-180 - Digital Media Design – 3 units
· DIG-592 – Digital Video Design II – 3 units
· DIG-581 – Social Media Marketing – 3 units
The Photography AS degree curriculum and organization is widely informed by CE Business Advisory input, and more specifically guided by Industry standards, Conferences, seminars, as well as the industry professionals/Pixel River Group community of practice sharing insights into how local opportunity relates to curricular and programmatic need. This input has shaped the program in comprehensive beginning through advanced real-world project-based challenges that offer experience and training with current RAW workflow and Mirrorless capture technology. This professional and creative industry-standard guidance includes recommendations for digital and printed output in web-based and gallery exhibitions that connect photographers and community. The Program Review process identifies the critical nature of providing adult learners with industry-standard technology and personal growth tools necessary for student success.
Finely tuned Pathways have been streamlined to efficiently and equitably lead students through a proper low/cost no/cost foundational training, pointing toward professionalism and success with regard to educational goals, employment, entrepreneurship, related careers and personal enrichment. The Degree provides the necessary workforce development framework and conduit to directly enter the field. This program was born early and lean. Many students are earning in the field, while completing their advanced-level studies. Our Adult learners would be ‘hard pressed’ to find a more focused and streamlined program. The MSJC Photography Program is the deal of the 21st century in digital paradigm photography training. Students look for a well-organized path to professionalism from their community college. The high level of professionalism this certificate program offers provides Degree earners a significant leg up on ‘self-taught’ individuals misled by social media pseudo-standards, whom litter the workforce regarding genuine industry-standard skillsets and knowledge in the photographic field.
The Photography AS Degree contributes to, and stands as proof the MSJC Mission Statement is meaningful and embodied in marketable student preparation. The pervasive Problem and Project-based learning at the core of this program design promote alignment with core competencies of Communication, Critical Thinking, Aesthetic Awareness, Social Awareness, Information and Technology literacy, Scientific Awareness, and Responsibility. Student success depends on measured support regarding access to technology used in the industry. Students can transition
from instruction to self-employment with the proper training that includes profession tools and techniques of the trade and greater industry. This AS Degree program will continue the perennial struggle to specify appropriate technology and equipment support for industry-standard preparation even while some programs in the CCC system secure funding and accreditation while teaching obsolete paradigms like chemistry-based photography. The Photography AS Degree program offers equitable access to otherwise unattainable hardware and software tools through out our students’ inquiry. This art form requires equal measures of art and science, both tenets of the MSJC mission regarding all measured goals.
(Y1 or S1)
Diann Thursby · 12/09/20
Received regional recommendation at 12-07-2020 IEDRC Deans Meeting.