Champlain College Emergent Media Center: A Multi-Program Center of Excellence

The Emergent Media Center (EMC) at Champlain College is an award-winning hotbed of digital innovation specializing in the design and production of electronic games, mobile apps, and other interactive experiences.

The EMC focuses on providing experiential learning opportunities for students with the belief that emergent means of communication play a pivotal role in addressing real-world problems. As rapidly evolving technologies reshape the world, the EMC inspires, educates, and mentors next-generation media creators, leaders, and entrepreneurs to create meaningful solutions in the areas of health, education, social justice, business, and finance.

The EMC, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is a multi-program academic center of excellence comprised of cross-functional areas: the EMC Studio, the MakerLab, and graduate degree programs. The EMC fosters intense collaboration between undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and sponsoring organizations through its unique academic-business hybrid model. Collectively they push boundaries and break molds in the digital and physical worlds. Pioneering ideas emerge to enrich our communities and our shared global future.

The Crossroads of Media, Innovation & Technology

As an academic “Center of Excellence” at Champlain College, the Emergent Media Center works in partnership with industry, public institutions and nonprofits, to create a laboratory/studio environment in which students collaborate with each other, faculty and clients to develop new concepts, processes, uses and applications for games and other emergent media.

The EMC operates on four main principles:

1. The Center is a blend of business and learning. It is always evolving with technology, media, culture, community, and students.

2. It is a positive force in the world that does well by doing good.

3. It enables Champlain students to become thoughtful leaders in areas of technology, media and learning.

4. It helps define the future of immersive mediums and technologies.

Bringing Ideas to Life

The Champlain College MakerLab, located inside the Emergent Media Center, is a prototyping facility fully equipped with an array of tools allowing Champlain students, faculty, staff, and alumni to explore possibilities for invention and entrepreneurship. Tools available include 3D printers, a 3D scanner, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, two large format photo printers, a high-end sewing machine, and a wide-array of more traditional hand and power tools. The MakerLab also has an electronics lab where one can learn about and use microcontrollers, sensors, motors and other electronics.

The MakerLab is a place where people from across disciplines evolve ideas and collaborate on projects at the intersection of art, technology and entrepreneurship. The MakerLab is a place where people share tools and knowledge to make almost anything. In practice, they are spaces where people from across disciplines evolve ideas and collaborate on projects at the intersection of art, technology and entrepreneurship. And, thanks to a partnership with Generator, a community makerspace in Burlington, Champlain students can access even more tools and resources.

Designers of the Creative Economy

Media is changing, and changing ever more quickly. Creators must be flexible and agile to stay at the leading edge of innovation. Media is what binds people, and its impact guides creative production. Forces big and small will use the leverage of technology to shape the world as it emerges beyond the limits of tradition. Digital technology accelerates the change. Creative work assures humanity in the results. Master’s-level Emergent Media students harness the newest technology, get ahead of the latest trends, and learn how to manifest their vision and shape the future while learning practical applications of technique and craft.

Champlain College offers two different paths to a master’s degree in Emergent Media: the Master in Fine Arts (MFA) in Emergent Media, a terminal degree, is a two-year program and the Master of Science (MS) in Emergent Media is a one-year program. For all Emergent Media students, the Emergent Media Center (EMC) is a hub and a working studio where undergraduate and graduate students, alongside faculty and staff, work together on mission-based digital media innovations for real clients.

For more information on Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center studio, MakerLab, or graduate degree offerings, please visit 

About the Author
Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college overlooking Lake Champlain and Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland.