Inside CAS

College of Arts and Sciences


Free Access to Adobe Creative Cloud Sparks Creativity among UNCW Students

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Written by Amber Mangione '18 (photo - A. Mangione)

Thanks to the efforts of Information Technology Services and Academic Affairs, UNCW students and faculty have had full access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud since the fall of 2016. There are more than 25 products in the Creative Cloud, including Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere Pro, that specialize in a wide range of creation and editing capabilities.

“Students will be able to tell a story visually and that’s what digital consumers want,” says IT Manager of Tech Support, Tami Mansur. “These products allow you to edit and publish photographs, videos and web pages; you can create posters, flyers and other content for print or digital publishing…the list is endless.”

Before purchasing Adobe for all students, the software was only available in the computer labs and students did not have the convenience of having it on their own personal computers. UNCW was the first school in the UNC system to purchase full Adobe access for students, followed by UNC Chapel Hill in 2016. The purchase decision was driven by Academic Affairs that funded the cost, with heavy support from Information Technology Services to purchase for all students and 25% of faculty. This contract with Adobe is for three years, so the contract will have to be renegotiated by the end of 2018 before it expires.

The Department of Film Studies and the Department of Communication Studies showed the most interest and need for the purchase. Adobe Creative Cloud is also being used in the departments of anthropology, biology and marine biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, English, earth and ocean sciences, mathematics and statistics, and sociology and criminology. These products are meant for any student or faculty member in any department on campus as a tool to create content in a unique way.

Caroline Williams, a junior at UNCW, says, “Having access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud is a really amazing opportunity. It’s allowed me to really learn the programs in-depth outside of my assignments in class, which even helped me get an internship in graphic design.”

Students and faculty can also take advantage of the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification and become a certified user of Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere Pro.

David Webster, associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, hopes to see more students using these programs for their classes and projects. He says, “The strategy we used to implement this relationship with Adobe and roll it out to the campus is the single biggest enhancement that we’ve ever done in the history of this university. It’s really that powerful.”