UA has been labeled the first “Creative Campus” in the west, as part of an ongoing partnership with Adobe Systems Inc.
Collaborating with Adobe, UA has committed to highlighting digital media literacy across all programs at the university.
Adobe will provide current and future students with the complete line of Creative Cloud software. Popular applications Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro are just two of the many tools to be implemented throughout computer systems at the university.
The software will be brought out in phases first starting with updating the Main Library, Science-Engineering Library and Bear Down gym. Adobe has gifted $100,000 towards those improvements.
The administering of the Adobe Creative Cloud software will come from the Office of Digital Learning.
Melody Buckner, director of Digital Learning and Online Education, discussed the different ways they are making the community aware of what tools they have access to.
First, an Adobe specialist was hired to teach faculty and staff about the Creative Cloud software and what it is designed to offer curriculums throughout UA.
Brian Puente was hired in February as an Adobe Creative Cloud "evangelist”, Buckner said.
"So he's first working with faculty to teach them how to integrate the Adobe Creative Cloud into their curriculum, so that's really getting students to use the Creative Cloud in the classroom."
Second, the department is pushing the software through the Science-Engineering Library student community area called iSpace.
"There's another strategy where we're trying to reach students, we are pushing the Creative Cloud out through the iSpace, and of course that's more student centric, it's a little different than going through the curriculum."
She said that the department is partnering with the libraries to create ways to display the tools to the students.
Buckner who also teaches at the College of Education said she has already used the Adobe tools within her class and it has been a helpful addition.
"I have implemented these products into my teaching and I really feel that we need to prepare our students to be digitally aware, they need to be digitally ready for the world that they're going into," Buckner said.
Venessa Ball, senior graphic and web designer at the Office of Digital Learning, said the access to the software is important for students, especially while there is time left in their academic careers.
"I think a lot of budding graphic designers, and even business students, are having to use these programs day in and day out in their professional lives," Ball said. "So I think it's important that they get exposed to it early while they're still learning."
UA department staff members have already implemented the software, as faculty licenses were made free in January 2016. The College of Fine Arts faculty and staff believe that this contribution will benefit many UA programs.
Cynthia Barlow, an IT manager at the College of Fine Arts, said “They've rolled out now where it's free for students as well, which is huge for us, especially in the School of Art where so much of their curriculum is dependent on access to Adobe software," she said. "That's the industry standard for a significant number of what our art students are learning."
The software use for teachers will also provide more creative learning environments within the department, Barlow said.
"It gives our faculty the ability to give them a little more freedom to innovate in what they teach and how they teach it, because access to those programs is no longer a financial burden or an issue for our students or for our department," she said.
Barlow believes this gift speaks to Adobe recognizing students as the future workers they'll seek after.
"To me that's something that is a testament to that company recognizing that their future is in our college students and in our ability to train their workforce."