DigiPen WaNIC Academy Program

In partnership with Washington Network of Innovative Careers (WaNIC)

In fall 2010, DigiPen Institute of Technology began offering the DigiPen WaNIC Academy Program in partnership with Washington Network of Innovative Careers (WaNIC). Currently, the following programs are offered to high-school juniors and seniors in the Northeast King County area (east of Seattle):

DigiPen Video Game Programming (AP® Computer Science*)
DigiPen Animation Academy (AP® Studio Art*)
DigiPen Robotics And Future Technology (DRAFT)

Program Highlights:

  • Relevant and comprehensive projects-based curriculum
  • Advanced Placement credit available for those in the game programming and animation tracks
  • DigiPen college credit available for those in the game programming track
  • Exposure to a college environment where dedicated undergraduate- and graduate-level students are preparing for a career in the digital entertainment industries. Mentorship and shadow opportunities are available
  • Opportunity to apply knowledge towards leadership development programs like For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics and SkillsUSA


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Summer Workshops also available in Traditional Game Design, Robotics, Introduction to 2D Video Game Programming, and Fundamentals of Animation.

Additional Information:

Want to Know More?
Attend an information session

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About WaNIC

The Washington Network for Innovative Careers (WaNIC) is a regional skills center cooperative of select school districts in Northeast King County. WaNIC is established to provide advanced-level career and technical education programs based on rigorous academic and industry standards preparing students for post-secondary education and successful entry into high-skill, high-demand careers and employment.

DigiPen Video Game Programming (AP® Computer Science*)

DigiPen Video Game Programming courses give students an introduction to the art and science behind interactive video game development. When going through seven modules of instruction, students learn key art, math, and computer science concepts that are applied within a game project after each module. When developing their game, students also write a short position paper that addresses how and why they came to the conclusions they did in their project. Within this paper, students need to address industry issues like labor practices, intellectual property rights, publishing contracts, and controversial game content. All courses are taught using C++ and cover a spectrum of basic and introductory material.


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Credit Granted

Students who successfully complete a year of study are eligible to receive a 1.0 Algebra II credit or a College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR) math credit depending on the student’s need. Students also receive 2.0 occupational education credits. DigiPen college credit available.

DigiPen Animation Academy (AP® Studio Art*)

The DigiPen Animation Academy provides students with an opportunity to develop the skills necessary to pursue post-secondary education in the field of fine art and animation. The program focuses on traditional hand skills including basic drawing, composition, line and value, and perspective drawing. Upon learning these skills, students are introduced to essential animation skills like character concept and design, basic keyframe animation, motion studies, and 2D and 3D computer animation.

Students will be challenged to apply their knowledge in the animation track of the annual SkillsUSA Washington state competition. This competition serves as a leadership development component of the Animation Academy program.

No previous art experience is required.


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Credit Granted

Students who successfully complete a year of study with the program earn 1.0 fine art credit plus 2.0 occupational education credits. DigiPen college credit available.

DigiPen Robotics And Future Technology (DRAFT)

Have you participated in a For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics program or want to gain a deeper understanding of the key technologies that robots use? Maybe you have wondered how advanced integrated technologies have enhanced our lives with everything from touch tablets and automobile navigation systems to microwave ovens? Or perhaps you have the next great idea for a “must have” mobile device? Join the DigiPen Robotics and Future Technologies program to learn how these new technologies can be designed, integrated, and produced into real products for today’s savvy consumers.
This program has a strong emphasis on electronics, embedded computer systems, and programming, making it an ideal preparatory track for those considering a career in the high demand field of computer engineering. In addition, the course delves into the product design concepts and manufacturing processes, with students developing skills in computer-aided designing (CAD), rapid prototyping, and precision measurement. All of this knowledge and skill is then applied to hands-on projects such as building and programming a robotic car to drive autonomously, creating various electronic devices to play music or display images on touch screens, and even writing software for mobile devices.


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DRAFT students will be challenged to apply their knowledge on a team for the annual Washington state FIRST Robotics Tech Challenge. This competition serves as a leadership development component of the DRAFT Technology Academy program.

Credit Granted

Students who successfully complete a year of study with the program earn 3.0 occupational education credits.

Full-Year Schedule

Each track is 540 hours and is offered during the academic school year. Programs begin in September and run through the end of the school year. Classes are taught Mondays through Fridays for 2.5 hours each day. For the 2012–2013 school year, students can choose to attend one of the following sessions:

  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Session
  • After School Session

Prerequisites and Application

Acceptance into the programs is based on

  • Students must be entering their junior or senior year of high school in fall 2012
  • Students must attend an information session at DigiPen and have a DigiPen instructor sign the WaNIC program application form.  For the Video Game Programming Course, students will also need to arrange to take an entrance exam that assesses math and logic skills
  • Students must submit the signed application to the career specialist at their home high school

Register Today!
Program enrollment is limited. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Tuition and Fees

As the academy is offered in cooperation with the Washington Network for Innovative Careers, there are no registration or tuition fees to participate.

Summer Workshops

The following workshops will be offered during summer 2013:

  • Introduction to 2D Video Game Programming
  • Fundamentals of Animation
  • Robotics
  • Traditional Game Design

Credit Granted

Students who successfully complete a summer workshop are eligible to receive a 0.5 high school credits.

Summer Schedule

Each workshop is 90 hours and is offered during the summer. Workshops begin on June 23, 2014 and run through July 11, 2014. Classes are taught Mondays through Fridays from 9:00am to 4:00pm each day. There will be no class on Friday, July 4, 2014. Lunch is provided daily for summer workshop participants.

Learn More and Register Today!
Program enrollment is limited. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

RSVP for an Information Session

The information sessions are scheduled at DigiPen’s campus (9931 Willows Road NE, Redmond, WA 98052) from 7:00–8:00 pm. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend. For a list of dates, please view the drop down menu in the RSVP form below.

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Programs of Interest? (check all that apply)
 Video Game Programming (AP® Computer Science*)
 Animation Academy (AP® Studio Art*)
 Robotics and Future Technology (DRAFT)

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*AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board. It was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.