Beginning Jan. 28, 2013, Bethany College will offer certificate programs in the media arts with concentrations in 3D animation, filmmaking, audio production, and web design at the state-of-the-art MindFire Academy in Wichita, Kan.
The partnership between Bethany College and MindFire Academy provides Bethany a way to add new courses and career opportunities to its students via a satellite location at MindFire. Students will spend as much time learning from industry professionals as they will creating their own work in state-of-the-art laboratories with iMacs, sound studios, professional camera and lighting equipment, green screens, and motion capture technology.
“Bethany is excited to offer this education that, while being in high demand, has not been offered anywhere else in Kansas,” says Bethany College President Edward F. Leonard III. “Students can take four to five classes to earn a certificate in a focus area and go immediately to work, or they can take additional classes to build their knowledge and skills to earn a degree.”
MindFire Academy was created six years ago by Wichitan entrepreneur Max Cole, who has invested millions to make the facility in Office This on East Harry Street a high-tech environment that fosters creativity and innovation.
“There’s nothing like this in Kansas,” says Cole. “It gives students the freedom to customize their education while using the best equipment and software available.”
Cole and Jason Opat, CEO of Integrated Media Group (IMG) and a member of the Bethany College Board of Directors, pursued the partnership with Bethany to bring to MindFire strong liberal arts education and accredited programs.
“Bethany College at MindFire Academy allows students to get both a liberal arts education and corporate training,” says Opat. “Finding new hires who know how to run our equipment and use our software has always been challenging. Now traditional students will be able to gain the kind of expertise that makes them more work-ready in today’s media jobs when they finish their education.” Opat has led IMG’s creation of 3-D graphics for more than a dozen Hollywood blockbusters, including “Iron Man,” “Transformers” and “Spiderman,” as well as a long list of commercial and documentary film projects.
Bethany College at MindFire Academy will initially offer six certificates: 3-D Computer Modeling, 3-D Computer Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Digital Documentary Filmmaking, Web Design, and Audio Recording. Each is earned with four to five classes, or 12 to 15 credit hours, taken over seven weeks. Two classes may be taken at a time, allowing students to complete a certificate in the time of a traditional college semester. Class costs include Bethany’s per-credit-hour tuition of $460 plus MindFire technology and lab fees.
“This is a unique opportunity for students to jumpstart a career in media arts,” says Bethany College Provost and Dean of the College Kenneth M. Macur. “We’re delighted to serve a new kind of student and help meet the employment demands of the industry.”
Enrollment is open for classes beginning Jan. 28, 2013. For more information about Bethany College at MindFire Academy, visit www.bethanylb.edu//mindfire or call Jenni Richardson, director of online and outreach education, at (620) 241-4720.