Jul 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Course Catalog 
2024-2025 Course Catalog


Visual Communications, Diploma

Location(s): Ankeny

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The Visual Communications Diploma program explores the exciting and challenging field of graphic design while focusing on both the creative and technical aspects of the industry. During the program, students will receive hands-on instruction in the fundamentals of design for print and web, typography, traditional and digital illustration, digital image editing, and page layout. Strong software training gives students the technical skills needed to complete design projects.

Classes are taught by professionals with real-world experience. Community is built by small class sizes that promote student to student, and teacher to student interaction.

The Visual Communications diploma prepares students to meet industry standards and expectations for a variety of entry-level positions in the visual communications industry.

Upon graduation with the Visual Communication diploma, students may choose to pursue an AAS degree in Graphic Design.

Program Details

Pathway: Design, Media, & the Arts

More information on this Pathway.

Students start Fall semester. This is a full-time program.

To complete this program, students must take daytime classes; not all classes are offered at night.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Visual Communications diploma, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Semester 2

Total Credits Required to Complete this Diploma - 42

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$193.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Books (approximate) 175-200 260-310 30-140
Supplies  20 20 50
External Hard Drive (Recommended, but optional) 100    
Macintosh Computer 1,500    
Design Software (Monthly Subscription)  20 20 20
Portfolio     100

Note: Financial aid may be used to purchase a computer. Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) online.

Approximate total for program: $10,421 - $10,606**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • ​Develop the overall layout and production of magazines, newspapers, journals and corporate reports.
  • Design web pages, interactive media and multimedia projects.
  • Produce promotional displays, packaging and marketing brochures for products and services.
  • Create distinctive logos and brands for a variety of businesses and services.
  • Develop signs and signage systems for business and government.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Artistic talent and creativity.
  • Ability to conceptualize and effectively use design elements and principles.
  • Design for multichannel media.
  • Work long hours on a computer using specialized design software.
  • Accurately follow project specifications.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Present your ideas, designs and proposals to prospective clients and supervisors.
  • Teamwork, collaboration and the ability to take art direction from supervisors, clients and coworkers to improve your work.
  • Manage your time to meet established deadlines while working on more than one project at a time and stay within project budget.
  • Possess critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving skills in order to assess a client’s needs and develop a design strategy.

What Else Should I Consider about this Diploma program?

  • Must be able to work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Must learn and use multiple software applications and stay current with updates, adapt to change and be able to learn on your own.
  • Must be able to sit at a computer for long periods of time.
  • Must be self-motivated to develop an effective job search strategy to secure a position in this very competitive job market.

Program Competencies

  1. Communicate information using industry terminology and methods used in a work environment.
  2. Perform the following skills: listening, writing, presenting, critiquing, leadership and teamwork.
  3. Create a design solution to meet a client’s specific need.
  4. Evaluate complex graphic communications problems using a design process and principles.
  5. Produce one color or multi-color projects utilizing current software and media methods for print and digital production.
  6. Apply time management methods to meet project deadline.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Executive Campus Dean’s office, the Executive Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at Academic Pathway website.(2024)

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