Ex'pression College for Digital Arts

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Coordinates: 37°50′50.83″N 122°17′42.17″W / 37.8474528°N 122.2950472°W / 37.8474528; -122.2950472

Ex'pression College
Former names
Ex'pression College for Digital Arts (2004-2012) and Ex'pression Center for New Media (1998-2004)
Motto Make Your Passion Your Profession
Type for-profit college
Established 1998
Dean Ron Hansen
Location Emeryville and San Jose, California, United States
Colors Grey     
Website expression.edu

Ex'pression College is a for-profit college located in Emeryville, California, geared toward the entertainment industry and known for its around-the-clock schedule and eight week terms. It offers six Bachelor of Applied Science degrees: 1) Animation & Visual Effects, 2) Digital Filmmaking, 3) Game Art & Design, 4) Interactive Audio, 5) Motion Graphic Design and 6) Sound Arts. Ex'pression awards bachelor's degrees after 36 months (two and a half years) of accelerated education.


Ex’pression College was founded by Gary Platt, a sound recording engineer and educator, and Eckart Wintzen, a Dutch venture capitalist and media arts enthusiast. A 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) building was acquired in Emeryville, California to house a new school to be called "Ex’pression Center for New Media". Ex’pression hired architect John Storyk, to help design the facility which houses the school. Building began in November 1998.

On September 9, 1998, Ex’pression received temporary approval from the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE) to operate, and to offer course instruction in digital visual media and sound comprehensive programs. The BPPVE granted Ex’pression temporary approvals to operate and offer diploma, associates and bachelor's degree programs in September 1998. In January 2001, Ex’pression was granted approval to operate, and renewed the approval to operate in October 2005.

On January 11, 1999, 48 students began classes in Sound Arts and Digital Visual Media, the first two programs offered by the school.

In 2004, the school had more than 500 students enrolled. The same year, its name was changed from 'Ex’pression Center for New Media to Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. The change reflects a stronger emphasis on bachelor's degree level learning and more accurately describes the core focus of the College’s curriculum in digital arts.

In April 2005, the school became an accredited college with the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).

In August 2005, Ex’pression was formally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and approved to participate in the Title IV Federal Student Aid programs such as Stafford Loan, Pell Grant, and PLUS Loan.

In November 2006, Ex’pression was approved by the State of California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education to offer its fourth BAS degree in Game Art & Design

In December 2006, Ex'pression received approval to offer the Game Art & Design BAS program from the ACCSCT.

In early 2007, Ex’pression expanded its facilities adding 13,000 square feet (1,200 m2), creating several new classrooms.

In 2012, Ex'pression College opened a branch campus in San Jose, California. Ex'pression College San Jose could accommodate 550 students and have a staff of 120 employees.[1]

In 2012, Ex'pression was deemed ineligible as a participating Cal Grant school due to the college's high student loan default rate.[2]

In 2014, Ex'pression was deemed re-eligible for Cal Grant.[3] and announced its San Jose campus to be approved to participate in Cal Grant 2014-2015 as well.


Degree programs[edit]

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Motion Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Animation and Visual Effects
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Game Art and Design
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Sound Arts
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Interactive Audio
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Digital Filmmaking


Ex'pression has gained a reputation for having a challenging lab and class schedule. The school essentially operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with students in class or lab for 4 hours at a time; lectures generally take place between the hours of 9:00am and 9:00pm, while labs run throughout the day. Many classes will have a three-hour lecture, a one-hour break, and then a four-hour lab.

Ex'pression’s degree programs start bi-monthly. Throughout the course of a program, the average Ex'pression student will have two courses at one time, with one course occurring on three days a week and the other course occurring on two or three depending on the class. This course load can fluctuate, however, according to the student’s program and month.

Courses are eight weeks long, and new courses start every eight weeks. This schedule allows Ex'pression a fluid, if intense, operating method. If a student fails a class, they will be allowed to take it again with no charge, one time. Further class retakes are not covered, and must be paid for by the student.

Student life[edit]

Student life, like the school itself, is different from a typical college. Since a new class starts every eight weeks, classmates who start at the same time frequently stay together throughout the program (and sometimes assign a name to their group). This is desired, as one of the school's focuses is putting out small teams of graduates who know each other and have worked together, so that they can get group internships. Class sizes vary from 10 to 35 students, with a maximum number of 50 students in classes where students from different degree programs are combined, mostly the core curriculum subjects.

There are several groups and clubs within the different degree programs of the school, each oriented toward student interests. Students in the relevant degree program generally manage the groups, with an instructor providing support.

Ex'pression does not have on-campus student housing but works with Collegiate Housing Services to offer housing for students. CHS offers a shared housing program for new and current students. CHS will also help students find alternative housing through their referral program. Most students live within 5 miles (8.0 km) of the school in apartment complexes in the immediate area, often with roommates.

Student earnings statistics[edit]

Students who graduate from the sound arts program at Ex'pression college on average make $24,000 before taxes and owe $5,500 a year in loan payments.[4]


Ex'pression college's tuition is currently set at $94,400 for a full four academic year Bachelor of Applied Science degree. According to their own net price calculator the full price of tuition can vary from $96,096 to more than $130,000 depending on factors such as living situation and yearly household income.[5] Ex'pression College's tuition is all inclusive - including all books whether they are real or electronic and course materials. If the tuition is not paid in full at the time of enrollment, then the student is subject to a periodic tuition increase.

Graduation rate[edit]

Less than half of all students who enroll at Ex'pression college graduate. The official number given by the California Student Aid Commission is 49.5 percent[6]


Ex'pression is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, which is a national accreditor of primarily vocational schools and career schools within the United States.

Notable faculty and alumni[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20858595/expression-college-will-open-branch-san-jose-digital
  2. ^ http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/ineligible_cal_grant_schools.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/2014_15_eligible_cal_grant_schools.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_24041125/profit-colleges-soaking-up-tax-dollars-despite-student
  5. ^ http://www.expression.edu/net-cost-calculator-for-expression-college/
  6. ^ http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/2014_15_eligible_cal_grant_schools.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.expression.edu/faculty/john-scanlon/

External links[edit]