Imagine a place where a passion for creativity meets an education designed to launch your career. The FIRST Institute in Orlando has been doing just that for nearly 20 years. What began as two local media professionals teaching in approximately 800 square feet has grown into a leading creative educational force. FIRST Institute has since evolved into a state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot facility with dozens of experienced faculty and hundreds of students.
“We planned this new facility for over a year to make sure everything was cohesive and smooth,” said FIRST Institute founder Alan Forbes. “We have worked hard to create the best learning environment for our students.”
Over the past year, FIRST’s brand new campus in Maitland, Greater Orlando has become a true dream come true for anyone looking to get into the media industry.
“Our beautiful facility is equipped with two custom recording studios, a live sound production studio, and a ton of professional production labs,” Forbes said. “We even have a central courtyard for students to relax and connect between classes, without even having to leave campus. Every workspace, from classrooms to production studios, has been designed with our students in mind. »
According to Forbes, the educational philosophy of the FIRST Institute is simple and proven: “Listen, see, do”.
Students can choose from three interactive programs: Recording Arts & Show Production, Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, or Graphic Design & Web Development. Courses are available in-person or online through FIRST’s unique approach called IDL or Interactive Distance Learning.
“It’s not your traditional online program where you just watch videos and read content,” Forbes said. “These are live, instructor-led classes every day.”
FIRST Institute has worked hard to ensure that its distance learning students have access to the same innovative learning method as those in the classroom.
“When students enroll in one of our online programs, they receive a Creative PAK or Personal Academic Kit,” Forbes said. “It brings consistency and helps them have the necessary equipment at home to be successful. ”
And with classes of around 18-20 students, FIRST Institute truly gives its students a competitive edge through one-on-one instruction.
“We offer a smaller, more intimate setting,” Forbes said. “And there are no general education requirements to graduate, so students can come in and focus on their majors from day one.”
Graduates complete their studies in just 11 months and for a fraction of the cost of similar programs.
“Not only do we offer incredibly competitive tuition,” Forbes said, “but students graduate in less time and all of that time is spent on their major.”
FIRST takes quality education seriously and is accredited by the Florida Department of Education and the Commission for Independent Education (CIE). They are also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
FIRST Institute graduates are award-winning and work nationally and internationally on some of today’s most important creative projects. For creatives looking to bring their work to life, FIRST Institute has the educational tools to make it happen.
“We’re proud to be a great school now, but we’ve come from honest beginnings,” Forbes said. “We feel lucky to be able to attract students from around the world to learn how to do this kind of work and we are excited to continue to grow.”
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