Imagine a place where a passion for creativity meets an education designed to launch your career. For almost 20 years, Orlando’s F.I.R.S.T. Institute has been doing just that. Co-founders Alan Forbes and Donney Smith started as two local media professionals teaching inside just 800-square-feet. Since then, F.I.R.S.T. Institute has evolved into a premier creative educational force and cutting-edge 30,000-square-foot facility with almost a hundred experienced faculty and associates and thousands of graduates.
“We planned this new facility for over a year to make sure everything was cohesive and flowed,” F.I.R.S.T. Institute co-founder Alan Forbes said. “We worked hard to create the best learning environment for our students.”
Last year, F.I.R.S.T. 's brand-new campus in the greater Orlando area’s Maitland became an absolute dream come true for anyone looking to get started in the media industry.
“Our beautiful facility comes equipped with two custom recording studios, a live sound production studio, and a ton of professional production labs,” Forbes said. “We’ve even got a central courtyard for students to unwind and connect between classes without even having to leave campus. Every workspace, from classrooms to production studios, was designed with our students in mind.”
Forbes says the F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s educational philosophy is simple and proven: “Hear it, see it, do it.”
Students can choose from three interactive programs: Recording Arts & Show Production, Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, or Graphic Design & Web Development. Classes are available in-person or online through F.I.R.S.T. 's own unique approach called IDL, or Interactive Distance Learning.
“This isn’t your traditional online program where you’re just watching videos and reading content,” Forbes said. “These are live instructor-led classes every day.”
F.I.R.S.T. Institute worked hard to ensure its remote students had the same innovative learning method as it does for those in the classroom.
“When students enroll into any of our online programs, they’ll get a creative P.A.K., or personal academic kit,” Forbes said. “That brings consistency and supports them having the necessary equipment at home to be successful.”
And with class sizes of around 18-20 students, F.I.R.S.T. Institute gives its students a competitive advantage through individualized instruction.
“We offer a smaller and more intimate setting,” Forbes said. “And there are no general education requirements to graduate, so students can come in and focus on their majors from day one.”
Graduates complete their education in just 11 months, and for a fraction of the cost for similar programs.
“Not only do we offer incredibly competitive tuition,” Forbes said, “but students graduate in less time, and all of that time is spent on their major.”
F.I.R.S.T. takes quality education seriously and is licensed by the Florida Department of Education and the Commission for Independent Education (CIE) and accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET).
F.I.R.S.T. Institute graduates are award-winning and work nationally and internationally on some of the most important creative projects out there right now. For creatives looking to make their work a reality, F.I.R.S.T Institute has the educational tools to do just that.
“We’re proud to be a big school now, but we came from honest beginnings,” Forbes said. “We feel fortunate to be able to attract students from all over the world to learn how to do this kind of work, and we’re excited to keep growing.”
Learn more at: first.edu
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