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Submitter's Information


Joyce Johnson


Provost, Career Education & Workforce Development


Inland Empire/Desert


Mt. San Jacinto College

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Program Details

Program Title

Visual Design (formerly Visual Communication (Graphic Design)

Submission Type

Program Modifications (formerly substantial changes)

TOPs Code

Graphic Art and Design (103000)

Projected Start Date


Catalog Description

The Associate of Arts degree program in Visual Design is designed for students who are interested in transferring to a 4-year university that specializes in professional design practices like Graphic Design, Multimedia, etc. The academic emphasis of the program is for students to develop creative solutions to solve visual problems by combining research, concept, and production. Visualization, research, as well as proficiency in technology, are all important elements in the education required within the A.A. in Visual Design. This program of study imparts the following SLOs/PLOs:1. Demonstrate problem solving skills in the process of producing art.2. Demonstrate a general awareness of artistic cultures and styles.3. Demonstrate the use of appropriate terminology in evaluating art and design.4. Develop a progression of works that demonstrate their creative style, technical skill, and personal approach to subject and mediaThe AA in Visual Design prepares the student for a career in commercial art while providing arich understanding of the diverse field and its artistic, social, cultural, and political significance(PLO 2). Students are immersed in a comprehensive study of design techniques, anatomical ideas connecting theory to practice, history, methods of visual inquiry, aesthetic evaluation of design, and further development of artistic expression through real-world projects (PLOs 1-4).Compositional and technical skills are an important aspect of this program and are contextualized within the appreciation of visual design expression from multiple visual styles, creative cultures and multifaceted identities. (PLO 1, 2, 4). Last, as competency and skill grow, artistic expression and visual literacy is developed, promoting a well-rounded designer who is prepared for the rigors of the work-place in a rewarding career (PLOs 3,4).

Enrollment Completer Projections

The Mt. San Jacinto College Art+ Design program has increased its fill rates from 74.7% in Spring 2020 to 81% in Fall 2020 despite the conversion of studio courses to an online format. The growth in the Art+ Design Department demonstrates its relevant impact to the college community as well as the greater community at large. The demand for accessible and affordable skills-based Art+ Design courses continue to be present while private access to these courses has dwindled significantly in the areas surrounding MSJC campuses. The A.A. in Visual Design currently averages about 7 completers per year which is a respectable number given the small size of the department and the competition with our program’s transfer degree in Studio Art. In fact, about 50% of all general Art completers focus solely on Visual Design. Therefore, this is a good guided path for those who want to major in Visual Communication Design at the university level, offering a more clear cut pathway than the generic studio art ADT.  

Program Proposal Attributes

Program Award Type(s) (Check all that apply)
  • A.A. Degree (A)
Program Goal

The A.A in Visual Design (transfer) is being revised to align with the current proposed ADT for Graphic Design. It continues to act primarily a transfer degree, while allowing students to produce a portfolio of work that students could use for seeking employment upon the completion of the degree. This is in alignment with the goals of Guided Pathways. The degree continues to combine the degree pattern with IGETC and CSU Breadth requirements, thus this A.A. degree will allow students alternative pathways to an award as well as providing an A.A. transfer degree once the C-ID in Graphic Design meets final approval. Currently, there is in ADT in Studio Art and a closed ADT in Graphic Design, so while the ADT in Graphic Design is not ready, this degree will enable students to complete the ADT in studio art at the same time. The AA in Visual Design will allow the students to focus on coursework that works towards the ADT in studio Art, major prep for the BFA in Graphic Design, and coursework that facilitates projects for the students to demonstrate the ability to perform creative works that could be used in employment applications for creative fields. This will facilitate their marketability and success in the field and increase their access to higher education and advanced degrees. The MSJC Art+ Design Department has been in communication with the Art departments of several receiving institutions to create an award that aligns with their programs. Additionally, over 85%of our courses articulate to the Art department at California State University San Bernardino and California Polytechnic University in Pomona. 

Course Units and Hours

Total Certificate Units (Minimum and Maximum)


Units for Degree Major or Area of Emphasis (Minimum and Maximum)


Total Units for Degree (Minimum and Maximum)


Course Report

Program Requirements Narrative

The major requirements for an A.A. in Visual Design may be met by completing (24 units) plus all MSJC General Education Option B (CSU-GE breadth) and/or Option C (IGETC) requirements for a minimum of 60 Units. AA in Visual Design (24 Units) 

Required core courses (18 Units) 

Art-101 Art History: Prehistoric through Medieval Art 3 Units

ORArt-101H Honors Art History: Prehistoric through Medieval Art 3 Units

Art-102 Art History: Renaissance through 21st Century Art 3 Units

ORArt-102H Honors Art History: Renaissance through 21st Century Art 3 Units

Art-108 Beginning Drawing 3 Units

Art-120 2D Design 3 Units

Art-123 Graphic Design I 3 Units

Art-131 Introduction to Digital Art 3 Units

 Design Electives (3 units)

Art-122 3D Design 3 Units

Art-125 Introduction to Typography 3 Units

 Studio Art Electives Select one (3 units)

Any course not used from Design Electives 3 Units

Art-112 Life Drawing 3 Units

Art-121 Color Theory 3 Units

Art-141 Illustration 3 Units

Art-223 Graphic Design II 3 Units

Phot-125 Digital Photography Production I 3 Units

 Total Units 24

Our courses are sequenced to provide continuity in learning and skill building and lend toward supper division admissions to BFA programs like California Polytechnic University Pomona.  

Program Requirements
(Y1 or S1)

Supporting Documents

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Submission Details

Published at

11/23/20 - 03:24 PM



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Diann Thursby Super User   ·  12/09/20

Received regional recommendation at 12-07-2020 IEDRC Deans Meeting.