B.F.A. in Design and B.A. in Visual Communications


March 12, 2012

The employment requirements and workplace needs for the graphic and web design industries have evolved rapidly in the past few years.  Current design industry employers expect proficiency in graphic design, web design, and computer information sciences.


To meet these rigorous demands, Lyndon State’s Visual Arts Department restructured their curriculum and is now offering two new degrees:  Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Design and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Visual Communications.


Currently, LSC’s Visual Arts Department offers a B.A. in New Media as well as a B.A. in Graphic Design. The new B.F.A. in Design merges these two degrees into one, introduces three new courses, and streamlines current offerings. Key elements from the current programs will be maintained. This new degree will help students learn comprehensive skill sets in graphic design, new media, and web programming. It also eliminates the need for students to have “double” majors thereby lowering their class load per semester.


“This program is geared to students who are interested in all facets of the design industry, whether in entry level positions or freelance work.” said Dr. Philip Parisi, Visual Arts Department chair. “This is not “stand alone” instruction like other institutions offer at the undergraduate level. These disciplines overlap and complement each other.


“We provide hands-on and computer-based instruction and combine basic and advance print, web, mobile and web programming into one comprehensive program. Students will continue to work on individual, team-based, and client-based projects throughout their course of study.”


LSC design students have a heritage of contributing to real-world projects that serve local companies and nonprofit organizations. The students assisted the Haskell Free Library and Opera House redesign their bilingual web site and provided solutions for online ticketing and content management.  The Craftsbury Players, Village Bike Shop, Informed Green Solutions, and The Sewing Studio all received similar web design and content management help. The Visual Arts Department has placed students in many diverse internship positions such as the NBC Studios, Garnet Hill, Burke Mt. Ski Resort, and Steez Magazine.


Although the degree is structured so a student is better able to secure a job straight out of college, it also prepares students for further study at the graduate level. “Ultimately, the students will have the foundation and the intermediate, advanced, and capstone learning experiences to apply to graduate school.”


The Visual Arts Department also announced the B.A. in Graphic Design degree is being replaced by a B.A. in Visual Communications. The degree is configured for students who have broad career goals in the design and related industries. “This program is structured for students who are interested in a career that includes but is not limited to design. We have combined instruction in print, web, mobile, basic web programming, marketing, art, and other liberal arts pedagogy to meet current industry standards. The students will be taught through hands-on and computer-based instruction,” Parisi explains.


“It provides students and graduates with the expertise to meet current employment qualifications for a breadth of entry level communication and design positions. This includes careers in photo journalism, publishing, marketing, advertising, public relations and web management or the fine arts.”


Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees approved Lyndon State’s proposal for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Design in February, 2012.

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