February 11, 2019

F.I.R.S.T. Institute Celebrates 15 Years!

In 2019, we’re thrilled to mark 15 fantastic years of educational excellence at F.I.R.S.T. Institute! As an accredited and licensed school nestled in the heart of Central Florida, we’ve proudly emerged as a leader in the region’s digital media landscape over the past decade and a half.


Fostering Creative Careers

F.I.R.S.T. Institute opened its doors in 2004 with a mission to revolutionize digital media education. From day one, our focus has been on providing hands-on experiences tailored to each student’s needs. Over time, we’ve improved our methods, grown our team, and significantly enhanced our facilities, all part of a commitment to providing top-notch creative education that’s affordable.

Just ask our director, Donney Smith, who’s constantly amazed by the leaps we’ve taken. He says “I am in awe of how much our institution has flourished over the past 15 years. We are proud to host a growing alumni group that has gone on to shape the Digital Media industry in Central Florida and across the globe.”

We believe in equipping our graduates with knowledge that sets them apart and increases the likelihood of future success. Here’s to another 15 years of academic achievement!


Your Path to Success

At F.I.R.S.T., we don’t just offer education; we cultivate futures. Our students embark on a journey that goes beyond textbooks. We’re more than just a school; we’re a community that nurtures growth. Our Career Services department is a prime example of this commitment. The Career Services team is here to help students with resume review, job-search strategies, and interview preparation.

Our faculty consists of industry professionals who actively work in their fields. This means students learn from experts who are in sync with the latest industry trends while also building a strong professional network.


Learning by Doing

Our students experience learning through cutting-edge production equipment and digital technology. Our philosophy is simple: See It, Hear It, Do It. Industry professionals guide you through these three tiers, ensuring a holistic understanding of your craft:

  1. See It: Learn from seasoned professionals through observation.
  2. Hear It: Receive classroom instruction from industry experts.
  3. Do It: Dive into hands-on projects that mirror real-world challenges.

“Creativity Meets Career” is the guiding mantra at F.I.R.S.T. Every program is meticulously designed to offer career-specific training, ensuring you’re job-ready upon graduation.


Discover Your Passion: 4 Digital Media Programs

Over the past 15 years, F.I.R.S.T. has evolved from an audio engineering school to a comprehensive higher learning institution for creatives. Our Orlando campus now offers programs in audio engineering, filmmaking, graphic & web design, and photography. Let’s explore each of them:

Recording Arts & Show Production

Learn the skills needed to work as a professional audio engineer. Produce and record musical acts, design and implement sounds for movies and TV shows, run live events such as concerts, and so much more. Whether you aspire to work in professional recording studios or mix rock concerts in venues worldwide, this program will help you get a strong foundation for a career in audio.

Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

Learn the art of shooting, directing, and editing film. Graduates enjoy a wide range of opportunities in filmmaking and video production.

Graphic Design & Web Development

Dive into digital graphics and dynamic website design. Master industry-standard tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and get ready to conquer the competitive job market.


Step into the world of visual storytelling with F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s photography program. Whether you’re drawn to portraits, landscapes, or commercial photography, our hands-on approach will empower you to master camera techniques, lighting, and composition. 


Making Orlando Home

Orlando is a great place for aspiring creative professionals. Here, you’re met with a world of opportunities, but without the crazy competition and sky-high costs of places like New York, LA, Atlanta, or Miami. And let’s not forget, living here is an absolute blast. Whether you’re all about theme parks, live music, nightlife, trying new foods, or soaking in the great outdoors, Orlando has got you covered. 

Worried about housing? F.I.R.S.T. Institute has teamed up with student housing providers EDUrent to make your transition easy. These partners help you find furnished apartments near the campus, fostering a supportive living environment.


IDL: Same Hands-On Education, 100% Online

For students who can’t make the move to Orlando or whose schedules won’t permit attending classes in person, F.I.R.S.T. offers all of our programs online. These aren’t your typical online classes. They are focused on face-to-face interaction with instructors and classmates, and – with the help of a Creative P.A.K. – the same hands-on experience that’s offered in our campus programs.


A Licensed and Accredited Media School

F.I.R.S.T. Institute is licensed by the Florida Department of Education and accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET), assuring the highest quality education and professional standards. 


Pay Us a Visit!

Even though we’re already 15 years in, we’re just getting started. We’d love for you to be a part of the future of F.I.R.S.T. Institute. To get started down the path to a creative career, take a tour of our campus (tours are available both online and on-campus) or download our brochure. Here’s to many more decades of transforming creativity into successful careers!