Graphic and digital design program coming to Mission UFV

University of the Fraser Valley's chair of the board of governors Laurence Stinson (seated

The University of the Fraser Valley is launching a “flagship program” in graphic and digital design in Mission, thanks to a $500,000 funding partnership with the district.

The two-year, 60-credit diploma program will begin in September 2012.

“Today marks the beginning of the day we can call ourselves a university community,” said Mayor James Atebe at Mission’s UFV campus, adding that post-secondary education is an economic and community developer.

“I look at this as an investment,” he said of the partnership.

UFV’s provost and vice president academic, Eric Davis, said the program has been a project two years in the making.

“What better place than Mission, with its dynamic arts community, to launch this program?”

The diploma program is flexible, and will allow students to pursue a bachelor of fine arts with their credits.

Davis said the district’s capital investment will allow UFV to renovate the Mission campus, purchase the latest equipment and software, develop the courses and programs and begin marketing and student recruitment.

UFV president Mark Evered said the goal of the university is to be a leader in the development of the Fraser Valley.

“When we talk about putting our signature program [in Mission] we’re talking about the program that will best serve the region of the Fraser Valley,” he said.

The graphic design program is aimed at placing students in traditional design and print media, but will also prepare them for the web and smartphone market, video games and animation.

The university also noted Mission’s rail service to Vancouver on the West Coast Express as a benefit to keeping graduates connected to the largest market in the region.

Heritage Park Centre, located by Stave Lake Street and 11 Avenue, has housed UFV’s Mission campus since 1996.