“The world is but a canvas to the imagination” – Henry David Thoreau
No matter where their imagination takes them, Mid-Plains Community College gives students the skills to maximize their creativity and turn it into a career in the world of graphic design and visual communications.
MPCC’s Associate of Applied Science degree program prepares students for a wide-range of entry-level computer graphic careers from both the design and technical sides of multimedia, print and web design.
“That gives them the opportunity to experience different aspects of design, so if they decide to specialize, they know which area of visual communications they enjoy working with the most,” said Becky Meyers, graphic design instructor. “They also discover their strengths.”
Every day, technology creates new opportunities for graphic designers to start their own businesses. MPCC’s blending of skills in multimedia, print and web design also gives students a well-rounded background if they enter employment in a small company where they are responsible for design in all of those areas.
“Two very important parts of the program are the internship, which gives students real world work experience, and the portfolio course, which helps students prepare for their job search,” said Meyers. “In the portfolio class, students develop their own branding
package, including business cards, letterheads, résumés and portfolio brochures. They compile a print portfolio, a web portfolio and an interactive portfolio of their best work. They finish the semester with mock interviews and a student exhibit showcasing their work.”
Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. Because technology and software programs change at an ever-increasing speed, individuals who choose graphic design as a career need to develop a desire and attitude for lifelong learning to remain up-to-date in technology and changing design trends.
Meyers said one exciting event that many students participate in during their final semester is the Meet the Pros conference put on by the American Advertising Federation of Omaha.
“Students get the opportunity to network with others, tour an advertising agency, visit with professionals in the industry in round table discussions and listen to a variety of incredible speakers in the industry,” Meyers said.
When someone earns an AAS in Graphic Design and Visual Communications at MPCC, they find jobs that utilize a wide variety of design skills.
Recent graduates have gone to work for manufacturing firms, publishing companies, newspapers, magazines, commercial printers, web designers, vehicle wrap businesses and television stations. Others became in-house designers and marketers for retailers, banks and educational entities. Some opened their own entrepreneurial design businesses.
In addition to the 60-hour AAS degree, MPCC also offers a 30-credit hour Graphic Design diploma and two 18-hour certificates – one in Multimedia Design and the other in Print Design.