Dec 05, 2023  
2022-2023 SLCC General Catalog 

Graphic Communications: CC (CTE)

Certificate of Completion | 30 credits

Program Website
Academic and Career Advising

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:
Supplies: $150 depending upon chosen electives
Course Fees: $35
The Graphic Design & Communications program is committed to using Open Educational Resources (OER) whenever possible.

NOTE: Fees may vary based upon specific registration and are subject to change.

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

General Education Requirements

Certificates of Completion contain instructional components in communication, computation, and human relations.

Program General Education Notes


Communication or Composition: ENGL 1010 or any approved Composition (EN)  course or COMM 1010 or any approved Communication (CM)  course.

Computation: ART 1210 or MATH 1010 or any higher level Quantitative Literacy (QL)  course.

Human Relations: ART 1150 or any approved Human Relations (HR)  course.

Note: Students considering transferring to a 4-year college or university at any point in the future should take MATH 1030 (QL) or higher.

Program Requirements

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.

Time to Completion & Graduation Map

  • Graphic Communications CC: Full-time  
  • 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 Learning Outcomes

Program learning outcome alignment with Student Learning Outcomes  in brackets.

  • 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, and create comprehensive print-ready and digital publication files that meet industry standards. [1]
  • ​Through the successful completion of this certificate students will be able to: 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, and prepare and present new ideas and concepts to a group of students through class presentations and group work. [2,7]
  • Through the successful completion of this certificate students will be able to: 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; and safely operate printing press equipment, print, and finish projects. [4,8,9]
  • Through the successful completion of this certificate students will be able to: 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; and learn how math is used in the graphic arts industry by calculating basic paper weights, resolution and image sizes, and other math related problems. [3]