School and Ranking Information
There are only three public or private, not-for-profit schools within 50 miles of Denver that offer computer animation programs. These three schools are ranked below in terms of their graduation rates, program variety, location and the number of animation program graduates they produce.
- Winner: Red Rocks Community College, which is located closest to Denver, offers both certificate and associate's degree programs related to computer animation and had the highest graduation rate.
- Runner-Up #1: Front Range Community College offers an associate's degree program and produced the most graduates in the field.
- Runner-Up #2: Aims Community College offers both certificate and associate's degree programs in computer animation, but it's located the furthest from Denver.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Red Rocks Community College||Front Range Community College||Aims Community College|
|Location||Lakewood, CO (10.2 miles from downtown Denver)||Westminster, CO (15.2 miles from downtown Denver)||Greeley, CO (61.2 miles from downtown Denver)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $2,962 (in-state)
| $2,962 (in-state)
| $2,115 (in-district)
|Computer Animation Technology Degree Levels Offered||Certificate; associate's degree||Associate's degree||Certificate; associate's degree|
|Computer Animation Technology Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||3**||38**||17**|
|Most Popular Computer Animation Technology Program in 2011-2012||Associate's in Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects (3 awarded)**||Associate's in Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects (24 awarded)**||Associate's in Graphic Communications (15 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2009 Entering Class||24%**||17%**||22%**|
|Noteworthy||Offers computer labs equipped with Mac computers||Professional development and personal enrichment programs available at multiple campus locations and online||Computer learning labs available to students|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator.
Winner: Red Rocks Community College
- Emphasis on flexibility with online, self-paced, and weekend class offerings
Red Rocks Community College offers a certificate and an AAS in Game Development, as well as a proposed AAS in Multimedia Graphic Design with an emphasis in interactive training and simulation. Designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the gaming industry, the game development degree program is composed of courses in programming, game design, and computer science. Along with an internship opportunity, electives in Java programming and mobile app development courses are also offered to students. The interactive training and simulation program includes coursework in multimedia, typography, motion graphics, animation, game design, and sound design. A game development and interactive training program is also available. The school also has lab facilities for student use.
Runner Up #1: Front Range Community College
- College offers more than 350 online courses
- State-of-the-art computer equipment and software available in college's classrooms and laboratories
At Front Range Community College, students may opt to pursue an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Multimedia Technology with an emphasis in animation. Along with familiarizing students with various computer software programs, this degree program aims to develop students' design skills and advance their technical abilities. As part of their degree requirements, students must complete coursework in graphic design, digital animatics, 3D animation, and web motion graphic design. In addition to coursework in animation, students complete a capstone course.
Runner-Up #2: Aims Community College
- Student workshops offered in computer labs on-campus
- According to the college's 2012 annual report, 97.4% of graduates achieve job placement
- 16:1 student-faculty ratio, according to NCES
At Aims Community College, students have the opportunity to pursue an AAS in Graphic Design & Rich Media with an emphasis in animation. Comprising 60 credits, this degree program's curriculum includes courses in logic and program design, digital animatics, animation production, Adobe Photoshop, and business for creatives. Additional elective courses offered to students include design and color, typography and layout, motion graphic design, and an internship course. An animation certificate composed of 18 credit hours is also available.
The college also features a game design certificate. This program requires 18 credit hours. Students advance their knowledge and skills in logic and program design, 2D animation, digital animatics, and game design.