May 29, 2023  
2021-2022 SLCC General Catalog 

Graphic Communications: CC (CTE)

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Certificate of Completion | 30 credits

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

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, Graphic Design, Illustration, Multimedia, Photography, Web Design, and Graphic Communications Technologies.

Students who elect to pursue a Certificate of Completion in Graphic Communications Technologies will prepare themselves for entry level work in the graphic communications industry (printing). In this certificate program students use standard software programs, basic printing techniques, and technical procedures to prepare materials for both traditional publishing (printing) and new digital publishing technologies (tables and digital devices).

The Graphic Communications CC has been aligned to be the first year of both the Graphic Communications AS and Graphic Design AAS so that students may explore the graphics industry during their first year and then choose a pathway to completion. Students wishing to enter the workforce should complete the Graphic Design AAS. Students wishing to transfer 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, production coordination, estimating, or prepress, etc…

Gainful Employment
Students who complete the Graphic Communications Certificate of Completion have the foundation skills necessary to work in a wide variety of graphic arts related career paths that range from prepress/production artists at a commercial printing facility to graphic designers.  According to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services (DWS) job outlooks in those fields have a healthy to higher than average job growth rate.

Utah graphic designers and art directors have a median hourly income of $21.97/hr. and $44.75/hr respectively. DWS predicts 170 annual graphic designer job openings due mostly in part to industry growth and business expansion. The report also notes stiff competition for those job openings and recommends candidates have the skills needed to design for various forms of media including print publications and websites. The structure of the Graphic Communications CC allows students to learn through a variety of output mediums including running printing presses, making websites, designing apps, etc…

Information used in this summary was pulled from the Utah Department of Workforce Services website on September 20th, 2019. More detailed information on national trends in graphic design can be found on

Transfer/Articulation Information
This certificate is currently not transferable to four-year institutions; however, it has been aligned to match the first year of the Graphic Communications AS degree which is transferable. Students wishing to transfer to a 4-year college or university should continue on and complete the Graphic Communications AS degree.  A program-level articulation agreement between SLCC and the University of Utah is in place for students interested in transferring into the University of Utah’s Graphic Design BFA program. Students must complete the classes recommended for U of U transfer to abide by the articulation agreement. Students should work with department faculty and SLCC/U of U advisors to ensure they are on pace for graduation/transfer. Please see the Graphic Communications AS program information for complete details on the SLCC Graphic Communications AS to University of Utah Graphic Design BFA articulation agreement.

Estimated Cost for Students
Tuition and student fees:

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 2 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 Requirements
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 and creatively
5 - Develop knowledge and skills to be civically engaged
6 - Develop the knowledge and skills to work with others in a professional and constructive manner
7 - Develop computer and information literacy

Through the successful completion of this certificate 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

Composition (EN) 1 course

Quantitative Studies (QS) 1 course

Communication (CM) 1 course

Human Relations (HR) 1 course

Elective Courses (13-16 Credits)

Complete any 13-16 ART course credits 1000 and above until minimum credits needed for completion is met (30 credits). We recommend not exceeding 33 credits before completing this certificate program.

Choosing Electives:

  • Students wishing to transfer to a 4-year college or university should complete the recommended courses for transfer (listed below) and continue on to the Graphic Communications AS degree.
  • Students planning to complete the Graphic Design AAS should also complete the transfer courses below because they satisfy all of the first year requirements of the AAS degree.
  • Any students wishing to complete this certificate as a completely online program may do so by choosing courses from the online course offerings list (also below).

Students planning to continue on to the Graphic Communications AS degree (and then transfer) or Graphic Design AAS degree should take all of the following courses:

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

*ART 1210  may only count as either a general education requirement or an elective, not both.

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.

Note: Students or professionals wishing to register for a class in which a prerequisite class is required but has not been taken, should contact the instructor about acquiring possible approval to register for the class.

Students should check the semester class schedule on the Internet at 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 suggested program schedule.

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.

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:

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