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SUNY Schenectady unveils gaming design program

SUNY Schenectady unveils gaming design program

Students will have the option to transfer to SUNY Polytechnic program
SUNY Schenectady unveils gaming design program
The exterior of SCCC is pictured in September 2016.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

SCHENECTADY -- Schenectady County Community College hopes to ride a wave of interest in video games with a new game design program aimed at high school students.

The program sets a course of study through existing classes at the college, and it includes an option to transfer, after two years, into the Interactive Media and Game Design program at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Penny Haynes, the college’s provost and vice president of student affairs, said on Thursday that the program seeks to build on growing interest in video game design and competition.

“There’s definitely an interest in that, and I think you are really going to see that industry grow,” Haynes said. “I suspect this will be one of the programs, if anything, we will have to kick kids out at the end of the day.”

The program will launch in the fall, with college officials expecting about 20 full-time students enrolling in the first year, with that number growing to as many as 80 over five years, Haynes said.

The program builds on the college’s computer programming, digital music production, database management and other computer sciences courses. Haynes said the program will also include an entrepreneurship component.

College officials are still working to identify a space on campus to house the new program, but Haynes said they plan to create an open, collaborative room similar to game design studios.

She said the college plans to market the game design program to high school students, an audience that might be most interested in jump-starting careers in the video gaming business.

“It’s definitely a challenge program,” Haynes said. “It really lends itself well to those students who are really excited about computers and want to do a lot of fun stuff with them.”

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