ETSU’s Department of Media and Communication has launched a new program that provides students the unique opportunity to earn their Adobe Certified Associate credential at no cost.

“Having the opportunity to take courses in Adobe Creative Cloud programs and then get certified is amazing,” said Anna Loy, a graduate student in Brand and Media Strategy. “I’m graduating in May, and I know having this certification on my resume is going to give me an advantage.”

The ACA credential is recognized by Fortune 500 companies as the best indicator of expertise in Creative Cloud programs like Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and After Effects – the industry standards in multimedia production and design software.

“To be competitive in the global, digital marketplace, professionals must stay up-to-date on the tools used by industry leaders,” explained Dr. Chase Mitchell, assistant professor in MDCM and program coordinator. “As the first program of its kind in higher education, we’re positioning our students for success in an innovative way.”

Each course is led by ACA-certified instructors with real-world experience using and teaching Creative Cloud tools in business, nonprofit and education arenas.

Stacy Whitaker, director of engineering in the Radio/TV/Film program, taught the first ACA course in Premiere Pro.

“Teaching the first ACA courses offered here at ETSU has been an amazing privilege,” said Whitaker. “The excitement I see on students’ faces when they accomplish the task of becoming Adobe Certified reminds me why I do this and why I love being part of the Media and Communication team.”

The ACA credential program is the most recent development in the MDCM department’s partnership with Adobe. Students already benefit from courses that integrate Adobe Experience Cloud and Creative Cloud. Now they can extend their education with this professional certificate, which will prepare students for a smooth transition from classes to career.

“I’m energized by the project because I know it has the potential to distinguish our students, to make them stand out after graduation and take hold of the best opportunities,” Mitchell said.

MDCM students in their final semester before graduation have registration priority and can sign up to take the online courses in preparation for taking an onsite ACA exam. This semester, the courses offered for MDCM students include two Premiere Pro sessions and a session each in InDesign and Photoshop.

“The goal is to encourage as many students as possible to take advantage of this opportunity,” Mitchell said.

ETSU faculty and staff are also eligible for full funding – through the Education Assistance Fund – to be take advantage of the program and become ACA-certified. Interested full-time faculty and staff can learn more by contacting Betsy Cunningham in the Office of Professional Development.

The MDCM department will also offer ACA courses to the broader public beginning this month, with revenue directed to cover student travel, scholarships and entree fees for design competitions.