Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Bachelor of Science - Graphic Communication
The Graphic Communication program prepares students for careers in areas such as graphic design, desktop publishing, website design and development, and printing production and management. Through a balance of lectures and portfolio-building projects, students are provided with advanced technical knowledge and the challenge of applying it to engaging, real-world design problems. The department's state-of-the-art computer labs include the latest versions of the industry standards in design software, including Adobe software, such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash, and QuarkXPress. Classes that involve printing production also utilize offset presses, digital duplicators, and screen printing equipment. No prior experience with graphic communication principles or software is required upon enrollment.
Honors in Engineering Technology
Department of Engineering Technology students who are in high academic standing at WIU are invited to join Epsilon Pi Tau. Epsilon Pi Tau is the honorary for the Professions in Technology with over 20,000 initiated members worldwide.
Honors College Admission Requirements: To be eligible for the Centennial Honors College, entering freshmen must have an ACT composite score of at least 28 OR have a 26 or 27 composite ACT and be in the top 15% of their graduating class OR have an ACT composite score of at least 24 and be in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. A comparable SAT score is acceptable. Transfer and current WIU students who wish to join the Honors College (including the Quad Cities Honors Program) must have a 3.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale based on 12 or more semester hours. Honors credit is given for honors coursework completed at other accredited institutions. To find out more, visit wiu.edu/Honors.
The mean grade point average (GPA) for undergraduate students at WIU is 3.078. The mean GPA for graduates in Graphic Communication is 3.286.
Placement of Engineering Technology majors is greater than 91%. A 2011 survey of graduates from the past 10 years indicated that the average starting salary was greater than $45,000. Current salaries for these graduates with up to 10 years of experience are approaching an average of $60,000. Nearly 60 to 75% of graduates have been promoted, and nearly 60% were hired by the company where they served as interns. A recent NACE salary survey indicated that initial positions in Construction Management ranged from $48,000 to $54,800, and an average salary for initial Engineering Services positions was $60,000. The AIGA/Aquent Survey of Design Salaries 2010 (Graphic Communication) reports the following median total cash compensation figures for these design-related careers: entry-level designer, $37,500; Web designer, $58,500; print production manager, $64,000; senior designer, $65,000; and creative/design director, $100,000.
WIU’s Career Services is committed to helping students transition smoothly into successful careers by providing résumé assistance, mock interview sessions, and preparatory seminars. Additionally, several networking and career fairs are held each year, and an extensive eRecruiting database is provided for students in all class levels. For more information, contact Career Services at (309) 298-1838 or visit careers.wiu.edu.
Careers in Graphic Communication
Students graduating with a degree in Graphic Communication can pursue a career in a variety of fields including:
- Desktop publishing
- Graphic art / design
- Web and interactive design
Students enrolled in the Department of Engineering Technology are invited to become members of the Graphic Communication Club. Members participate in competitions at national/regional conferences and host professionals who provide insight into their selected fields. Members also participate in career-building activities and community service projects. The club works with on-campus organizations to design and produce various printed materials, and it engages in informative workshops as well as regional field trips to local designers and printers. Being an active member of the club allows students to work outside the classroom in a student-run organization dedicated to everything graphic.
The Graphic Communication program is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, Inc.
A key component of the major is the required internship. Every student in his or her junior or senior year earns course credit for successfully applying knowledge while gaining invaluable on-the-job experience. By securing an internship in any approved major-related field, each student has the opportunity to enhance his or her skills in a professional work environment of particular interest. Many students report that the internship experience helps them focus their career goals and make vital industry contacts that benefit them upon graduation.
Students can further customize their education by enrolling in an optional independent study course and may declare any minor offered at WIU. Suggested complementary minors include Communication, Computer Science, Electronic Media, Journalism, Marketing, Photographic Media, Professional Writing, and Studio Art.