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    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Scott Saunders may be new to his position as Director of Career Services at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, but he’s not new to the task.

    “It’s exciting to work with aspiring designers and culinary professionals,” Saunders says. “We’ve had a warm welcome from the community, and it’s evident that there is a great demand for highly skilled creative professionals in the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley.”

    Saunders’ goal is a satisfying, yet challenging, one: “I look forward to continuing the great work of other Art Institute campuses in Southern California, and succeeding in assisting our graduates in obtaining education-related employment within six months of graduation.

    “The bar has been set high by my colleagues across the country, and I look toward exceeding the expectations of our students and employers.”

    The institute’s curriculum has not been created in a vacuum. Saunders explains, “We frequently reach out to industry professionals to provide us with valuable feedback about our programs and the technology we employ. From this input we have tailored our courses to meet the demands of local industry.”

    Saunders finds a particular satisfaction in how the school develops graduates. “I look forward,” he notes, “to presenting professional-level candidates who posses high-level design skills and an all-encompassing understanding of how their efforts may impact the bottom line. It’s this big-picture mentality that sets our graduates apart from others pursuing careers in the creative and applied arts.”

    Career counseling is familiar territory to Saunders, having spent 15 years working in residential, youth outpatient and higher education settings. His M.A. is in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Prior to recently joining The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, Saunders spent six years in other academic settings, overseeing the Career Services function, aiding students toward education-related employment. He lives in Eagle Rock.

    In addition to creating Part-Time Job Fairs, Saunders’ office directs upcoming graduates in resume preparation, personal presentation and even conducts mock interviews to introduce students to the pressure-cooker of first-time job interviews.

    “We have incoming students who need part-time jobs and graduates looking for fulltime careers,” he says. “Plus, we have internships available in which students can learn about the real world of their field of choice.”

    What impact will the growth of technology have on students emerging upon the workforce, however? “It’s interesting to note,” Saunders says, “that some job functions may be, or may become, automated, such as customer service reps, bank tellers, accountants and others. However, I’m not aware of a computer that’s capable of artistic creation. In my opinion, there’s no known substitute for human creativity,” Saunders concludes.

    His is a big responsibility, “and I love it,” he adds.

    Dr. Byron Chung, president of the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, says, “Scott is a wonderful addition to our staff. He combines his vast experience with a personal desire to help every student here find a meaningful job in the area that interests them most.”

    The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design and Media Arts & Animation. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

    It’s not too late to start classes at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. Classes begin March 31, with offerings in the day, evening and on weekends for new and reentry students.

    For more information, or a tour of the campus, call (909) 915-2100, or go on line to www.artinstitutes.edu/inlandempire.

    The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of the Art Institutes (www.artinstitutes.edu), with 40 educational institutions throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.

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