As new technologies emerge, they create a market for those who know how to make those technologies come to life. In this environment, Lethbridge College is on the leading edge as it launches two new programs for Fall 2019.
The college will offer a two-year diploma in Architectural Animation Technology and a one-year certificate in Virtual and Augmented Reality. Both programs were developed with industry input to help to meet industry need, while enhancing Lethbridge College’s reputation as a technological leader in post-secondary training.
“We are an institution that is flexible and nimble enough to quickly adapt to the needs of industry,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “The launch of these two programs proves that we are ready for what comes next. Our knowledgeable faculty and our investment in leading technologies will provide students with state-of-the-art training that will prepare them to be industry leaders.”
Building off the college’s successful Interior Design Technology program, the Architectural Animation Technology program will provide students with the specialized production knowledge and visual communication skills needed to succeed in the world of architecture. Students will get hands-on training using virtual reality and 3-D modeling technology.
“It has been so exciting for me to see my vision birthed in our new Architectural Animation Technology program,” says Cherie Reitzel, AAT instructor. “This is a one-of-a-kind architectural communication program with a strong focus on virtual reality, augmented reality and animation. Students will create dynamic immersive experiences and visual presentations for a variety of industries centered on architectural space.”
Graduates of this program will become a necessary and creative asset to any residential, hospitality, institution, retail or landscape project, assisting clients and architects with code-compliant virtual space creation and extended reality three- and four-dimensional experiences.
Those interested in learning more about the program and speaking with faculty are encouraged to attend the surRENDER showcase event on April 24 in the Garden Court Restaurant.
In one of the first programs in Canada to focus on AR/VR training, students will learn the fundamentals and in-demand skills that will allow them to build immersive games, training experiences and interactive landscapes in a booming industry. As an emerging technology, those with specialized training and an entrepreneurial spirit are in a position to help shape the future of the industry.
“We are on the cusp of something amazing,” says Michael McCready, Lethbridge College VR/AR instructor and president of the Alberta chapter of the Virtual and Augmented Reality Association. “Revenue in the VR/AR industry is forecasted to increase by more than 400% over the next three years. The demand for content developers will increase and the Virtual and Augmented Reality program is prepared to help meet that demand."
Those who want an introduction to the technology to determine if the program is right for them are encouraged to explore the Immersive Technology Series offered by Lethbridge College’s Corporate and Continuing Education. Both courses in the series are part of the VR/AR program, giving prospective students a head start on the curriculum.
Lethbridge College is rapidly becoming a leader in the field of virtual and augmented reality, incorporating the technology into a variety of programs including Multimedia Production, Digital Communications and Media, Interior Design Technology, Wind Turbine Technology and a variety of health and nursing programs. The college’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation is exploring how to incorporate the technology into the classroom setting for all programs.
Last April, the college hosted the world’s first VR/AR conference held entirely in VR, when Merging Realities brought together hundreds of participants from 16 countries. The second annual event will take place on April 25 and is an excellent opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the program and the VR/AR industry.
- Cherie Reitzel, Architectural Animation Technology instructor
- Michael McCready, Virutal and Augmented Reality instructor
- Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO