Butler Community College stands out as the first Adobe Creative Campus in Kansas

Butler Community College prides itself on creating a dynamic learning environment that supports the goals of all students: from high school students or recent graduates looking to build their careers to older students trying to change or advance their careers. by learning new skills. Located in El Dorado and Andover, Kansas — just down the road from the town of Wichita — Butler has to compete with dozens of higher education institutions in the Wichita area to attract students.

Butler stands out from many surrounding institutions by offering strong academic programs suited to the many ways students need to learn today. The college is known for the quality of its signature programs including nursing, education, and computer science. It is the only institution in Kansas with an Early College Academy program that allows high school students to earn associate degrees by the time they graduate from high school. The MyButler Laptop program also increases access to technology with its low-cost laptops available to students studying at Butler for at least three semesters.

Butler recently further distinguished itself from surrounding institutions by becoming an Adobe Creative Campus. As a creative campus, Butler cultivates the importance of digital literacy and fluency for all of its students so they can graduate with the essential digital skills employers value.

“Butler’s goal is to create equal access and opportunities for students to elevate their skills,” says Dr. Kimberly Krull, president of Butler Community College. “As the first and only Adobe Creative Campus in Kansas, we demonstrate our commitment to providing our students with the best opportunities. Whether they’re upgrading to a four-year college or starting their careers right away, Butler graduates can develop digital skills that help them succeed.

Students at Butler Community College.

Creativity promotes better student outcomes

Butler is always looking for new ways to embrace innovation and align education with the latest business and industry needs. And in today’s digital age, that means teaching all students how to thrive in a digital world.

“When you look at job postings, companies are looking for people in all positions who understand how to use digital tools for social media, marketing and all kinds of communications,” says Dr. Tom Nevill, vice president of studies at Butler. “It doesn’t just affect artists and designers, but also accountants, welders and nurses. We want to encourage students to grow and become more innovative, which means providing enhanced learning and skills development for students, faculty, and staff with Adobe Creative Cloud.

Nevill cited research from Adobe, Civitas Learning, and LinkedIn that demonstrated higher engagement, student retention, and academic achievement by integrating digital tools into the curriculum. Critically for Butler, these results carry over to career outcomes. Demand for hires with creative skills has increased 78% over the past two years, and new graduates with these skills have earned up to 16% more in salaries. The study also showed that professionals across all industries continued to see the benefits of creative skills on their career trajectory, with salary increases two to three times higher than professionals without creative skills.

Butler encourages students to get started with Adobe Creative Cloud through integration with the Canvas learning management system. Students already visit Canvas regularly to check grades, submit assignments, and review course syllabi. Now they can also find a link to get Adobe Creative Cloud licenses, making it easier to access and download Creative Cloud apps.

Butler has also integrated Adobe Express directly into Canvas. Express is a unified task-based web and mobile application with drag-and-drop technology included with Adobe Creative Cloud for Education. Express allows all students to quickly start creating. Students can use templates to easily create stunning graphics, flyers, presentations, videos, and web pages, boosting their confidence and developing their digital literacy skills. The Canvas integration means students can work with the online design app directly through Canvas, making it even more accessible.

Heather Rinkenbaugh oversees high school programs, including students taking the professional development course. She uses Adobe Express Assignments to help high school students learn early on how to create informative and engaging presentations.

“We ask students to research a topic and teach the class about it,” says Rinkenbaugh, dean of online, high school, and community learning at Butler. “Adobe Express gives them another option to share what they’ve learned. We want students of all disciplines to see that they can communicate quickly and creatively using the Adobe Creative Cloud tools available to them.

Students walking on the Butler Community College campus.

Multimodal learning for language students

Dr. Kelsey Harper first heard about Adobe Express from an elementary school teacher who was impressed with its ease of use.

“Multimodal learning is especially important for language classes,” says Harper. “Language does not only exist in writing. Students should learn to understand language by listening to audio, interpreting graphics, or creating something original.

Working with Adobe Express, students can choose from the included templates and start adding content right away. They don’t have to worry about fiddling with layouts, learning how to add images, or struggling to align captions correctly. This allows students to focus on developing their ideas and learning to adopt clear visual communication.

For an intermediate Spanish assignment, students were asked to create an engaging page in Spanish inviting people to visit a place in the United States. Student Emily McKay wrote about Beaver Creek, Colorado. Her page took a personal approach, describing a family trip to Beaver Creek with personal photos of the family in front of the snowy vistas of Beaver Creek. Addison Russell wrote about Albuquerque, New Mexico with a page that conveys the color and excitement of the city’s annual hot air balloon festival.

“Students these days need to be digitally savvy,” says Harper. “It is a necessity in the labor market in several areas. Adobe Express is so easy and readily available in our programs that it gives students the opportunity to develop their digital literacy in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.

Bringing industry standard apps to design students

Darryl Runyan is a long-time Adobe Creative Cloud user, both personally and in his teaching career for the university’s Interactive 3D, Digital Media and Web Development department. “One of my main goals is to make sure the courses teach the current standards expected in the digital media industry,” says Runyan. “This includes teaching Adobe Creative Cloud applications. As Adobe Creative Campus, we remove financial barriers for students by paying for them.

Runyan introduces Adobe Photoshop as part of a design fundamentals course, teaching students how to compose images and design basic logos. Adobe Illustrator is an essential part of the digital media classroom where students apply design principles to posters and logos.

Students in Runyan’s User Experience and UI Fundamentals course learn Adobe XD for rapid prototyping. They quickly learn how to create basic wireframes, develop interactive models, and create user interface for games. A project asks students to research a local business and create a web page, mobile app, digital sign, or other type of interface that can address a user experience for the business. Adobe XD works equally well for any kind of digital experience students want to design.

“Digital literacy is key to our future,” says Runyan. “There are so many digital experiences that happen in person, online, or in the metaverse. It’s important to teach students to evaluate what they’re watching and find the best way to communicate it to others, whether whether through characters, images, sounds, or motions, Adobe Creative Cloud apps offer multiple ways for students to explore digital design and communication.

Students sitting on benches on the campus of Butler Community College

Support learning for faculty

Butler backs its strong academics starting with the faculty. The faculty development team works closely with faculty to help them become innovators and difference makers for students. The team is in contact with teachers regularly throughout the year and on request to support professional development.

Mark Jarvis, Director of Faculty Development, makes a point of using new applications and teaching methods in his communications and training. The team’s digital newsletter includes video clips pulled from Adobe Stock to add dynamic images, and recent newsletters have even been distributed as Adobe Express pages.

“We would like to start taking live trainings and putting them online so teachers can check them out anytime,” says Jarvis. “Adobe Express empowers people to be more creative. This helps support larger initiatives to encourage creativity in all areas.

The Adobe Advocate group includes a dozen professors who are actively experimenting with Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Their goal is to use peer-to-peer training to drive curriculum innovation. Jarvis also explores how Adobe Acrobat Sign can transform the way e-signatures can remove friction from paper-based processes in a digital first education experience at Butler.

“Adobe’s support has been excellent,” says Jarvis. “Adobe offers many workshops and learning and growth opportunities for teachers. »

Learn more about the Adobe Creative Campus program.

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