On Thursday, June 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the SMC Center for Media and Design, Santa Monica College (SMC) held a “SMC Interaction Design Grad Show,” a celebration of the college’s first 18 students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Interaction Design (IXD). The event showcased the students’ portfolios and was also an industry mixer.

John Modestine, creative director of Ring — the global home security company owned by Amazon — addressed the students as guest speaker, imparting real-world advice especially relevant to succeeding in the design/tech industry.

SMC’s Bachelor of Science degree was designed to impart fundamental skills in interaction design, a field that blends user experience (UX), design, and technology. The students spent their first two years studying graphic design, and the last two immersed in upper-division interaction design courses, as well as related coursework in Computer Science, Business, Cognitive Psychology and Media. It was the first baccalaureate degree of its kind to be offered at a community college. The Interaction Design program was launched after SMC was selected by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in 2015 to be part of the historic pilot program. Under the pilot, the selected two-year colleges would offer four-year degree programs in a field where there was a local need and that were not offered at a California State University or University of California campus. For more details on the Interaction Design program at Santa Monica College, visit ixd.smc.edu.