Graphic design program offers valuable training

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

On the northeast edge of the McCook Community College campus -- in a room placed in the center of the Wrightstone Fine Arts Building -- a new program is finally taking the first steps of its existence.

Following years of discussion and hard-won approval from the Coordinating Commission for Higher Education, Graphic Design is now an official part of the college's course offerings.

"It's exciting," says Becky Meyers, the instructor. "We have three separate classes and a blend of traditional and non-traditional students." All together there are 26 to 28 students taking the classes, which include two sessions of Introduction to Graphic Design and one session of Digital Imaging.

Meyers, who has a master's degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, started seeing the need for a graphic design class when she started observing all the changes taking place in the field.

"Techniques I learned in my college studies no longer apply," she said. "So many changes are taking place."

And, so, McCook Community College started anew. With the encouragement of Dr. Richard Tubbs, the MCC vice president; a task force of graphic professionals; and the generous support of the Elinor Karrer estate, the Graphic Design program attained coordinating commission approval and was placed on the college course list for the fall semester.

When college classes started Aug. 22, there were three-hour Intro to Graphic Design classes on both Monday and Tuesday nights, as well as a three-hour Digital Imaging class on Tuesday afternoons.

Part of Instructor Meyers' excitement stems from the wide range of students taking the classes. "There is a good balance of men and women ranging from traditional college students to people in their 60s," she said.

Thanks to the gift from Mrs. Karrer's estate, the students have up-to-date equipment to use. The gift -- in excess of $40,000 -- allowed the purchase of a dozen 20-inch i-Mac computer screens, as well as color laser and large ink jet printers. Made through the McCook College Foundation, the graphic design contribution was named in honor of Mrs. Karrer's sons. She was the widow of Dr. F.M. Karrer, and was dedicated to the arts.

Graphic Design is an exciting new program which is the result of the dedicated efforts of many college supporters. It is not only a plus for the college, it is a benefit for the community and the entire Mid-Plains college area.

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