IRVINE, CALIFORNIA â€“ (December 14th 2009) - TD-College (TDC), the premier on-line school for technical directors (TDs), is proud to announce the launch of a new education option. This new program, the "Independent Studies Option", was developed to make TD-College's hard-core, production-driven methods accessible to an even wider, global audience.
"During our first year of operation, we received a tremendous amount of feedback from users and prospective students. Those who completed our courses have been extremely satisfied with their education. We did, however, receive several suggestions from a large group of prospective students," explains Rudy Cortes, C.E.O of TD-College. "From these suggestions, we learned that the two main obstacles holding back prospective students from enrolling were the cost and the intensity of our courses."
"While planning TDC, we set the price of our courses to be competitive with the current educational market, comparing ourselves with other online schools, not with tutorial sites. It is important to emphasize the difference between these two. A school has teachers and a series of administrative requirements, which mainly revolve around keeping track of the student's progress. A tutorial website merely presents some material and gives the student access to peer forums," explained Arthur Shek, co-founder and General Skills Course Director.
"Another huge difference is that the material on most tutorial sites is authored by people with little to no experience in real production environments. TD-College sets itself apart because our material is authored and mentored by the absolute cream of the crop of TD's out there. As a result, our courses did increase in price; after all, the time of top professionals is very valuable," added Shek. "We believe our courses are extremely well priced, but to a large number of individuals, especially CG-enthusiasts from less prosperous nations, our current pricing scheme is above their means."
Cortes adds: "We started this business because we believe in high-level, production-driven education. We also believe that education should not be limited to the economically privileged. That is why once a year we run a competition and give out several free courses to deserving and aspiring TD's. The new Independent Studies Option (ISO) will allow those of lesser means to receive the same top quality educational material than everyone else, but without the one-on-one interaction with an industry professional. Of course, we believe the best results will be attained with a mentor, but some education is better than no education."
TD-College's ISOs will be offered at a starting price of $550.00 USD. The ISOs will provide the students with the same, high quality, TD-oriented content as the mentored courses but without the one-on-one (live) sessions and the live group classes. Each student will still be assigned a professional mentor who will be in charge of answering emails and correcting homework. ISO students will also have access to the same forums and community features available to mentored students.
"Another issue has been how rigorous the TDC schedule is. TDC courses were designed to be challenging, since we wanted to re-create the challenging deadlines and environment that students will run into once they get to work in the real world. As such, our six week courses are very intense, requiring between 15 and 20 hours of work to complete each homework assignment," explains Kevin Mannens, co-founder and Effects Course Director. "In an ideal world, people with one full-time job should be able to complete our courses with some effort. The problem is that a lot of our prospective students are people who are already working in the industry, where it is hard to find 6 weeks where the production schedule is relaxed (40 to 45 hour week) enough to fit in an intense course."
"It is also complicated for people from countries outside the USA to schedule their one-on-one time with their mentor. We are always looking for mentors in different timezones to accommodate their needs, but the reality is that the majority of our mentors are based in the USA. This makes it difficult for people from Asia or Australia to take the courses. TD-College's ISO's address these two issues. Since there are no one-on-one sessions, the student can take the course without having to wake up at odd hours to meet with their mentor. To help those who are dealing with crazy production schedules, our ISO doubles the length of each course to 12 weeks."
TD-College's ISOs will still contain 6 weeks of material, accompanied by 6 weekly assignments. But instead of having one week to complete each homework, ISO students will have up to 12 weeks to complete all the homework. This also means that if the ISO student has the time, the course can be completed in less than 6 weeks.
"We are very excited about this new line of courses. We believe they will help fill a huge gap in the education market and make our solid TD education available to those with time and economic limitations," said Cortes.
TD-College independent studies option courses are available now at www.td-college.com
TD College was founded by 3 experienced professional Technical Directors. Rudy Cortes, Sr. Cinematics Rendering TD at Blizzard Entertainment Cinematics in Irvine, CA. Kevin Mannens, an effects TD at Sony Pictures Imageworks and Arthur Shek, Sr. Software Engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios. TD-College's goal is to provide the best training for technical directors to a world wide market by providing an exclusive one on one mentor system as well as a collaborative community where TD'ism can flourish