New graphic design program at WNCC

After years of planning, Western Nevada Community College will offer a new degree in graphic design beginning this fall.

"People from the community have been asking for it for many years," said Anne Hansen, director of marketing and information at the college. "We know that there are high-paying jobs out there locally and all along the West Coast in this field. It's exciting."

The degree was approved by the University and Community College System of Nevada regents earlier this month and a new instructor will come on board to get the program started.

"Those who pursue the new Associate of Applied Science degree in graphic design will get a solid background in the programs most used in the industry: Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark as well as Web page design and multimedia applications," said instructor Jayna Conkey.

Conkey holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She taught photography and digital imaging at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland for three years.

"She's going to be able to take us to the next level in computer art as well as in computer design," Hansen said.

Hansen said the college began considering a graphic design program back in 1996 and has offered various classes in the field, but has not had the funds to launch a full program.

"It's lab intensive. It requires state of the art equipment," Hansen said. "We wanted it to be cutting edge."

The college received funding for the legislature to hire an instructor and the Jim Randolph High Tech Center provided the equipment to operate the classes.

The new program will combine the existing courses in conventional art and design with graphic design classes which will be tailored to meet the needs of businesses in the community.

"We know this industry is changing daily so we teach page layout, digital illustration, image manipulation, and web page design with an emphasis on the underlying principles of design involved in the computer graphic design field," Conkey said.

An associate degree will be available to those students who wish to pursue it but it will not be the only option.

The college will also offer a one-year certificate of achievement for those who only want to take a few courses or do free-lance work.

Classes start on Monday and the deadline to register without late fees is Sept. 1.

Other new degrees include associate of arts degrees in music and musical theater beginning this fall.

The 64-credit degree is designed to give training in the breadth of skills required for musical theater performance as well as satisfy many of the lower division requirements for the bachelor of arts in musical theater offered at many four-year institutions.

The 60-credit associate of arts degree in music is designed to provide the lower division requirements for a bachelor of arts in music. Curriculum includes Music History, Music Theory, Sight singing and Dictation, private lessons in a selected instrument and ensemble classes.

To register for classes, call: 445-3277

Registration deadline is Sept. 1


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