Blinn offers graphic design programs

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Blinn College invites everyone — from the novice artist to the experienced designer — to enroll in its new graphic design program.

Blinn gives beginning graphic designers the skills to help organizations stand out through the creation of graphics and marketing pieces that fit specific commercial needs, such as logos, packaging or brochures.

The program caters to an array of students, including those looking to attend school full-time or working professionals seeking to refine their skills or learn a new trade. No special skills or prior experience are needed to succeed in the program, as the courses are designed to equip students with a foundation in art and the technical skills needed to succeed in the industry.

Students may take courses toward a 12-credit hour Marketable Skills Achievement Award (MSAA), which prepares students for entry-level graphic design positions; a 42-hour Level I Certificate, which prepares students for advanced employment, including graphic designer positions; or a 60-hour Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in graphic design, which transfers to most four-year institutions and includes courses in digital imaging and publishing, computer illustration and web design.

Students often earn an MSAA in their first semester, gain employment thanks to their top-notch, industry-specific skills training and continue gaining valuable on-the-job experience while working toward a certificate or AAS degree.

“This program provides strong study and career opportunities for the student who isn’t interested in pursuing an academic track,” said Sunil Segu, program coordinator. “Students apply what they learn directly to a job, and know exactly where their career path is going to take them.”

Program graduates have landed jobs in law firms, graphic and web design firms and started their own businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers in Texas can expect an average annual salary of $45,530. In the Brazos Valley, the average hourly wage for a graphic designer with some college experience was $22.32 in 2014.

In addition to hands-on learning opportunities using Adobe Creative Suite programs such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere, students learn and practice in a new lab equipped with both Apple Mac and Windows computers in the recently-renovated Student Center.

The program also boasts new high-quality printers, a professional Canon scanner and new camera and video equipment. Students design on both Mac and Windows operating systems so they are fully prepared to use the equipment at their future place of employment.

Program administrators work closely with an advisory committee of experienced industry professionals who offer expert advice to keep curriculum on the cutting edge and help students seeking associate degrees land internships.

“This program provides a solid foundation and a slate of opportunities for students who think they might be interested in design,” Segu said. “The best part is, they can come in with no experience and leave with everything they need to land a satisfying career.”

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