Nov 28, 2020  
2017-2018 Course Catalog 
2017-2018 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Visual Communications Diploma

This diploma program explores the exciting and challenging field of visual communications 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, specialized computer software packages, and basic printing and production methods. A current and inclusive curriculum prepares students to meet industry standards and expectations for a variety of entry-level positions in the visual communications industry.

The Visual Communications diploma program offers:

  • A no-nonsense design and technical education.
  • Classes taught by professionals with real-world experience.
  • State-of-the-art computer labs with industry-standard hardware and software.
  • Small class sizes.

Upon graduation with the Visual Communication diploma, students may choose to pursue an AAS degree in either Graphic Design  or Graphic Technologies. Interested students must apply for acceptance into the Graphic Design  or Graphic Technologies program during the second semester of the Visual Communications program.

For more information about the Visual Communications program, please visit our website at

Program Details

Location: Ankeny

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.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirements.
  3. Attend a required Graphic Design program information/registration session.

Graduation Requirements

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

Total Credits Required to Complete this Diploma - 43

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$151.00 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: $8,708 - $8,993**

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

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

The Visual Communications diploma is designed to train students for a variety of entry-level positions in the areas of print and graphic production. For careers in graphic design or advanced graphic technologies, it is recommended that students continue their education to obtain either a Graphic Design or Graphic Technologies A.A.S. degree.

  • Use computer applications to assist design teams in graphic production of printed collateral including advertisements, brochures, newsletters and forms.
  • Work in the publishing industry.
  • Work as a skilled laborer in a print production facility.
  • Work as a skilled technician in a graphics production facility.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Accurately follow project specifications.
  • Work under pressure of a deadline.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proficient math, measuring and calculating skills.
  • Knowledge of printing processes.
  • Be able to detect the difference in colors.
  • Attention to detail, analytical, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills.
  • Must be able to sit at a computer for long periods of time OR stand at machinery for long periods of time.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • Provides the foundation for a variety of career options within the graphics industry.
  • Constantly evolving industry requires motivation and lifelong learning to stay up-to-date with technology.

Nondiscrimination Statement

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:

Agriculture, National & Environmental Services /Architecture, Engineering, and Construction/Arts, Design, and Visual communications/Business, Management, and Marketing/Education, Public, and Human Services/Health Science/Hospitality and Culinary/Information Technology/Manufacturing/Transportation & Logistics

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, hiring practices or the provision of services, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, age (in employment), disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status of a person. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.

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 Campus Provost’s office, the 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,  Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA  50023, phone 515/964-6574,  Question or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone 312/730-1560, tax 312/730-1576..

Legal references: Iowa Code §§ 216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S. C. §§ 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S. C. §§ 1681-1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S. C. § 794), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).(2017)