Good news is the message being conveyed to current and incoming students interested in majoring in Digital Arts, according to project director Thomas Risk. The Digital Arts Grant, reported on earlier in the summer by “The Globe,” has recently been expanded. More students are being accepted and more programs are now being offered, giving those who thought that they might never receive funding, or those who previously had their requests turned down, a second chance. The grant will no longer be available come 2013, so the time to act is now.
The Digital Arts Grant through Salt Lake Community College is a Community-Based Job Training (CBJT) grant provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. It was created with the specific goal in mind of helping disadvantaged students (of many varieties) to attain an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or certificate in the Digital Arts field, and is meant to provide both free tuition and general funding. Additionally, according to the SLCC website, this grant, “provides comprehensive training, job placement and retention services targeting technical skills and competencies to meet the workforce demands in the high-growth digital arts industry.”
Such skills would include degrees and certificates in Web Design, Graphic Design, as a Multimedia Artist, an Animator, a Sound Technician, a Film and Video Artist, an Illustrator, Photographer, Motion Graphics Artist or Special Effects Artist. Game Testing Certificates and Game Design Degrees will be added to the lineup come spring semester, an exciting announcement provided by Risk and those behind the grant.
But more than just these options, the grant is also meant to increase current skills within the Digital Arts field, titled “Incumbent Workers”, help those who have no job or have been displaced from their jobs, and is also aimed at youth that are what is termed, “Disadvantaged.” Widening the arc of interest for those who might be applicable for the grant.
The qualifications needed to apply to for this grant were presented by Risk on Monday, October 3 during a luncheon presentation, with an emphasis on one detail: if you meet the criteria for any one of the qualifications, please apply. It is not a “you must meet all the qualifications” situation, but rather if you meet any of them.
These qualifications include:
Being between the ages of 16 to 24, having a high school diploma or GED, having a low-income status, if you were/are homeless or are in foster care, have received financial assistance, if you are a U.S. citizen, have been laid off or terminated from your job (and this one specifies that it’s for any age group), are a displaced homemaker (any age), have received food stamps (within the last six months), are either receiving or have stopped receiving unemployment compensation (any age), are self-employed and now currently unemployed, or are currently employed in the digital arts field and wishing for an expansion on current skills.
Risk pointed out that those who are self-employed and do commission work, or are in a similar field but not exactly in Digital Arts, can be considered as well. Or, if you were hired for one task at your job only to find yourself wearing more hats than expected, then it’s understandable that you would wish to expand your knowledge.
Students that are also already working toward their degree in Digital Arts/Visual Art and Design can apply as well, no matter how close they are to graduation. And in fact, sometimes it is at that point that students need the most financial help.
“If you are already in the digital arts program and you’re working part time, then you can apply for the grant. That would be an Incumbent Worker…they have a lot of flexibility in that area,” said Risk.
The process of qualifying for the grant is simple. Fill out the application online, then contact Thomas Risk via email to inform him of your interest. Afterward an interview will be set up at the Salt Lake Community College South City Campus location with Risk and the Department of Workforce Services, which heads the endeavor. In that interview each student’s qualifications will be reviewed and processed.
The website also mentions applying as a student for SLCC in advance and paying a $40.00 fee, but students are assured that they can try for the grant first to make sure that they receive the funding before paying a fee when they may not be attending classes (in case their request is turned down). An Accuplacer test is required, too, but is not difficult for most students.
“You do not have to be enrolled in Salt Lake Community College to apply for this grant.…you can actually wait until you know that you’ve been approved for the grant. And at that point, you would then enroll, take Accuplacer test and then select a major in the Digital Arts program,” said Risk.
To visit the SLCC Digital Arts Grant webpage, go to http://www.slcc.edu/digitalartsgrant/index.asp
To contact Thomas Risk, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Online applications can be found at www.slcc.edu/digitalartsgrant/OnlineApplicationWeb.pdf