Want to get a leg up on your future career without having to set foot out of your front door? The Envision Virtual Academy offers the opportunity to develop and hone key skills in today’s fastest growing career fields within the convenience of an online classroom environment. Each course is taught by a member of the George Mason University faculty, all of whom are experts and currently working in their respective fields.
About the Envision Virtual Academy
Nothing compares to the hands-on learning experiences enjoyed during one of Envision’s summer programs. However, we understand that due to schedule, space, and cost constraints, not everyone has the opportunity to realize these benefits. For this very reason, and to make a world-class learning experience available to everyone, we created the Envision Virtual Academy.
The Academy enables you to learn, practice, and master key skills in a variety of concentrations that focus on today’s most in-demand career tracks. Through the virtual platform, you will engage in full participatory learning, supported by peers and faculty, backed by academics, and powered by your interests.
The Academy operates on a six-month semester. After enrollment, you will select one of our five live courses: Art & Animation, Business Entrepreneurship, Multi-Platform 3D Game Design, Neuroscience: Diseases of the Brain, and C# Programming. Each course spans eight weekly classes, which provides a week-over-week learning environment that mirrors a standard classroom.
All classes meet on Saturdays, are three hours long, and include scheduled virtual classroom time for career advice and career Q&A with the professor, during which you will connect what you learn to real world careers and gain insights into emerging ideas and opportunities. After completing your live course, you will have a better idea of what it takes and what it’s actually like to have a career in your preferred field.
Also included with enrollment is access throughout the semester to two archived courses on Cybersecurity and Java Programming, as well as the ability to explore archived classes for the other live courses, which become available immediately following each weekly class.
Art & Animation
Gain a foundation in concept art, 2D and 3D design, modeling, and animation for games. You will learn the fundamentals of creating efficient, game-ready assets and integrating models into the Unity 3D game engine. You will also be introduced to texturing, UVing, rigging, and the principles of animation.
Develop communication skills, planning strategies, and business attitudes that will enable you to creatively solve problems, think critically, and identify entrepreneurial opportunities in and outside of the game industry. During this course, you will conceive, develop, and present a business plan. You will also learn how to determine possible revenue streams, how to create a partnership acquisition strategy and a barrier to entry plan, and how to read profit and loss statements.
Multi-Platform 3D Game Design
Working virtually with fellow students, you will explore the fundamentals of game design, rules, and game mechanics. You will build and expand upon your own game ideas, be provided with an insider’s look at the Computer Game Design industry, and gain hands-on experience using the current game engine and industry standard, Unity, along with an overview of Unreal 4.
Neuroscience: Diseases of the Brain
Explore various types of brain dysfunction, from neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, ADHD) to neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease). This course covers neurobiological causes, symptoms, and current treatments. You will also learn about ongoing biomedical research that may lead to new breakthroughs for these patients.
Taught in conjunction with the Unity Game Engine, this course will provide you with an understanding of Data Types and Structures, Control Structures, Data Arrays and Uses, Functions, Classes, Unity C# integration and programming, and the Basics of compilers. After completing this course, you will be able to make complex games or software programs using C# programming language, and will know the terminology needed to further develop your knowledge on your own.
- Introduction to 2D Game Design
- The journey begins here for those who are interested in the exciting world of 2D Computer Game Design. Participants will learn the fundamentals of game design, rules, and game mechanics. Students will be encouraged to work together in an interactive environment with other kids of similar interests and experience. Students will build and expand upon their own 2D game ideas, and be provided an insider's look at the Computer Game Design industry, with hands-on experience using current game engine tools such as Unity.
- Java - Intro to Object-Oriented Programming
- This course is an introduction to the world of object-oriented programming and provides students with a basic understanding of the Java programming process and procedures.
Envision Virtual Academy: Program Highlights
Learn from the pros. All of the teachers are not only faculty at George Mason University, but they are also currently employed in their respective fields.
Via the virtual learning platform, you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow classmates from all across the country, as if you were in a live classroom.
During your six-month semester, you will have access to all five live courses as well as two additional archived courses, for a total of 180 hours of learning.
Tuition for the Envision Virtual Academy is $199 per 6-month semester.
Spring Semester 2/1/17 - 8/1/17, with live classes beginning 3/4. Throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to explore all courses on the platform, at their own pace, as live courses are archived weekly.