School President Dustin Swanger says program offers students “a clear path towards employment” in the arts
SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—MAY 21, 2019—Under the marquee at Proctors Tuesday morning, Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger announced a new degree program aimed at students considering a career in the ever-growing entertainment industry.
Developed with input from Proctors and Capital Region BOCES, the associate degree in Entertainment Technology will, according to the course description, “provide students with the necessary skills, knowledge and competence to successfully enter a variety of different careers in the planning, design and production of entertainment, including: live performance technology, audio/visual technology and interactive entertainment technology.”
Swanger was joined by, among others, Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D, senior executive officer, Capital Region BOCES; Philip Morris, CEO, Proctors Collaborative; Jason Radalin, assistant professor, Theater Arts, Fulton-Montgomery Community College; and Maureen Sager, executive director, Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy.
“This new degree,” Swanger said, “offers articulated credit through Capital Region BOCES, and gives creative FM students a clear path towards employment in an important segment of one of our major industries.”
“There are jobs to be had,” said Morris. “At Proctors, we’re now frequently teching two major Broadway tours a season, right in downtown Schenectady. We’re teching smaller works, with off-Broadway potential, and employing students from the Schenectady School District, many of whom will be looking for the next educational opportunity to continue studies in entertainment technology.”
In addition to electives, the Entertainment Technology (A.A.S.) will focus on core studies in a wide variety of related disciplines, including digital photography; modern design; stagecraft; audio production; project management; digital TV/broadcast operations; and digital modeling.
“The Capital Region is unusually strong in opportunities for full, part time and freelance employment in the creative industries,” said Sager. “From live theatre and recorded music to gaming and theme park design, we are experiencing a wave of business and investment that is propelling us to the ranks of the nation’s great creative regions.”
“The Entertainment Technology degree,” said Dragone, “shows what can happen when we all work together to create new avenues for students, new ways for them to express themselves and forge non-traditional career paths.”
This collaboration means area high school students will now have a direct pathway to a college-level program. Starting this fall, juniors and seniors participating in the Entertainment Technology Pathway initiative through Capital Region BOCES can earn up to 15 college credits at FM while still in high school. Students will explore internships and job shadowing experiences with Proctors and other business partners so they are well-prepared to further their studies or enter the workforce.
The FM program, overseen by Radalin and developed over the past year, will begin recruiting applicants for the fall semester beginning next month, with an enrollment goal of approximately 40 students for the inaugural class.
“This is an important step,” said Swanger, “one which engages our students directly in the burgeoning creative economy that has become so key to the Capital Region.”