Northwest College - Powell, WY | Wyoming Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

Northwest College

School Summary
231 W 6th St
Powell, WY 82435
(307) 754-6000
Degree Type:
Less than one year certificate; One but less than two years certificate; Associate's degree
Campus Setting:
Town: Remote
Campus Housing:

About Northwest College

Northwest College is located in the small city of Powell, Wyoming. Powell is a community located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, 75 miles east of Yellowstone National Park between the Big Horn Mountains on the east and the Absaroka Range on the west. Powell was designated an All America City in 1994. It offers a small town atmosphere, complete with old-fashioned values and friendly people. Local and area activities and attractions include a championship golf course, the Homesteader Museum, and outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, hunting, biking, and horseback riding. While Powell itself doesn't offer much in the way of cultural activities, it is located less than 100 miles from the much larger city of Billings, Montana. Billings is home to several theater companies, art museums, and performance groups, including the Alberta Bair Theater, the Billings Studio Theater, the Billings Symphony Orchestra, the Yellowstone Art Museum, and the Rimrock Opera Company.

Northwest College opened in 1946 with less than 100 students and just three instructors, meeting in classrooms borrowed from the public school district. It was initially called the University of Wyoming Northwest Center and established through an agreement with the University of Wyoming and Park County School District. In 1953 the name was changed to Northwest Community College. The name changed once more to Northwest College in 1989. Northwest College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Northwest offers a two-year AAS degree in photographic communications. The program is designed for students who intend to become commercial photographers. Students study traditional photography as well as digital technologies in photography. Students are required to complete general education courses, plus required coursework in digital imaging, an introduction to photography with a lab, outdoor photography, media photography, view camera and lighting, Web page design, studio illustration, multimedia, and a portfolio completion course. Students will also choose electives from a restricted list including two-dimensional design, electronic publishing, and art history.

In addition, Northwest offers two-year AAS degrees in graphics with specializations in design, prepress production, and printing production. Graphic design students study visual design principles, an overview of the graphic design industry, and a survey of graphic design history. Additional study in design aesthetics, typography, and advanced layout techniques, plus study of graphics software is also required. Students also study the related fields of print and prepress production, illustration, photography, and advertising. Required courses include graphic design, electronic publishing, two-dimensional design, color, typography, computer graphics and Web design. The prepress production specialization offers primarily computer-based instruction wherein students are trained to put designers' ideas into tangible formats. Courses include an introduction to Macintosh, electronic publishing with PageMaker, an introduction to graphic arts, offset production, and imaging for print reproduction. The printing production specialization is designed to prepare students to enter the graphic arts and printing profession as offset printing press operators. Students receive hands-on experience with printing press, study the fundamentals of graphic design, and get a basic background in prepress. Courses include an introduction to Macintosh, PageMaker, QuarkXPress, offset production, digital imaging, advanced press, two-dimensional design and color, and computer graphics.

Northwest also offers many one and two-semester skills certificate programs. The certificate in basic digital imaging is designed for those students wishing to develop skills necessary to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Go Live in the production of digital images. Courses include digital imaging and Web design. The basic graphic arts production certificate develops the student's understanding of the graphics equipment, Mac software applications, and preliminary design skills. Courses include introductions to graphic arts and Macintosh, plus two-dimensional design. The basic photographic imaging certificate is designed for those students wishing to develop skills necessary to use basic lighting and photographic technique in the production of digital images. Courses include an introduction to photography and basic lighting, both with required lab work. The photographic and digital preservation specialist certificate offers students a combination of proficiencies in digital imaging and photographic preservation techniques. Students learn the necessary technical skills and aesthetic sensibilities required for a professional career in digital preservation and restoration. Courses include introductions to photography and digital imaging, a photography survey course, and digital and photographic preservation techniques. The Web design and application certificate is for those students wishing to develop the skills necessary to design and manage a basic Web site. Courses include issues in Web design, Web applications, Webcasting, and digital imaging.

Northwest offers many institutionally-funded scholarships to new and returning students, whether from the state of Wyoming or attending Northwest from out-of-state. The office of financial aid provides an annual Scholarship Day event, during which students may personally interview and audition for academic, activity/talent, and athletic scholarships, plus learn about all other available scholarships. Other available scholarship programs include the NWC Trapper Scholarship program, the Hathaway scholarships, the Master Scholar scholarships, and the Reach Out program.

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Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,