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Rasmussen offering new graphic design degrees

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NEW PORT RICHEY ­— To keep up with growing industry demands, Rasmussen College recently announced the start of a graphic design degree program.

A year in the making, the program is now available on campus and online through its 24 U.S. campuses, including the New Port Richey/West Pasco Campus, at 8661 Citizens Drive.

Administrators and professionals at the school participated in an academic program review, which is done periodically to identifying growing industries and adjust the school’s curriculum to give students an up-to-date educational experience.

Students can now earn diploma, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in graphic design, with specializations in animation and motion graphics or web and interactive design. The multidegree program helps students keep pace with the specialized career demands of the field and prepares them to enter the employment market.

Students could previously pursue bachelors degrees in game and simulation programming and digital esign and animation. Digital Design and Animation has been removed from curriculum but students can now earn various levels of education in graphic design while focusing on animation and motion graphics.

Enrollment in the graphic design program is open immediately, with classes beginning January 2014.

The curriculum in the graphic design degree program has been enhanced to prepare students for the areas of greatest job growth, specifically focusing on up-to-date skills in mobile and interactive design and user experience. Graphic design careers are expected to grow 13 percent over the next 10 years while computer system design will see more than 61 percent growth, said Jennifer Ayotte, dean of the Rasmussen School of Design dean.

“Graphic designers of today are not the graphic designers we had 20 years ago,” Ayotte said. “They know how to do print, web, photography and more; they’re well-rounded and technically proficient so it makes sense to be more all-encompassing than we’ve ever been.”

“Students geta much better experience overal, said Anthony Sims, a full-time faculty member with the Rasmussen School of Design. “From a teacher standpoint, I feel the material is much more modern and caught up with growing trends. With moving posters, billboards, websites and more, the world is a much bigger canvas for the modern graphic artist and our degree paths cover that in a much better way now.”

To help students gain a competitive edge in a growing and demanding marketplace, the graphic design program will also offer students the opportunity to graduate with up to three design software certifications paid for by Rasmussen College. Students can choose certifications in programs including Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Dreamweaver. Degree requirements also include two portfolio courses to ensure graduates enter the workforce with a comprehensive collection of work showcasing their skills.

“The certification doesnt prove you’re a good designer but proves you’re familiar with the tools used in the field,” Ayotte said. “It proves they know how to use those tools to create those beautiful designs they have in their portfolio. In some industries, you can get hired from certifications alone.”

The school builds the cost of educational materials into the price of tuition. Adobe Creative Suite software, drawing materials and drawing tablets are provided to students so they can focus on their projects instead of worrying about being able to afford the tools needed to complete them.

Anyone interested in applying to the Rasmussen College School of Design should visit http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/design/. All qualified students entering the associate’s or bachelor’s degree program in Jan, 2014 are also eligible for the Achieve Scholarship, which provides up to $500 per quarter for tuition costs, or $7,500 towards a bachelor’s degree. For additional scholarship information, visit http://www.rasmussen.edu/tuition/scholarship-opportunities/achieve.

dmiller@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1067

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