Jun 04, 2023  
2020-2021 SLCC General Catalog 

Graphic Communications: AS

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Associate of Science | 61 credits minimum

Visual Art & Design Division
South City Campus
General Information
Program Information 801-957-3361
Program Website
Academic and Career Advising

Program Faculty
See program website

Visual Art & Design Department Concurrent Enrollment Liaison(s)
Trudy Richardson - Concurrent Enrollment Liaison, Instructor, BFA Drawing & Painting

Program Description
Students with an aptitude in creative problem solving, drawing, design, photography and/or computer related visual communication should consider this rapidly expanding and competitive field. The Visual Art & Design department allows students to specialize in the following areas: Animation, Game Development, Graphic Communications, Graphic Design, Illustration, Multimedia, Motion Graphics, Photography, and Web Design.

Students who elect to pursue an Associate of Science in Graphic Communications will prepare themselves for transfer to a 4-year college or university and/or entry-level work in the graphic communications industry. Through this degree students use industry standard software applications, basic printing techniques, and technical procedures to prepare materials for both traditional publishing (printing) and new digital publishing technologies (web, tablets and digital devices).

The Graphic Communications AS degree has been aligned with the Graphic Communications CC as a pathway to completion. Students are encouraged to complete the CC first and then continue on the Graphic Communications AS degree (or Graphic Design AAS degree). Students wishing to transfer to a 4-year college or university should complete the Graphic Communications AS.

Career Opportunities
Upon completion of this certificate, students may find entry-level design and layout positions in the Graphic Communications industry including but not limited to printing, publishing, and web design related careers. Students may elect to work in customer service, sales, design, production coordination, estimating, or prepress, etc…

Transfer/Articulation Information
This Associate of Science (AS) degree meets the requirements to satisfy the lower division general education requirements for a baccalaureate degree at all Utah public institutions of higher education. Admission into a major program at a transfer institution depends upon the receiving institution’s requirements for that major. Some major programs are restricted and require special application as well as a competitive GPA and a portfolio review. See an Academic Advisor at both SLCC and the intended receiving institution for specific course-level articulation information.

SLCC Graphic Communications AS to University of Utah Graphic Design BFA Program Articulation
SLCC and the University of Utah have partnered to create a program-level articulation for students wishing to continue their studies in the U of U’s Graphic Design BFA program. Students who successfully complete the Graphic Communications (AS) degree and choose the specific elective classes listed below will be accepted into the University of Utah’s Graphic Design BFA program at junior status. Please note, students must first be accepted as a student at the University of Utah before being admitted into the Graphic Design BFA program.
Please see Advising Notes below for the specific details of the articulation agreement. Graphic Design & Communications faculty will host a transfer information session with SLCC and University of Utah advisors during Fall and Spring semesters. Students interested in transferring should attend each semester to ensure adequate progress is being made toward completion.

Estimated Cost for Students
Tuition and student fees: http://www.slcc.edu/student/financial/tuition-fees.aspx

The Graphic Design & Communications program is committed to using Open Educational Resources (OER) whenever possible. The following classes are designated as being OER. They are free or low cost after tuition and course fees have been paid. Students may need or elect to take classes that are not on the list below. Those classes may have required textbooks and supplies. The total program cost will vary depending on which classes students choose to take. On average students should expect to spend about $500 on books and supplies.
Graphic Design & Communications OER courses:

Course fees are approximately $150 depending on chosen electives. Students who choose to take online classes will be assessed additional online class course fees. Course fees are used for maintenance and upgrade of:

  • Press Equipment and Supplies
  • Computers, software and supplies
  • Servers, hosting, and storage space

Estimated Time to Completion
Time to completion is 4 semesters based on a full-time minimum of 15 credits per semester. Less than 15 credits per semester will increase the time to completion.

Program Entry Requirement
Required: High School Diploma or equivalent.
Recommended: Artistic and technical aptitude, familiarity with computers is essential.

Program Student Learning Outcomes Related College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes
  1 - Acquire substantive knowledge
2 - Communicate effectively
3 - Develop quantitative literacies
4 - Think critically & creatively
5 - Become a community engaged learner
6 - Work in professional & constructive manner
7 - Develop computer & information literacy

Through the successful completion of this Associate of Science degree students will be able to:

  • read and comprehend selected educational materials relevant to current printing industry trends
  • read and comprehend selected educational materials relevant to the history and establishment of the printing industry
  • understand and adhere to proper safety regulations for working in an OSHA compliant environment
  • create comprehensive print-ready and digital publication files that meet industry standards


  • create a detailed checklist of the information needed to create print-ready and digital project files
  • participate in both in-class and online discussions using proper grammar and well-thought-out responses
  • prepare and present new ideas and concepts to a group of students through class presentations and group work

2, 6

  • prepare artwork for print and digital outputs from design through file preparation using industry standard software
  • output projects using multiple printing processes including but not limited to digital, offset, and screen printing
  • prepare artwork as color separations, knock outs, overprints, and with variable data when applicable
  • safely operate printing press equipment, print, and finish projects

3, 7

  • use critical thinking skills to prepare complex impositions, die lines, and other pertinent graphic arts industry skills
  • use basic math calculations to estimate job pricing, commissions, discounts, cost centers, budgeted hourly rates, and paper pricing
  • learn how math is used in the graphic arts industry by calculating basic paper weights, resolution and image sizes, and other math related problems


General Education Requirements

Core Skills

Quantitative Literacy (QL) 1 Course

American Institutions (AL) 1 Course

Institutional Requirements

Communication (CM) 1 Course

International & Global (IG) 1 Course

Lifelong Wellness (LW) 1 course

Distribution Areas

Select 1 course from each of the Distribution Areas, 5 total courses; 1 course must also be designated as a Diversity (DV).

Elective Courses (21-23 Credits)

Complete any 21-23 ART course credits until minimum credits needed for completion is met (61 credits). We recommend not exceeding 63 credits before completing this degree program. Students wishing to transfer to a 4-year college or university should complete the recommended courses for transfer (listed below). Students wishing to complete this certificate as a completely online degree may do so by choosing courses from the online course offerings list (also listed below).

Students planning to transfer to the University of Utah must complete the following courses:

Students wanting to complete this degree as a fully online program may choose any of the courses below:

Advising Notes

Students who need to take preparatory classes to meet the requirements of first semester courses should plan on extra time to complete the program.

It is the student’s responsibility to examine each course description for details of prerequisite classes. Those prerequisites must be satisfied before the designated class may be taken. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or better grade in order to continue in the program. A student may be dropped from a class if the prerequisite has not been completed. If progress is not deemed satisfactory, students will be counseled and/or given probationary status.

Students should check the semester class schedule on the Internet at www.slcc.edu for availability and modifications caused by varying enrollment. Required departmental classes are not offered every semester. To graduate in two years, students are encouraged to follow the recommended sequence.

Not all Visual Art & Design (ART) classes may be audited. This is especially true for any Visual Art & Design class that has a prerequisite (see course catalog for list of prerequisite classes). Auditing a prerequisite course does not guarantee that the student has mastered the required skills needed for the next level class. Some Visual Art & Design classes that have a prerequisite may be audited if the student can demonstrate an appropriate skill level to the instructor before registering for the class. Students wishing to audit any Visual Art & Design (ART) class without officially completing a prerequisite class (with a ‘C’ grade or better) must obtain signed permission from the instructor or email authorization before registering for the class. Visual Art & Design (ART) classes that do not have a prerequisite may be audited as per the Auditing Classes guidelines listed in the SLCC catalog.

All students enrolled in the Visual Art & Design program automatically become members of SkillsUSA, sponsor of the Professional Development Program (PDP). This program is designed to promote leadership, communication, problem solving and skills necessary for employment. Students are encouraged to participate in competitions in their area of specialization.

For information on clubs or organizations within the Visual Art & Design Department, contact the advisor or instructors in the individual areas of specialization.

University of Utah Articulation Agreement

Students who successfully complete the Graphic Communications AS degree and the courses listed below are guaranteed third year status in the Graphic Design BFA program at the University of Utah. The agreement is contingent upon acceptance into the University of Utah and enrollment in ART 3130 Drawing I and DESGR 2600 History of Graphic Design courses during the first year of transfer.

This is a program-level articulation. It means that the successful completion of SLCC’s Graphic Communications AS degree, and through that completion all of the classes listed below, is equitable to the first two years of the Graphic Design BFA program at the University of Utah. As part of the transfer articulation all required general education courses and the University of Utah Graphic Design BFA program specific courses listed in the articulation agreement will be considered satisfied.

University of Utah Articulation Agreement

Note: Students must complete the above courses with a “C+” minimum passing grade and the Graphic Communications AS degree to be guaranteed admission into the U of U Graphic Design program. The completion of ART 3130 Drawing I and DESGR 2600 History of Graphic Design is required during the first year after transfer. ART 1260  and ART 2010  may be taken at SLCC before transfer in lieu of ART 3130 and DESGR 2600 with written permission from the receiving institution. Please consult with U of U Art department advisors before enrolling in these courses at SLCC.

The signed articulation agreement can be found here: https://ugs.utah.edu/student-resources/transfer-pathways/mou-folder/fine-arts/AAH%20Articulation%20Agreement%20with%20SLCC%2001-30-19.pdf

Additional Program Notes

For information about Student Resources such as Academic Links, Learning/Tutoring, Financial Information, General Resources, Services for Students, Student Life, Health & Recreation, Campus Life and other important information (Disclosures, Student Code of Conduct, Policies/Procedures, and Student Records, etc.) visit: www.slcc.edu/students-current/resources

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