By Erika Webb
Attention aspiring journalists, techies, barbers, oceanographers, human behaviorists, and adult beverage and gaming aficionados: Daytona State College will launch an array of new courses, a full- and part-time barbering program and new associate degree this fall.
The Associate of Science in Interactive Media Production degree presents a pioneering program aimed at serving today's inter-disciplinary needs and fostering in-demand skills.
Interactive Media program coordinator Steve Benson said the associate degree program will prepare students for careers in broadcasting, print and Web media. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, writing, photography, video, audio, social media and Web design.
"We're offering students a sophisticated balance between the ability to create content and the skills to deliver that content," Mr. Benson said.
DSC's Center for Interactive Media Production studios, WDSC channel 15 -- its broadcast television station -- and its state-of-the-art music and sound production studios will provide opportunities for students to obtain hands-on experience, he explained.
"The program will lean in a journalistic direction, so storytelling will be at the heart of the curriculum," he added.
Laurie White, DSC spokeswoman, said the new programs were added in response to the college's advisory boards, and input from industry and businesses in the region.
"These additions reflect the nimble agility of state colleges, designed to fuel economic engines, preparing residents for in-demand jobs and/or to continue their education to transfer into bachelor's programs, both at DSC and other schools," Ms. White said.
Two new computer programming classes are offered, one using Objective-C programming language for iOS devices and one using Microsoft Visual C# programming language for object-oriented programming.
Other computer science classes include Discrete Computational Analysis and Virtualization Infrastructure: Installation and Configuration.
Introduction to Craft Beer and Wine is designed to add to the marketable skills of hospitality and culinary students while Hospitality Professionalism focuses on management.
Introduction to Casino Operations is an introductory course focused on various aspects of the casino and gaming industry.
Resorts: Management and Operations includes an in-depth study of country clubs, pools and spas, casinos, mountain-based resorts, beach resorts, waterparks, timeshares, specialty resorts, golf courses and cruise ships.
Dynamics of Abnormal Human Behavior will introduce students to the characteristics, classification, diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behavior, as well as ethical issues associated with the professions that deal with abnormal behavior.
Introduction to Oceanography Lab offers students the opportunity to participate in hands-on studies and exploration of oceanic environments where they will be introduced to state-of-the art oceanographic equipment.
"While this course is also offered at other Florida colleges, none except Daytona State has the capability for boat-supported marine field surveys," according to the college.
The college's new Barbering certificate program prepares students in the latest techniques for men's haircuts, shaves and trims, while building on tradition.
The program, which adds to Daytona State's existing Cosmetology certificate program, will be offered full time at the New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus and part time at the Deltona Campus -- at less than a third the cost of commercial programs, DSC reported.
"Barbering is an old tradition that's coming back because guys want their special shaves and cuts," Ms. White said. "We're very excited about that."
Last fall CNN Money reported that many out-of-work college graduates have returned to school in search of more marketable degrees.
"They are now training for careers as nurses, IT specialists or medical technicians," the online article stated.
In some cases associate degrees are proving to be more economically feasible than bachelor's degrees, CNN Money noted.
Ms. White said associate degrees continue to have high value in today's career workplace.
"We've always known an associate degree serves career-minded individuals," Ms. White said, "and for transfer, they remain very valuable at a much lower price."
Programs related to healthcare continue to hold allure for students, both fresh out of high school and those returning, perhaps a little wilted from trying to survive in shrinking industries.
"The allied health fields continue to be very popular and did well throughout the recession," Ms. White said.
The college went through "that bubble" following the onset of the Great Recession when displaced workers were going back to school in search of marketable skills, but now enrollment is leveling off and returning to pre-recession status, Ms. White said.
Still, those numbers are not shabby.
"Right now, at Daytona State College, we are enrolling 30,000 students a year across our seven instructional sites," she added.
The only expansion plans are curriculum oriented; the college will not add facilities or enlarge campuses in the foreseeable future, Ms. White said.