More About: Graphic Design Media Arts

  • Graphic Design | Media Arts is a portfolio driven program that instructs students on graphic design, photography, drawing, and front-end development in a real-world, work environment. Beyond print design, GD|MA teaches interactive design to implement design knowledge to online, mobile, and tablet websites and applications. Students learn how to bring website designs to life through front-end web development: HTML/5, CSS/3, and jQuery. The comprehensive curriculum ensures that students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be successful in the ever-changing graphic design industry.

    Students will execute a variety of hands-on design projects from day one that utilize the Adobe® Creative Cloud® and can expect to work with real-world clients for in-class projects. All students have access to GD|MA studio photography lighting and backdrops, printers, scanners, mounting, and die-cutting materials, Wacom tablets, light-boxes, and the design library. Students will gain experience writing resumes, cover letters, professional email and phone correspondence, and interview skills by completing a two-week internship. Before graduation, students will construct a physical and digital design portfolio to showcase their work.

    Graduates have gained employment at regional design firms and in-house marketing teams for businesses and corporations in positions as: graphic designers focused on print and publication design, interactive or UX/UI designers, front-end developers, package designers, and branding/identity designers. Graduates have gained employment at local firms such as: Swanson Russell, Firespring, University of Nebraska, Hudl, Red Thread, Ebbeka, Don’t Panic Labs, Pixel Bakery, Nelnet, Play Creative, State of Nebraska, Sandhills, and Open Harvest. Our most current report indicates an average starting salary of $15.92/hour, over $33,000 a year. We have also seen graduates with a focus on interactive design and front-end development skills make up to $60,000 6-months post-graduation.

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    Student Expectations

    Prior to the first day of class, students need to complete the SCC New Student Orientation and the GD|MA program orientation to secure their seat in the program.

    By the first day of class, each student is required to have a personal, industry ready laptop. Each student is also required to have their own Adobe Creative Cloud license, ‘Contributor’ membership to AIGA, and any materials/supplies and books. Second semester, students need to supply a personal, DSLR camera for the Photography and Digital Imaging course.

    Web Courses

    Students learn the fundamentals of interactive design and front-end web development. Over the four web courses, students learn a variety of design and development tools that are used by professionals such as InVision, Balsamiq, Axure, Sublime, and Adobe Dreamweaver and XD. Students learn how to design websites and bring those design to life in-browser with code (HTML/5, CSS/3, jQuery). Students will design, develop, and launch a website for a pro-bono client and create a portfolio website to showcase the work created in the program.

    Pro bono Work

    Students will be required to seek out and work with real-world clients to produce projects for in-class work. The pro-bono work will be conducted under the guidance of the instructor.

    Portfolio Courses

    Students will spend one year developing and designing projects for their final portfolio. These projects are selected by the individual student to ensure that each student leaves the GD|MA program with a unique portfolio that reflects their interests and skillset.

    Intern Experience

    Students will work full-time, 40-hours per week, for a two-week internship in the graphic design field. Students are responsible for seeking out and arranging the internship with guidance from the instructor. Internships can be completed at design agencies, publishers, marketing firms/departments, newspapers, web design studios, print shops, sign shops, etc. Students have traveled all across the country, Oregon, Illinois, California, Texas, Alabama, and internationally, England and Mexico, to complete the internship.

    GDMA is NOT

    • The GD|MA program does not currently offer advanced animation courses or use tools such as Cinema 4-D. Students will be lightly introduced to motion graphics and Adobe After Effects.
    • GD|MA is not video game design or game development.
    • GD|MA does not discuss anime or comic book design.
    • GD|MA does not teach back-end web development languages such as C++, Java, or Ruby.
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