By Alayna Simons
The graphic design major is now moving to the communication department and introducing new courses after years of being connected with the department of STEM.
“I think that the students are really going to love the direction we’re going,” said dean of communications, Dr. Lena Hegi Welch.
The 36 credit-hour graphic design curriculum will be introduced fall of 2024 and will include classes relating to visual communication, web design, print design, and motion graphics.
The draft for the program has gone through eight or nine graphic designers for feedback and editing, and has gone through the process of approval by several communication professors, in order to make the program most fitting for students.
“Everyone has been so gracious and cooperative in working with this,” said Welch. “There really was a sense that it just didn’t fit over there anymore, and I think it will benefit students who are not necessarily interested in the coding and computer science piece.”
Along with the addition of a variety of new courses and more input with experienced faculty, benefits of this program include the use of the new editing labs and classrooms in Wakefield.
“Whether it’s oral communication or visual communication, I think their graphic design will benefit from partnering with the communication department,” said Welch. “Graphic design is very much about knowing your audience.”
This school year will be a year of transition for students and staff moving into the new program next fall, with the process of building the curriculum, hiring new faculty, and receiving approval in order to move forward.
Amethyst Hodgson, senior graphic design major with a track in social media marketing, said that her experience in the current program hasn’t gone as planned with a change in classes and professors since starting at Trevecca.
“There are a bunch of classes that I’m supposed to take in order to graduate that aren’t being offered anymore, so now they’ve been subbing in classes that may or may not equate very well to what the original courses were,” said Hodgson.
During this transition, current graphic design students will instead take part in the teach-out plan that Trevecca provides, which includes Gen Eds and other replacement classes to ensure that students will graduate on time even though certain classes are not available.
Through the unknowns of changes with classes and professors during her college career, taking different classes than what was planned has challenged her in every stage of design. With having to teach herself certain skills on her own that the curriculum hasn’t provided, Hodgson hopes that the change in the program will better prepare students for future jobs.
“I hope that they look at the job postings, see which skills most jobs are wanting students to have, and teach based on that,” said Hodgson. “With that, we get to dip our hands in more things and see what we like or what we want to focus on.”
With having a new professor each year, senior graphic design major Brandon Mancio hopes that upcoming students can have more consistency of having one professor that will be able to watch them grow in their progress as artists and designers.
“One of my professors really encouraged us to stick together and help each other develop our skills in the ways that our classes might not be, so we’ve always kind of leaned on each other for critiques and help,” said Mancio.
Looking into a career of social media marketing, Mancio has noticed the importance of sticking together with other graphic design majors through the changes.
“It’s created kind of a cool community, a tight knit community, because there’s not a lot of graphic design majors here,” said Mancio. “We’ve kind of provided that network for each other, and getting to know them has helped me become a better designer.”
The job description for seeking a graphic design professor has now been posted and can be accessed on the Trevecca website. At the bottom of the Trevecca website page find “jobs” and then “Graphic Design Professor, Department of Communication Studies.”
“It’s a lot of moving pieces, but I am excited about this particular program and have gotten wonderful feedback from graphic artists,” said Welch. “So we’re excited that we’ll go in the right direction.”