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PCC, the DVD Debuts this Fall, Revolutionizes College Admissions
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College has completed production of Oregon’s first interactive DVD for prospective college students. The DVD, "PCC: College That Fits Your Life,"debuted this week. Instead of creating an additional print publication this year, PCC opted to partner with Ascension Entertainment on the development of this newer technology for the college marketplace. The DVD operates via a player connected to either a TV or with a computer (most new computers contain DVD capability). Adding to the popularity of DVD’s is that many gaming systems can now play them. Among other things, that means viewers are no longer tied to their television sets; they can watch DVD’s in the car, on the bus, even at work."The light bulb came on after Ascension made a presentation to our team,"said Susan Hereford, project manager for the DVD and PCC’s manger of communications and media relations. "The DVD could multi-task for us, and ultimately allow us to get away from costly viewbooks with limited shelf life. The rich visuals and sound tell the PCC story so much better to prospective students than a non-interactive publication. Plus, the DVD can link to our Web site, which is continuously updated."The DVD provides general information about the college, student life and Portland; interviews with current students, graduates, faculty, the college president, as well as university admissions directors and employers; information on transfer education and career training programs; and links to the college Web site for information on admission, registration and financial aid.PCC will mail out the DVD to prospective students, distribute to high school students through high school counseling offices and at college fairs. The college is also working with Hollywood and Blockbuster video outlets and hopes to place the DVD for free checkout.The DVD targets 14-28 year olds. "This is a natural progression of technology that students are used to and have grown up with,"said Dennis Bailey-Fougnier, coordinator of admissions for PCC. "It’s the wave of the future. It’s taking all your publications and putting them in one location."Bailey-Fougnier added, "High school counselors are very excited about this. They know their students will want to use them."The DVD market has experienced unprecedented growth over the last two years.In 2001, $10.3 billion was spent in the United States to buy copies of films for home use, of which $5.4 billion, or 52 percent, went for DVD’s. Adams Media Research estimates that in 2002, $12.4 billion will be spent, with $8.1 billion, or 65 percent, going for DVD’s. Ascension’s Vice-President, Beth Ursin, said, "Prospective students will be able to see broadcast quality of interviews with students and graduates, and video of campus life. They will be able to get an introduction to college without having to visit campus."Portland Community College is the largest college in the state of Oregon, serving more than 105,000 students in the greater Portland metropolitan area. Individuals can contact the college via its Web site at www.pcc.edu.Ascension Entertainment is a multi-media entertainment company specializing in video games and interactive DVD’s. They have offices in Portland and Los Angeles and can be reached by visiting their Web site at www.ascensionent.com.