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College of Information and Communications

  • Digital Media Academy group photo

    Digital Media Academy

    Judy Gatson, WIS TV news anchor, with members of the inaugural Academy.

Digital Media Academy

Students from diverse backgrounds will come to Columbia the week of July 12 for the College of Information and Communications’ second Digital Media Academy. 

The theme for this immersive experience will be Digital Storytelling with Adobe Creative Cloud. The training will be led by Adobe and will focus on integrating pictures, graphics, videos and text to tell stories in interesting and innovative ways. There is no charge for the week, which will include guest speakers, media visits and career counseling. Housing and meals will be provided, plus each participant will receive a $250 stipend.

“We are so pleased Adobe is supporting this initiative and taking a leadership role,” said Randy Covington, CIC’s director of special projects. “Participants will receive expert instruction and will have a chance to learn about and use Adobe’s powerful tools for graphic design, video editing, web development and photography.”

The first Digital Media Academy in 2019 focused on video storytelling.  Participants came from Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Voorhees College, Columbia College and the University of South Carolina. In 2020, the Digital Media Academy had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Participants in this year’s academy will finish the week with a portfolio showcasing their work during the week. In the course of the week, they will hear from industry professionals like WIS anchor Judi Gatson and Boeing public relations executive Meaghan Norman as well as visit local TV stations and ad agencies. 

“I liked the fact that they brought in real people who actually worked in television, news, social media and public relations,” says Tariq Edwards, a Claflin University student who traveled from Dumfries, Virginia, to attend the 2019 academy. “It gave us a real, genuine feel for what this field is like and the different avenues these people took to get to their goals.”

“The DMA has extended our outreach to first-generation and underrepresented students and equipped them with a skill set they can add to their toolkits, while advancing diversity in the field,”  says Shirley Staples Carter, CIC associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The Digital Media Academy is similar to programs offered by the University of Georgia and Clemson University. Dean Reichert says each of the three universities offers something different for participants and students are encouraged to complete all three.

“Industry leaders are constantly asking us to send them diverse talent,” says Tom Reichert, dean of the college. “Multimedia storytelling is increasingly important in all disciplines. The academy is a way for us to meet their needs while also offering a valuable educational experience for underrepresented students from our university and others.”


About the Digital Media Academy

Come for the experience and prepare for a future career
Discover and prepare for a career in digital media during our week-long, immersive, dive-in academy. Using the Adobe Creative Cloud, you will learn creative ways to tell stories in different formats and ways. Working in UofSC’s state-of-the-art media facilities, you will receive expert training and mentoring from faculty and industry professionals. Earn a certificate of completion from the University of South Carolina.

Where and when will the DMA be held?
The Digital Media Academy will be July 11-16 on the University of South Carolina campus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 800 Sumter Street.

Who is eligible to apply?
All sophomores, juniors, seniors, first-year graduate students — any majors interested in learning more about video storytelling. All underrepresented students are eligible to apply, including those attending HBCUs. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

How do I apply?
Complete this online application.  Once we receive your application, we will send you a confirmation email with instructions for uploading your letter of recommendation from a previous or current professor, employer, or other professional contact.

Is there a fee?
There is no fee for the academy. Participants will be provided housing (if needed), meals and a $250 stipend for completing the course.  The academy provides the instruction in a state-of-the art facility as well as career counseling and mentoring. Students who successfully complete the academy will receive a Certificate of Completion.


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