Student FAQs

Some thoughts on your road ahead…

Graphic Communication is not just a “vocational program” – students are expected to have critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and be self-directed. A majority of the courses are transferable, so there is academic rigor involved. The GCOM courses are not just learning about how to use software or how to make posters; students are taught to become visual thinkers and innovators in the field.

Students who enroll into 2-3 GCOM courses in the same semester should expect to put in 8-10 hours of work per week for each class. Every GCOM course requires projects and/or designs which are time-consuming and require extra lab work outside of class.

Students who are interested in GCOM and have not taken GCOM courses in the past should focus on GCOM 330, GCOM 340, or GCOM 313. Other “foundational” courses include GCOM 343 and GCOM 360. These courses do not have prerequisites, with the exception of GCOM 360 which can be taken concurrently with GCOM 330. Students are also encouraged to take Art 300 or Art 320 to enhance their skills.

Although students learn to use Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other programs in the GCOM courses, there is more to it than just learning about software. Students are not just learning software mechanics – they learn to create effective and thoughtful designs.

Although a college degree (BA/BS level) is favorable, many companies focus on a potential employee’s portfolio. Students are encouraged to start building their portfolios early, especially since many universities require them for admission into the impacted programs.

Take GCOM 490/491/493 – Work Experience and/or Internships are essential gateways to being successful in these fields. We offer a series of hands-on “design studio” courses, that lead you in this direction. Take advantage of this opportunity and create the bridge into a successful career.

For students interested in 3-D design, animation, or game design, the recommended starting course is GCOM 402. Students should also be aware that 3-D is more technical than graphic design.

Many students from SCC are successfully admitted into the Graphic Design program at CSUS because of the preparation received from the various GCOM courses. Only about 40 students are selected each semester to the Graphic Design program at CSUS and the portfolio development is a key piece.

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”         –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry