Communications and Media Arts Program (COM)

A.S. Communications and Media Arts

Program Description: 

The Communications and Media Arts Program at Dutchess Community College is a comprehensive program that prepares students to transfer to four-year Communications, Film, and Audio Production programs. 

In their first year at DCC, COM students take five foundation courses in Communications and Media Arts: COM 101 Introduction to Communications Media, COM 103 The Art and Craft of Video Editing, COM 120 Introduction to Media Writing, COM 110 Basic Video Production and COM 140 Media and Society.

In their second year, COM students choose a concentration in either: Television and Video Production, Audio Production, Visual Effects and Digital Filmmaking, or PR Writing and Social Media.

In two years, students will also complete eight of the SUNY General Education courses so they will transfer as juniors.

COM students are active learners. From their first semester at DCC, they take hands-on production classes where they are able to create audio and video projects. Students learn how to use a non-linear editing program in their first semester, so that even before they begin shooting, they understand that projects are created from shots that are montaged through editing to tell the story.

Through an organized program of study, students are provided with media theory, techniques and practices in service of creative expression, and career development.

After DCC: COM students transfer to SUNY New Paltz, Brooklyn College and Hunter College in New York City, and private colleges like Ithaca, Emerson, Marist and NYU, among others.

The COM Program prepares students for careers in audio and video production, film production, public relations media, and broadcast journalism. The entertainment industry is the second largest industry in the United States. It is second only to the defense industry, and it is constantly growing as global film markets open.

Forty years ago there were three television networks and public television, now there are hundreds of channels, and nearly every channel offers some original programming. From shows about extreme makeovers to documentaries about the Iraq War, there are opportunities for COM graduates who are trained in gathering, creating and manipulating media images and who understand the power of visual storytelling.

The goals of the Communications and Media Arts Program at Dutchess Community College are:

  • To provide students with courses that prepare them with technical, creative, media literacy, and critical thinking skills to enter four-year colleges and universities as juniors or enter the very competitive convergent marketplace of media production and entertainment.
  • To present students with the standards of the television, video, audio and radio production, news media, interactive media, and video game design and to help students set attainable career goals and acquire the skills that will make them eligible to enter the careers they choose.
  • To provide an intellectual and physical environment conducive to inquiry, expression and learning that includes, but is not limited to, a television production studio, an audio recording studio, editing facilities, media labs, field video and audio recording equipment, and television and radio venues that permit students to apply what they learn and see the application of theoretical concepts in practice.
  • To create media literate citizens who are educated media consumers and responsible media creators and who recognize their social and political responsibilities to the community, the nation and the world.
  • To provide both the students and the general community with access to culturally diverse media and live performances including: the fall and spring semester film screening series and discussions with filmmakers, the COM Shows of the Communications and Media Arts students’ audio and video projects, the Learning-in-Progress documentaries and student-produced studio television shows that air on local cable and the live performance every spring in the James and Betty Hall Theatre.
  • To raise students’ awareness of cultural and social issues and serve the community by assigning sophomore-level students to produce videos for local non-profit organizations.
  • To provide open access to an affordable audio and video production program with industry standard equipment, so that students can explore their talents and skills as media creators and eventually gain a voice in the regional, national, or global media.
  • To create mechanisms to attract minority and female students and to find ways to retain these students in the program and to empower them to enter the media and entertainment industry as content creators.

For further information, email the COM Program chair, Dana Weidman, at or contact DCC's Admissions Office.