Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
Oklahoma Christian University has made national headlines for its video game design program on campus.
The Princeton Review recently published a list of best undergraduate schools in the United States and Canada for studying video game designing. The Princeton Review is an American-based education service company and is one of the best in the world.
The 2013 list that included Oklahoma Christian was compiled of 15 undergraduate schools in rank order and 15 undergraduate schools awarded honorable mentions.
The Princeton Review compiled this list by conducting a survey during the 2012-2013 school year of 150 programs at campuses in the U.S. and Canada that offered video game design coursework and degrees.
The survey itself asked students at schools to report on a range of things from faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and professional achievements. Some of the criteria for the list included faculty, facilities, student scholarships, financial aid and the school’s curriculum as a whole.
“Being selected as one of the top 30 in the country for game design education is a great honor for Oklahoma Christian,” Jeff Price, associate professor of art and design, said. “We not only train our students to think creatively, but give them the technical skills to be highly sought-after recruits in the professional game development industry. We are fortunate to have such a supportive administration and talented gaming and animation students.”
Here on Oklahoma Christian’s campus, there are several classes in which students learn things such as gaming and animation history, as well as technical classes where students learn about 30 different software programs and studio classes where students actually get to make their own video games.
Oklahoma Christian earned one of the 15 honorable mentions on the list and is the only Oklahoma university and one of just two schools from the Southwest to receive this commendation.
In the recent issue of the Princeton Review, Rober Franek, the senior vice president and publisher, had many great things to say about Oklahoma Christian and the video game design program here.
“For students aspiring to become game designers, we highly recommend Oklahoma Christian University as one of the best institutions to study and to launch a career in this exciting field,” Franek said. “We also salute the faculty and staff at OC and the other schools on our 2013 lists for their exceptional academic and professional contributions to their students and to the industry of game design.”
When asked about Oklahoma Christian receiving the Princeton Review’s honorable mention, students on campus had nothing but positive things to say about Oklahoma Christian and the list itself.
Dwayne Wiseman, a senior, said that receiving honorable mention from such a prestigious company was a huge honor for the school.
“I think it is a real great honor for the graphic design department to be listed as a top design schools in the country according to the Princeton Review,” Wiseman said. “I think the students who have come through the department have worked hard, and obviously their hard work is paying off. The students, faculty and staff should be very proud of this accomplishment.”
Freshman Tyrell Johnson said that the list gave the school as a whole good publicity and could help bring in potential students who may want to pursue a career in video game design.
“I think that this will help get OC noticed by high school students who are interested in video gaming and design and help high school students find out about OC in general,” Johnson said. “This will benefit the university in a lot of ways.”
Among the top rankings for most outstanding video game design programs in the U.S. and Canada were the University of Utah, University of Southern California and Rochester Institute of Technology.
Along with Oklahoma Christian, schools such as Bradley University, Georgia Tech, Miami University, New York Univesity and the University of Texas at Dallas also ranked among the honorable mentions.
The Princeton Review is also known for its annual list of college rankings, which it reports on its website and in its books, including The Best 377 Colleges and The Best Value Colleges. Oklahoma Christian has also been included in the Princeton Review’s “Best in the West” rankings.