Written by Patty Bruner, Associate Professor, Graphic Arts Technology
Make no bones about it! Assessment for career programs is essential.
The Graphic Arts industry is a highly technical field requiring a range of proficiencies including creative processes, application expertise, and project management practices. And man’s best friend, which encompasses all of these skills, is digital file competencies. Whether a student is entering the design or production field of the vast print industry, getting out of the doghouse and understanding that quality output of designed files are a necessity. Assessment is a way to validate student learning and to quantify the skills achieved.
At Harper, we are faithfully loyal to a very important program learning outcome: Create acceptable print-ready digital graphic files using industry standard preflight criteria.
How is this friendly and exuberant outcome used in the Graphic Arts industry?
- When working in the Graphic Arts field, files are to be prepared per a preflight checklist.
- Preflight criteria applies to packaging, photography, production, and general design for print.
- Even though each company’s workflow may be different, a common checklist is still used.
- To simplify—use a checklist so you don’t get your tail stuck between your legs!
What do we do to groom students at Harper?
- We send students barking up the right tree!
- We measure. Every semester.
- The preflight checklist is utilized across all sections of many different 100- and 200-level courses.
- We implement. Extra project-based preflight assignments, as well as review sessions, extra credit, and quizzes for checks and balances are integrated into students’ coursework.
- The outcome is assessed regularly – to let us as faculty know – that students “get it.”
- Ultimately, the results do not always meet the standard. And that’s okay.
- Through this data, we are gaining knowledge about specific areas that may need improvement.
How does this obedience help students leave the den and enter the workforce?
- When employers ask about the level of technical skills Harper students have, we can show outcome results and improvement processes of these results.
- At Harper, we show employers that we are serious contenders in students’ preparation for the Graphic Arts industry!
- And our students can fetch jobs and walk away with the biggest doggie bag!
For more information about assessment at Harper, visit the Outcomes Assessment page on HIP.