Students may bear cost of Adobe software

Franchesca Perez
Staff Writer

The art and design department at Troy is in the process of making a few potential changes for the upcoming school year, one of which concerns the Adobe Software suite and another, a design lab move to Stewart Hall.

Although no final decision has been made, the department is currently deciding whether students should be required to purchase their own personal subscriptions of the Adobe Creative Cloud software.

Currently, having private copies is not mandatory, and computer labs at Malone Hall come with all the software installed.

This change is being considered by the art and design department due to a change in the purchasing options Adobe is offering universities for the upcoming school year.

In the past, universities were able to purchase a hard copy of the software and for a one-time cost, install it on the computers in the Malone computer labs.

Under the new Adobe Creative Cloud software options, universities must pay for a subscription for each computer annually, which would cost a total of about $18,000 each year.

“We are considering it and keeping what is best for our students in mind, but no final decisions have been made,” said Pamela Allen, associate professor of art and design.

“What I do know is that we are going to provide as much as we can and stay up-to-date on the required programs and students’ needs. Our goal is to make sure that the students who leave here have the skills that they need to become employed.”

According to Adobe’s website, the student rate for a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud is $19.99 a month, with an annual cost of approximately $240 a year.

The subscription includes unlimited access to over 40 different programs including Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere, Lightroom, Illustrator and many more.

Additionally, subscribers are granted access to their own portfolio websites, premium fonts, and 20 GB of cloud storage.

However, to receive this rate, subscribers must have an institutional affiliation. Hence, upon graduation, students no longer have access to this rate and their subscription costs jump up to $49.99 month, with an annual cost of $600.

This creates the incentive for students to purchase the Adobe Software, rather than subscribe. However, Adobe is constantly updating its software, leaving past purchasers with outdated software.

“You have to understand that for graphic designers, the software is their lifeline,” Allen said.

“Usually by their junior year, about a third of these students have already purchased this software for their personal use. By purchasing this software, students can work from anywhere. Wouldn’t it be exciting to not be stuck at a desk in a lab 24/7?”

Alex McCurdy, a freshman art major from Birmingham, owns a personal laptop with the Adobe software installed, but still utilizes the Malone labs due to software differences.

“The current version of Adobe is called Creative Cloud, and it costs a flat amount each month, but that can add up,” he said.

“On the other hand, if you purchase the software as a whole, your version will eventually be outdated. I honestly don’t think it should be required for every student to buy or subscribe to the software.”

Another upcoming change in the graphic design department is the establishment of a lab and a gallery into Stewart Hall, following its renovations.

“We want to shift from a traditional, boring classroom setting and move into a more modern setup,” Allen said. “Whatever we do will be innovative and exciting.”

According to Beverly West Leach, lecturer of art and design, the area will be a “business interface, incubator and classroom.”

“It’s more of a multi-use space,” she said. “The advanced level, like senior graphic design classes, would have seminars and workshops there.

“There’ll be a museum space that will highlight regional, local (artists). We’ll have art exhibits that come into the University. Perhaps on occasion there could be student collaborations or student work shown.”

With so many aspects to consider and with the students’ needs in mind, the art and design department is carefully considering its options and hopes to reach some resolutions soon with regards to the software change, according to Allen.

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