By Meg Curtiss, Professor, Graphics Technology
It’s a little known fact that Valencia’s graphics program originated on West campus in 1989, and since then, it has grown into a much different program serving 677 declared majors collegewide.
On West Campus, the program has grown to offer students the full A.S. graphic design specialization, including two technical certificates from start to finish. In just the past two years, it has expanded to achieve a 70 percent increase in enrollment.
By providing students with theoretical and classroom experience, which closely parallels on-the-job activities, the program prepares students for careers in the graphics industry and requires students to complete an in-industry internship, as well as a portfolio preparation and review before graduating. Students develop projects from concept to application using Macintosh computers and industry-standard design software, and then prepare professional presentations of their work while receiving constructive critiques throughout their training.
Classes are conveniently scheduled — morning, afternoon and evening — on West Campus, Monday through Saturday. The program has now outgrown the teaching lab space in Building 5 and offerings may expand to include the recently revised interactive design specialization as well.
Valencia graphic and interactive design students and graduates continue to represent well in industry competitions. Valencia graphics students netted three gold awards and three silver Awards at the 2014 ADDY Awards — more awards than any other local college/university this year.
Graphics faculty and staff on each campus are dedicated to creating a creative culture for students to encourage continued learning outside of the classroom. Meg Curtiss, professor, graphics technology, serves as faculty co-advisor to Valencia’s award-winning Phoenix magazine. Overseeing the design, layout and publishing of the magazine affords graphics students an opportunity to work from concept to printing of a full publication — a remarkable real-world experience for students. For more information on how all Valencia students can contribute to Phoenix, click here.
Students not seeking an A.S. degree are encouraged to enroll in our entry-level courses to gain introductory experience with design methods, Macintosh computers and graphics software while gaining elective credits. GRA1142C–Graphic Design Essentials (5 credits /7 contact) and DIG2100C–Web Essentials (2 credits /3 contact), offer an introductory look and hands-on experience that may prove useful in other areas of study.
West Campus students in the Graphics Technology program are preparing to participate in the Annual Juried Student Fine Art and Graphic Art Exhibition where the work of graphic students across the college will be on public display. The Art Exhibition will be housed in the Anita S. Wooten Gallery on East Campus from April 18 through May 22, 2014. An opening reception and award ceremony will be hosted in the Building 3 Atrium on Friday, April 18, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. with the award ceremony beginning at 7:30 p.m. Your support and participation are appreciated.
For more information regarding the graphics program on West, feel free to stop by our graphics lab in 5-130 or email Meg Curtiss at email@example.com.