University News

IBHE Approves Graphic Communication Degree at WIU

April 2, 2002

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MACOMB, IL -- The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) today (April 2) approved a Western Illinois University request to offer a bachelor of science degree in graphic communication.

Western’s Board of Trustees recommended a proposal in September 2001 by the department of engineering technology to offer a bachelor of science degree in graphic communication to meet increased demand in the electronic publishing industry. The 120-semester hour curriculum will begin Fall 2002. Core courses (24 semester hours) include graphic communication, electronic desktop publishing, color image and halftone scanning, composition and copy preparation and an internship.

According to the proposal, no other university in Illinois offers a bachelor's degree in graphic communication. There are 14 baccalaureate programs in the state in fields related to graphic design and computer graphic animation. Western projects that, by its third year of existence, the program will enroll approximately 75 majors and award 20 degrees annually.

"Western has always been at the forefront of offering its students opportunities to earn a degree in a new, viable field," said Tom Bridge, chair of WIU's engineering technology department. "In the 1960s, WIU was the first to offer a degree in industrial technology and we were the first to change the major to engineering technology in the 90s. We have identified a need with a degree in graphic communication and I anticipate great growth for this new major. It will work well with other departments across campus and I think we'll see a great mix of students."

According to Bridge, the engineering technology department already has in place the most up-to-date electronic publishing equipment and will be ready to serve the first cohort of students in Fall 2002.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing