HCC Digital Media Arts Program Expands to Kona

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digital artsStarting this fall, the Hawai‘i Community College Digital Media Arts program will begin offering an associate of science degree in digital media arts and will also begin offering digital media arts classes at the Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui campus in Kona.

The HCC Digital Media Arts program, founded in 2005, has offered a certificate of competence that includes courses in video, photography, graphic design and animation for more than a decade.

Demand for the program and enrollment growth has positioned the college to offer an associate of science degree that will better prepare students for the next step, whether they want to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year university after graduation.

“Digital media has become a critical component of many businesses and organizations, but until now, there’s been no degree program in digital media on Hawai‘i Island,” said Interim Chancellor Joni Onishi. “By adding the degree and offering classes at Pālamanui, we are able to offer more opportunities to more students in fields such as design, entertainment and media that are expected to continue growing.”

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents approved the establishment of the new degree at its June meeting. Kaua‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i Maui College also received approval to deliver an associate of science degree in digital media.


Three Digital Media Arts Classes at Pālamanui

The Digital Media Arts program is offering three courses at the Pālamanui campus beginning this fall: Introduction to Visual Arts, Introduction to Digital Arts and 2-Dimensional Design.

The Introduction to Visual Arts course fulfills a general education requirement and may be useful for students in many different degree programs. The other two courses fulfill requirements specific to the digital media arts associate of science degree and certificate of competence.

The campus plans to offer additional digital media arts classes in the spring 2017 semester.


There are 14 digital media arts classes offered this fall at the Hilo campus, and many of them are offered online, which makes them available to students in West Hawai‘i.

Expanding Options for Students

The HCC Digital Media Arts program is designed to be as flexible as possible, allowing students to enter careers in a variety of fields right after graduation.

It’s also designed to give students pathways to continue their studies. HCC’s program is part of the University of Hawai‘i Academy of Creative Media, a consortium that includes other UH Community College campuses, UH West O‘ahu and UH Mānoa.


The associate of science in digital media arts curriculum is articulated with UH West O‘ahu’s bachelor’s degree programs in Creative Media, giving students an excellent way to transfer to a four-year degree program in digital media. This is in addition to other transfer options within the UH System.

The deadline to apply for the fall 2016 semester at HCC is Aug. 1. Learn more at

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