Fall Syllabus


Visual Communications

Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center
Instructor: Lisa Rader (gro.cchap|redarl#gro.cchap|redarl, 382.1012 ext. 1044)

Students are enrolled in VisCom or VisCom with Lab:
VisCom 8:45 – 10:06 (80 min.): VUHS, MUHS, MAUHS
VisCom w/Lab 10:06 – 10:45 (40 min.): VUHS, MUHS, MAUHS

Class motto: “Design, Create, Communicate.”

Description: Design is all around us. In Vis. Com., students learn the principles of design and how to communicate through the media arts. Students create original two and three-dimensional works using traditional art materials in combination with a variety of computer programs and technology, including: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, digital cameras, digital drawing tablets, scanners and the internet. Students learn the fundamentals of design including: space, tone, color, line, balance, composition and form through real-life design projects such as: album cover design, text design and children's book design. Careers in the arts are explored and investigated.

Philosophy: Emphasis is placed on learning the creative process and personal expression. No two student works look alike and no two students arrive at the end result in the same way. Traditional art materials are used in non-traditional and new ways and are combined with computer approaches. Experimental approaches are encouraged.

Class rules:
1. Show up, on time
2. Be prepared to work (mind and body)
3. Have assignments ready (at the time they are to be ready)
4. Respect yourself and others (people and spaces)

Your 'Effort, Participation, Attitude' grades are dependent upon how well you follow the class rules, as well as how you demonstrate strong work habits (refer to 'Habits of Work Rubric').

Attendance is crucial to your success in this program. Most of the work that you do will be completed in class and we rely heavily upon the use of the Adobe Creative Suite computer programs. When you miss class, it is difficult to make up the time that you lost being absent.

Your parent or guardian MUST CALL THE CAREER CENTER IF YOU ARE ABSENT. Your home high school will not call us to report your absence.

Call: 382-1012 to report an absence. If you have a planned absence, bring a note to the Career Center front office.


MUHS: 1 Fine Arts (per semester)
VUHS: .5 Fine Arts, .5 Technology, .5 Elective (per semester)
MAUHS: .5 Fine Arts, 1 Elective (per semester)

Detailed grading information for each project may be found by accessing the class wiki site or accessing your Power School account. NOTE: The Career Center has its own Power School portal because it is a different school.

Students' final grades will be based on the following:

  • Artistic PRODUCT (65%)
  • Artistic PROCESS (25%)
  • Effort, Participation and Attitude (10%)

Artistic PRODUCT means… the quality of the art product; the result. This grade is an average of the project assignment grades. A successful final product should: fulfill the requirements of the assignment and demonstrate an understanding of the design concepts learned in class.

Artistic PROCESS means… an understanding of how the art is made, from concept to presentation. This grade is an average of the homework, worksheet and in-class activity and critique grades. A successful artistic process is one that: uses a variety of creative process techniques (brainstorming, sketching, reflective writing or drawing, discussion, revision, research, etc.)

Effort, Participation and Attitude means… a student is open and willing to try new approaches in art making, while contributing to a healthy, supportive learning environment and practicing strong work habits (as outlined on the Career Center 'Habits of Work Rubric'. A student will be graded on his/her: attendance ('reliability' work habit), engagement in class projects and activities ('Initiative & Self Motivation' habit), contributions to class discussions ('Communication' habit), respect for others' physical and mental spaces ('Respect and Communication' habit), work space management (spaces left clean, shows organization — 'Safety' habit) and ability to meet deadlines.

Meeting deadlines is crucial in the field of graphic design. If the work is more than one week late, ten points will be deducted from the student's project grade. Revisions to any assignment will be accepted through the last day of each quarter. If you know ahead of time that you will not be able to make a deadline because of circumstances beyond your control, see Ms. Rader as soon as possible to make arrangements to complete the work.

The HCC grading scale may be found in the HCC handbook (which is given to each student on the first day of class).
View a sample rubric

Final Exam:
Your portfolio will serve as your final exam grade.

Students should back up any important files to a thumb/external drive at the end of the semester or save files to their Google drive account, Dropbox.com, (or any other cloud storage service)

All work will be deleted from the school server and from the students' individual computers at the end of the semester. The student is responsible for saving any important files!

Student Resources & Opportunities:

• FREE student handbooks are available in the classroom or through the HCC Guidance Office.

All homework or in-class assignment sheets will be available ONLINE at:

• Students can receive extra help before and after class. Arrangements may be made with
the teacher for students to use the Vis. Com. computer lab during a study hall if the student is a MUHS student or a home schooled student.

• HCC has a Guidance Counselor (Ms. Logee, x1007) that is available for further career and college
counseling. She is happy to meet with students and/or parents.

• HCC Arts & Humanities Academy has an active chapter of the National Art Honor Society
(one of only 3 in the state). Distinguished Juniors and Seniors receive nominations in late

Student signature here (indicating that you have read and understand the syllabus):

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