TBR approves A.A.S. degree program in Entertainment Technology

Northeast State’s Entertainment Technology program has expanded to become a full two-year degree program beginning this fall. At its quarterly board meeting in June, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved the College’s request to create a two-year associate of applied science degree program for the Entertainment Technology department.

“A great deal of work has gone into the creation of this program, and we are pleased to offer a brand new entrance into the entertainment industry for this musically-inclined region,” said Danny Lawson, dean of Business Technologies.

Initially approved by TBR as a technical certificate program in 2014, the new A.A.S. degree program gives students the basic knowledge and real-world applications for sound and lighting production. Classes for the degree program will be offered beginning in fall 2015. Courses for the Entertainment Technology certificate and A.A.S. program will be offered at the College’s Bristol campus, 620 State Street, Level 3.

“We really work hard to bring the real world applications for sound and lighting productions to prepare students for work in the industry,” said Jeff Little, Entertainment Technology program director.

Entertainment technology makes sound and lighting an art all its own.
Entertainment technology makes sound and lighting an art all its own.

The curriculum trains students in entertainment business management, live sound, recording engineering, concert lighting, and electronic/digital music. Typical job opportunities include those related to lighting system production for events and concerts, and setting up audio systems for event, concert, and recording productions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for these types of technicians will grow about 9 percent over the next 10 years.

The program prepares career opportunities for sound and lighting production technicians. A sound technician sets up audio systems for event productions at concerts, festivals, churches, and recordings. A lighting production technician operates lighting systems at a variety of venues with live performances.

“With churches and other events growing larger all the time, this program lends itself well to training those operating the sound and lighting equipment found in most churches,” said Lawson.

Little noted that the entertainment industry featured a wide selection of performance formats that required skilled professionals. Sound and lighting technicians could be doing a corporate event one day, a church production the next night, and sound engineering a concert or festival on the weekend.

“We also want to keep pace with the technology deployed to today’s entertainment events,” Little said. “We want to maintain the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for within the industry in both production and management.”

Entertainment Technology students learn the science behind the show.
Entertainment Technology students learn the science behind the show.

Courses scheduled for fall 2015 include Computer Applications (INFS 1010), Introduction to Entertainment (ENT 1100), Recording Engineering I (ENT 1300), and Mathematical Applications (MATH 1010). The College received approval last year from TBR to create a technical certificate program of 24 credit hours in Entertainment Technology – Sound and Lighting concentration.

Little is a veteran in the music industry as a musician and manager. He often plays shows with his band, The Jeff Little Trio. His performances include National Public Radio, The Smithsonian Institution, Merlefest, and the American Folk Festival. In addition to his musicianship, Little spent years working in the business side of the entertainment industry as a manager and tour manager for artists like Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry, and John Michael Montgomery.

Students interested in admission to the Entertainment Technology degree program may contact Little at 423.354.5216 or jtlittle@NortheastState.edu or the Office of Admissions and Records at 800.836.7822 or e-mail admissions@NortheastState.edu.

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