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Positive Outcomes for Graphic Communications Students

Posted: July 10, 2017

Western Nevada College Graphic Communications Instructor Jayna Conkey works with student Megan Lynch of Carson City in class on May 16, 2016.

Starting in Fall, All Classes Available Online

Class flexibility and high success rates of finding employment are some of the benefits to Graphic Communications degree-earning students at Western Nevada College.

Students completing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Communications are developing careers in web design, animation, digital video, print design and multimedia.

Research has shown that WNC’s Graphics Communications grads serve a wide range of business niches in the Carson City area. To date, Swift Communications has hired more than 25 WNC GRC graduates. They have also been hired by International Game Technology, Custom Ink, the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Sparks Tribune, smaller design studios and state agencies.

Grads can expect salaries to range from $35,950 to $56,640 per year; opportunities are best for graphic designers with a knowledge of website design and animation.

For individuals who may have to work when classes are offered or are deterred by residing too far from campus, WNC now has an alternative option to keep their dreams alive. Starting in the fall, all classes in the Graphics Communications program will have online sections.

“WNC’s Graphic Communications program provides students with an excellent blend of art and design utilized in the professional world,” said Dr. Georgia White, WNC’s Career and Technical Education director. “The program exposes students to contemporary tools of the trade, such as Cintiq pens.”

Students interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design will find a pathway to University of Nevada, Reno. This fall, UNR will design a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design. WNC Graphic Communications Professor Jayna Conkey works extensively with UNR faculty and administration to ensure WNC provides a seamless transition to UNR’s new degree.

“I’m thrilled with WNC’s collaboration with UNR in Graphic Design,” White said. “I look forward to developing other pathways in the Career and Technical Education fields with our sister institution.”

For students looking for a shorter route to employment, they have the option of earning a Graphic Communications Certificate of Achievement by completing 30 credits.

The program has accommodated high school students interested in the field as well. The Nevada State Board of Education developed Career and Technical Education Standards for Graphic Design and worked with WNC faculty and area high schools to help high school students earn college credit. By taking three years of high school design courses and passing an exam, area high school students have been earning WNC credit for courses, accelerating their track toward the degree.

First and foremost, students in WNC’s Graphic Communications program are artists. Their work will be seen outside the college.

The quality of work from Conkey’s classes has shown up in art galleries at the college and in the community. Earlier this year, art from some of Conkey’s and Stephen Reid’s classes appeared in an “Art from WNC” exhibit sponsored by the Capital City Arts Initiative at “The Brick.” Twenty-one student artists from WNC were represented in the exhibit in the form of graphic design, drawing, photography and book arts pieces.

“There is a sophisticated quality and professional level in the WNC students’ art,” said Capital City Arts Initiative Executive Director Sharon Rosse.

Students enrolling in Graphic Communications at WNC will find that they have many options and directions they can travel in their futures.

For more information about the program, phone 775-445-4272.