Auburn University celebrates successful three years as Adobe Creative Campus, encourages continued student use of application suite

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Three years after becoming the first school in the Southeastern Conference to be an Adobe Creative Campus, Auburn University continues to provide students with innovative tools and opportunities to expand their skill sets and enhance their academic and co-curricular work. 

The Adobe Creative Campus program highlights innovative universities and colleges that value and work toward improving digital literacy. Through a partnership with Adobe Systems Inc., all enrolled students have free access to Adobe Creative Cloud, a design platform hosting popular apps and tools such as Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro and many more.  

Since fall 2018, more than 10,000 Auburn students have downloaded Creative Cloud applications, using the suite of tools to enhance academic coursework, elevate student organizations and even build an individual portfolio. Many students have even translated their experience into training opportunities for others as Adobe student ambassadors.

This semester, Auburn renewed its commitment to empowering students’ digital literacy and creative scholarship by increasing its investment in resources designed to support access to Creative Cloud. With continued student licensing provided by the Office of the Provost, the program offers equitable access to Creative Cloud to all students, regardless of major. 

“When Auburn decided to become a Creative Campus, we did so with the intention of providing resources we knew our students needed but could not necessarily access,” said Auburn Provost Bill Hardgrave. “As use of these programs continues to grow, Auburn students are finding new and exciting ways to acquire useful skills that enhance their marketability.” 

John Beckmann, professor of entomology and plant pathology in the College of Agriculture, uses Creative Cloud to help traditionally science-based students unlock their inner artistic talent.  

In Beckmann’s Scientific Illustration course, students use both Photoshop and Illustrator to sketch out their selected animals. They then transfer their work between programs and learn to draw highly detailed pictures of animals to make their entomological artwork more realistic.  

“The students make videos discussing their projects using Rush and Premiere, and the projects themselves are made in Photoshop and Illustrator,” Beckmann said. “The class is entirely based in Adobe Creative Cloud. We have three to four projects a year and about seven smaller ‘challenges’ per year.” 

Where some faculty use Creative Cloud to approach individual assignments and projects, other faculty, like Adriene Simon, have constructed entire courses around the platform. 

Simon, an instructor in the College of Liberal Arts and director of creative services in the college, teaches an entire course using Creative Cloud programs. 

The course, Digital Style and Design in Public Relations Messages, introduces students to the graphic design process and helps them to understand its real-world application in branding and campaigns. Students spend the semester building their own personal brand utilizing the Adobe programs Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom and Spark.  

“I think using [Creative Cloud] gets them to think and be more well-rounded with their PR [public relations] degree,” Simon said. “It’s understanding working from the beginning of a project to the end of a project, so they know the design process.”  

Auburn’s student-run television station, Eagle Eye TV, uses Adobe’s creative suite throughout its production process. The station uses the video editing software Premiere Pro to edit its packages and add graphics to their shows, Photoshop to make lower thirds graphics and After Effects to create title cards. Occasionally, the students use Media Encoder and the other apps as well.  

Working through Creative Cloud, the staff at Eagle Eye has access to work on the station’s collaborative content while outside the office.  

“Using Creative Cloud programs helps prepare us for work post-graduation by giving us experience with industry-standard programs,” said Delaney Baro, Eagle Eye’s director of sports reporting. “The Adobe apps have been invaluable in growing the station and preparing members for jobs after Auburn.” 

The Innovation and Research Commons, located in the Ralph Brown Draughon Library, offers several resources for Creative Cloud users to develop their skills, including multimedia workshops, recorded tutorials, instructional sessions and Adobe student consultants. Known as the Adobe Creative Space, this resource is an open-access learning space for Auburn students, faculty and staff dedicated to aiding in the overall development of digital creation skills and technology. Students also work in the Adobe Creative Space as Adobe student consultants, helping users in mastering skills needed to complete academic projects that require Creative Cloud applications.   

“With the addition of the Adobe Creative Space to the library, Auburn students have a centralized support center for enhancing their assignments and research,” said Chelsy Hooper, an academic liaison for the program. “Auburn faculty also benefit from customized instructional materials and sessions. Our Adobe Creative Campus designation provides us with specialized access to resources and Adobe events such as Creative Jams, online contests that involve design challenges and expert feedback. 

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Adobe, with a target goal of positioning students to gain professional certifications.”

Auburn’s commitment to multimodal creative skills development continues to readily integrate digital skills and creativity into everyday life on campus, preparing students to enter the workforce. Resources for implementing Adobe Creative Cloud may be found here


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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.