What To Expect
Beacon is a college like many other colleges, except for one special thing. It's designed exclusively for students who learn differently – students with learning disabilities or ADHD. If this sounds like you, then you might be interested in knowing how we do things here.
At Beacon, teachers present the course information in ways that make it possible for you to really understand, apply, and remember what you're learning. A lot of hands-on projects and activities are built right into the classes. If reading and writing challenges come up, we offer assistive technologies, supportive learning specialists, and a comfortable writing center. Beacon doesn't just teach you what you need to learn, but also, the best way to learn it, with your LD in mind.
If you come to Beacon, and begin as a freshman, you'll be taking a lot of General Education classes in the first year. Then, as you move into your sophomore year, you'll start registering for classes in your major. You'll have an academic adviser who will help you pick your classes and keep you on track toward graduation. Some students arrive knowing exactly what they want to major in – others take a year to declare a major. Either way, there's plenty of time to decide.
Beacon offers an AA and a BA degree in Computer Information Systems. There are two tracks to choose from. The Information Systems track is the tech track, and includes courses in business computing, office systems, databases, networking, and systems analysis. The Web and Digital Media track explores the creative side of technology, with courses in graphic design, advertising, web design, digital video, and media production. Projects focus on real world design solutions with a marketing approach. In the Web and Digital Media track, expectations are high in terms of quality, and the coursework focuses on serving clients. Projects are evaluated during the class critique where we talk about your artwork, it's strengths, it's weaknesses, and how to go about improving it. The critiques help you better understand the industry standards, as well as the do's and don'ts for graphic design.
Students who thrive in the Web and Digital Media track are often visual learners. They relate especially well to information in pictures, colors, diagrams, or maps. They have a natural ability to visualize, and they tend to like puzzles and problem solving. The Web and Digital Media track is also great for students who are kinesthetic, people who enjoy hands-on learning and interactive projects. This track can be described as a combination of art and technology. You don't need to be an accomplished artist, but it does help if you have an enthusiasm for the creative process. Ultimately digital media design is a computer art form, and as with most things, it's up to you. You get out of it, what you put into it. The key to success is coming to every class period, arriving prepared, alert, and ready to do your best. Day after day, I see students who are thrilled and surprised by their own abilities. Take a look at our student gallery, and you'll see exactly what I mean.