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Visual Communications Technology

Visual Communications Technology

The Visual Communications Technology; Graphic Arts and Printing curriculum uses the latest technology available to transform ideas into digital and print media. We use the most advanced communications tools to prepare you for a career in the third largest high tech manufacturing industry in America. Whether it's traditional "ink on Paper" printing in the form of brochures, newsletters, books, magazines and newspapers, or electronic "digital media" such as web pages and other multimedia products used to entertain and inform throughout the world.

The Visual Communications Technology; Graphic Arts and Printing Degree program curriculum offers specialized courses in electronic publishing, digital imaging, lithographic press and bindery, print administration, web and multimedia. We prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities in this multifaceted industry from the creative and artistic to administrative, managerial and professional through job planning and production.

To enhance graphic arts and printing courses, selected English, math, social science, humanities and science electives are required.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Visual Communications Technology-Graphic Arts & Printing, the graduate will be able to:

  • develop an understanding of the nature of Visual Communications;
  • prepare for entry level employment and/or continuation of higher education in the field of Digital and print media;
  • produce creative digital and print media projects;
  • execute proper use of design principles;
  • apply analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they relate to the visual communications industry; and
  • utilize current industry standard technologies.

Department Notes

Students are encouraged to become active in the Images magazine and/or newspaper. Any student in this program, with or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to:

  • visually identify errors, color correction, or related proofing mistakes associated with various printing or design related functions;
  • stand, sit or walk for long periods of time to operate machinery such as a press, folder, cutter, computer, or other related press or bindery equipment; and
  • lift approximately 20-30 pounds for loading, unloading, or stacking of paper or related supplies.


Total Degree Credits: 64.0

First Year, Fall Semester
GA 101 - Orientation to Graphics Credit Hours: 2
GA 102 - Publishing I Basics Credit Hours: 2
GA 105 - Lithographic Press I Credit Hours: 2.5
GA 125 - Create With Illustrator® Credit Hours: 2.5
GA 131 Photoshop® I Credit Hours: 2
EN 100 - Composition I: Rhetorical Strategies Credit Hours: 3 or
EN 110 - College Composition Credit Hours: 3 
MT 116 - Algebra in the Real World Credit Hours: 3 or
any Math higher than MT 116

First Year, Spring Semester
GA 121 - Publishing With InDesign™ Credit Hours: 2
GA 124 - Lithographic Press II Credit Hours: 2.5
GA 126 - Visual Design Basics Credit Hours: 2.5
GA 141 - Photoshop II® Credit Hours: 2
EN 101 - Composition for the Humanities Credit Hours: 3 or
EN 102 - Composition for the STEM Disciplines Credit Hours: 3 or
EN 111 - Composition and Interpretation of Literature Credit Hours: 3
Humanities Elective Credit Hours: 3
Social Science Elective Credit Hours: 3

Second Year, Fall Semester 
GA 133 - Lithographic Press III Credit Hours: 2 
GA 134 - Print Administration/Quality Control Credit Hours: 3
GA 135 - Digital and Variable Data Printing Credit Hours: 1
GA 231 - Prepress Fundamentals Credit Hours: 2 
GA 232 - Digital Imaging I Credit Hours: 2.5 
EN 201 - Writing for Graphic Publications Credit Hours: 3

Second Year, Spring Semester
GA 140 - Publishing IV Web Basics Credit Hours: 3
GA 143 - Internship Credit Hours: 3 
GA 144 - Multimedia Credit Hours: 2
GA 241 - Digital Imposition & Workflow Credit Hours: 2 
GA 242 - Digital Imaging II Credit Hours: 2.5 
Science Elective Credit Hours: 3

* Graphic Arts Elective: 
GA 145 - Web Page Design with Dreamweaver Credit Hours: 3
GA 146 - Intro to 3D Modeling and Animation Credit Hours: 3
GS 111 - College Success Skills Credit Hours: 3

* A Web Page Design Certificate is also available requiring specific Graphic and Liberal Arts courses. Students should consult his/her academic adviser for designated sequencing of required courses. Students may elect to transfer credits from the degree program to the one-year Web Page Design Certificate program to supplement their degree with a certificate through additional study.

Note: This is a recommended sequence. Student should consult his/her academic adviser. Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, PhotoShop, Flash and DreamWeaver are trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. Quark, QuarkXPress, QuarkXTensions, and Xtensions are trademarks of Quark, Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm

Available At:

South Campus

Recommended H.S. Courses and/or Experiences:

Social Science

Pre-Admission Recommendations:

HS or HSE (High School Equivalency) Diploma

Career Opportunities/Further Education:

Printing and Graphic Arts Firms
Advertising and Publishing Firms

Hegis Code:


Curriculum Code:



Engineering & Technologies
Visual Communication Technology

Need Help?

Visual Communication Tech – Graphic Arts and Printing

Roberta Schlehr
South Campus
Room 2101B
4041 Southwestern Blvd.
Orchard Park, NY 14127
P: (716) 851-1827