The new digital signs on the Texas Theatre marquee wouldn't have been possible without a local grant.
The Title 5 Grant partners two local colleges: Western Texas College (WTC) in Snyder and the four TSTC (Texas State Technical College) West Texas campuses. WTC is responsible for developing general education courses online; TSTC develops the program from a technological aspect.
The five year grant is designated for the development of two programs--ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) and Digital Signage Technology, in which the time is evenly split. In its fourth year, digital signage has now become the primary focus in the latter two-and-a-half years of the grant.
Funding from the grant is used to purchase digital signs that students can practice on through the display of ads by creating and managing content. Students gradually work their way up by first practicing on signs inside the classroom and then on signs throughout their campus before working on outdoor signs.
One particular sign is located in the Mall of Abilene. Debbie Karl, with the Abilene TSTC campus who is on the Title 5 Grant committee, said that sign at the mall is the "pinnacle of signs" because it has the most viewers. However, the digital signs at the Sweetwater theatre isn't quite at the level of the mall's sign, though students will be able to control the content shown in Sweetwater.
"The Sweetwater sign is an intermediate step," said Ms. Karl. "It's a grade up for students from the signs inside the campus, but it's for those who aren't quite ready for the sign at the Mall [of Abilene]."
Nevertheless, the sign at the theatre is still a great public venue. Ms. Karl stated that the grant committee learned about the Texas Theatre and the need to redo the marquee, thus resulting in the partnership which provided the sign.