The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism launched a partnership with Adobe Systems on Wednesday evening, in which the full Adobe Creative Cloud was made available to students, faculty and staff of the school free of charge. The contract, which ends in October 2016, will possibly be extended as a long-term fixture in the developing Annenberg curriculum in conjunction with future classes in Wallis Annenberg Hall.
Annenberg students will be able to download software spanning the entire “enterprise version” of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes programs such as Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Pro. The suite, which costs $600 annually to the general public, is available for free to all students majoring or minoring in an Annenberg discipline, as well as graduate and Ph.D students, faculty and staff. This is not Adobe’s first university collaboration, but it is the first to focus the use of Adobe programs on such an individualized level.
James Vasquez, Annenberg’s assistant dean of operations, emphasized the critical role Adobe programs will play in the future of the school.
“Three years ago, we had a discussion of technology, infrastructure and pedagogy in our curriculum, which we are now calling the 21st century digital literacy initiative and, as part of that, we identified a common set of skills that all Annenberg students graduate with,” Vasquez said. “The new building gave us the opportunity to think through what type of resources to buy for our space, and since students have flexibility in mobile devices — whether it be laptops, tablets or phones — we need to provide them the right software.”
Administrators said they were initially attracted to Adobe’s platform agnostic designs, which operate across all devices. The university first approached Adobe Systems a year and a half ago with the idea of collaborating. Currently, Annenberg is working on fully integrating the software into classrooms.
“We are combining a series of free workshops starting in the spring and a certification process next school year,” Vasquez said. “Students will be able to become certified professionals in Photoshop and other tools, and can add this on their resume. We are also setting up a ‘genius bar’ in our new building for students to get software and hardware questions answered.”
New classes, programs and disciplines to highlight Annenberg’s digital literacy initiative are under development. Using the Adobe Creative Cloud as the centerpiece, the literacy effort has big plans to make headway in the technology-laden field of contemporary communication and journalism.
Students are excited for what the future might hold with the new changes that come along with Adobe’s presence on campus. Ryan Lim, a sophomore majoring in business administration who works as a campus representative for Adobe, believes the partnership will improveme student efficiency.
“My fellow representatives and I have been showcasing the many uses for Adobe applications for students of all academic backgrounds,” Lim said. “For example, we will be having an upcoming workshop on building creative resumes and business cards. I think this partnership is a step in the right direction, and I’m glad to see Adobe become more accessible to USC students.”
The innovations that Annenberg has in store are already garnering attention from its students, who are looking forward to using the new utilities in their classrooms and at their fingertips.
“I’m in a marketing class where we have to make a creative campaign, so we will be trained in Adobe. It’s awesome that we can put it on our resumes and get hands-on experience with skills that are necessary in a communications field,” said Hannah Gilden, a senior majoring in communication and Spanish.
Yang Liu, a junior majoring in communication, also said the Adobe partnership will be beneficial to her studies.
“I don’t have Photoshop on my computer right now, so that will be helpful for my web publishing class. I’m planning on taking a visual arts elective next semester which will involve movie editing, and Adobe will be extremely useful to me,” Liu said.
Students were also enthusiastic about what the new partnership, expanding curriculum and building expansion mean for Annenberg’s future.
“I’m so excited to be a part of what Annenberg is doing in establishing itself as the leading communication center of Los Angeles,” said Jillian Morabito, a sophomore majoring in public relations.
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