Students from High Tech Early College learn about the design process during a job shadow at Universal Mind.

As a leader in the creative industries, Colorado is the perfect place to connect DPS students with careers in the arts.  Courses include everything from graphic design to performing arts.  Students may have the opportunity to receive college credit and industry-recognized certifications such as the Adobe Creative Suite while in high school.

Available at

Abraham Lincoln High School
CEC Middle College
Denver School of the Arts
East High School
High Tech Early College
Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
North High School
South High School
Summit Academy
Thomas Jefferson High School
West Generation Academy
West Career Academy
PUSH Academy

Possible Courses Include

Digital Photography
This course is designed to teach the traditional fine arts skill of photography in combination with the current technology of digital literacy, image alteration and presentation using current computer and web based information systems. One essential feature of this program is the interaction of a digital camera with cutting edge computer darkroom technology. Students are expected to upload images via scanning, reading data cards, directly connecting the camera via cord to the computer or using other technology to import and export data. Students will examine both historical and contemporary cultural themes.
3-D Animation
In this first semester course, students will be learning how to use state of the art 3D software to build 3D models and also learn how to animate the models. Topics include: storytelling, modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering and animation principles. The class is built on learning the necessary skills to create 3D models and apply basic camera animation and use simple linear timeline to create a visual presentation. Basic video editing will be used to create a final project.
Graphic Design
This semester long course is an overview of the basic elements of Design; its purpose, techniques, influences, and its connection to past and current culture. Students will learn visual literacy and critical thinking applied to projects created in a variety of traditional media and/or design software programs. Students will be challenged to push themselves in areas of research, creativity, and problem solving as well as learn about and expand their knowledge of the expressive features of the principles and elements of design and career opportunities. Through the study of both graphic design and self-expression, students will strengthen their foundation as an artist/designer.

Computer Game Design
During the first quarter students will focus on developing their design skills with drawing. Students will learn to render both human forms and environments using principles of proportion and perspective design. Using Dreamweaver they will present their drawings on an intranet web site of their own design. Using Photoshop students will learn to edit their drawings and other images specifically for use in GameMaker, and for their website. Basic color theory will form an understanding of digital color in Dreamweaver and Photoshop and provide a foundation for textures on 3D objects. .
Audio Engineering
The audio engineering course provides students the opportunity to explore and develop technical, creative and aesthetic skills used in the recording industry. Students will have the opportunity to use professional recording studio equipment to complete various projects during the semester and will explore the many career options in the industry.

*Class availability varies by school.


Explore a Career in the Creative Arts

Examples of career opportunities include:

Occupation Education Level Median Annual Earnings
Camera Operator High School Diploma, Certificate $51,790
Photographer Associate’s Degree $35,000
Multimedia Animator Bachelor’s Degree $63,440
Interior Designer Bachelor’s Degree $52,100
Set/Exhibit Designer Bachelor’s Degree $44,110
Art Director Advanced Degree $81,080

View more creative arts opportunities here.

Industry information courtesy of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Sample Plans of Study

Click on the links below to see what classes you should take in high school to prepare you for a career in the creative industry:

Know what you want to do but don’t know how to get there?  Visit to explore degree programs and financial aid options.
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