Adobe Creative Campus Program Spreads Digital Literacy Across TAMUC

Students, faculty and staff are plugging into the power of Adobe software as digital literacy continues to spread across the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus.

For the past two years, A&M-Commerce has been an official Adobe Creative Campus, a partnership that provides access to a suite of Adobe Creative Cloud applications—free of charge—to students and university employees. As a Creative Campus member, the university is committed to teaching digital communication skills across disciplines.

A New TAMUC Home for Adobe

Waters Library at A&M-Commerce has recently been tabbed as the university’s new home for Adobe Creative Campus, and library staff are gearing up to launch Adobe training and support for the university community.

Lanee Dunlap, dean of libraries, said her team is working on several initiatives—still in the planning stages—that will launch in spring 2024. She said the library staff is excited to develop strategies to expand university-wide use of the Adobe Creative Cloud software. Their goals include educating faculty members on how to use Adobe programs effectively in their curriculums, and teaching students to use Adobe as a creative tool for classwork and beyond.

“We have always taught information literacy skills, and now we are expanding into digital literacy skills,” Dunlap said. “These are core creative skills that prepare our students to succeed both in the classroom and in the workforce.”

Training Sessions

The library will offer training on various Adobe Creative Cloud applications beginning in February 2024. Topics will include Accessing Adobe Creative Cloud, Creative Projects with Adobe Express, and Artificial Intelligence and Adobe. Additional courses, ranging from introductory to advanced, will be added throughout the semester.

Adobe Creative Campus Lab

The library also has plans to establish an Adobe Creative Campus Lab. The lab will provide consultations and experiential learning to the university community, including collaboration with faculty to incorporate Adobe applications into their curriculum. The lab will also serve as an Adobe “community of practice,” allowing faculty and staff to collaborate and share experiences across the academic community.

Adobe for TAMUC Students

Improved Learning Outcomes

Adobe digital tools are designed to improve learning outcomes for students, and with access to dozens of apps through the Adobe partnership, students can engage more deeply in their learning through creative multimedia projects.

“Adobe Creative Campus has really opened the horizons for students as they learn and create,” said Cathy Li, manager of creative design in the Office of Marketing and Communications at A&M-Commerce. “It’s a great opportunity for students in every discipline to explore different mediums and ways of conveying information and storytelling.”

Li also teaches Intro to Visual Communication, a class that focuses heavily on Adobe Illustrator.

Lee Hackett, director of Visual Communication at A&M-Commerce, said Adobe is deeply embedded in the Visual Communication program, and students are required to learn and use Adobe apps extensively throughout their coursework. She said the Creative Campus designation encourages students to explore more Adobe programs as they work on projects outside of class on their personal computers.

“With the Adobe Creative Campus designation, the university provides students access to the entire Creative Suite,” Hackett said. “This access fosters curiosity; students can explore and incorporate these tools into their creative process.”

Career Readiness

Adobe tools also help students develop the digital workforce skills employers desire in new graduates. Adobe software is widely used in education, business and industry, so students who are literate in Adobe applications may have an edge in the job market after graduation.

“Ultimately, our goal is to prepare students for career success,” Li said. “A big draw of Adobe is that it is the industry standard worldwide. So, the Adobe skills that a student may be starting to learn about on a history class project, for example, can translate into marketable skills when that student enters the workforce.”

“Professionals who hire our alumni comment on how prepared our graduates are to immediately create and problem solve,” Hackett added.

Adobe Resources

Students may access the Adobe Creative Skills Series for free Adobe training. The series features short introductory courses designed for A&M-Commerce students in all disciplines. Course offerings include Creating Stunning Presentations, Generative AI for Creativity, Viral Social Media Strategy, and more. By completing the courses, students can earn micro-credentials, or badges, which may be added to their LinkedIn account or resume.

Adobe for TAMUC Faculty and Staff

As faculty and staff from every discipline join the university-wide commitment to digital literacy, many are taking advantage of available resources to help them learn how to use Adobe and incorporate it into their classes, curriculum and departmental marketing efforts:

Adobe InDesign Classes

Li and her team in the Office of Marketing and Communications teach a series of Adobe InDesign classes targeted toward faculty and staff who wish to create on-brand university marketing materials. The classes teach employees how to customize pre-designed university templates to create on-brand flyers, social media graphics and more.

“Our faculty and staff are experts at what they do, but they don’t really have time to learn best practices of design, and I don’t expect that of them,” Li said. “So we have created InDesign templates and also Adobe Express templates that decrease the barrier to entry. Employees don’t have to worry about the design anymore and can just concentrate on putting in the right information.”

Spring 2024 session dates will be announced soon.

Basics of Creative Cloud Class

In addition to the InDesign class, Li will be teaching “Basics of Creative Cloud & Us” as part of the “Investing in Us” professional development series for A&M-Commerce employees.

In the course, students will learn the essentials of design and brand management as they explore Adobe Express, InDesign and Photoshop. This free course offers one hour of academic credit and runs from Jan. 16, 2024, through March 8, 2024.

Employees may learn more and register at the Investing in Us webpage.

Assistance from Marketing and Communications

Li and her graphic design team also work individually with employees to help them successfully complete projects in Adobe. Marcy Louis, director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said she often consults Li when using Adobe Express to create marketing pieces for her office, including informational flyers and handbook covers.

“The most significant advantage of using Adobe Express is having a product that Cathy Li and I can use together,” Louis said. “For example, I put the content in for my most recent project, and Cathy formatted the design. I learned from the changes she made, giving me a deeper understanding of how to use Adobe Express. By using a shared design platform, I can ensure that the marketing I create for my office aligns with the university's brand.”

Email [email protected] for design assistance.

Virtual Learning Resources

Helpful virtual resources include:

Contact Lanee Dunlap for more information about these online resources.

At the Forefront of Digital Education

To date, around 60 colleges and universities worldwide are members of the Adobe Creative Campus community. Through this initiative, A&M-Commerce nurtures digital literacy across diverse disciplines, ensuring a transformative educational experience for students, faculty and staff.

Want to improve your digital literacy? Visit and install Adobe Creative Cloud to get started!


Featured Photo: A digital artist designs on a computer. Photo by didiksaputra | Adobe Stock