An instructional program in the applied visual arts that prepares individuals to use artistic techniques to effectively communicate ideas and information to business and consumer audiences via illustrations and other forms of printed media. This program includes instruction in concept design, layout, paste-up and techniques such as engraving, etching, silkscreen, lithography, offset, drawing and cartooning, painting, collage and computer graphics. The goal of the Commercial Art course is two-fold. First, it provides a foundation in such basic areas as design theory, color theory, perspective drawing and lettering techniques. Second, it introduces the student to the numerous specialized occupations within the field such as graphic design, illustration, and sign painting so that, upon completion of the course, the student can best decide where to concentrate his or her career studies. These would include the Occupational Titles: Graphic Designer Illustrator Computer Graphic Artist Sign Maker Paste-Up Artist Interior Decorator Fashion Designer Display Designer Theatrical Set Designer Package Designer Program Content Description Some of the media studied include pencil drawing, pen and ink rendering, watercolor painting, airbrush, and digital photography. An emerging trend in the graphic design field is an ever-increasing emphasis on computer-generated art and the artists that create it. Students are working with Macintosh computers using such programs as Photoshop, PageMaker, and Illustrator.
Most of the students completing the Commercial Art course continue their education at the college level or at other post-secondary art schools. Students who have completed the Commercial Art Program have attended the following schools: Tyler School of Art (Temple University), Moore College of Art, University of the Arts Philadelphia, Pratt College of Art, Art Institute of Philadelphia, Philadelphia University, Hussian School of Art, and the Rhode Island Institute of Art. As of 2004, our program completers (graduate candidates) are required to take the National Occupational Testing Institute (NOCTI) exam to test for skills competencies. Upon successful completion of this test, they receive a certification issued by NOCTI. Employment Outlook Employment opportunities for commercial art graduates vary widely, reflecting the diversity of the field. The graphic communications industry remains strong and has expanded greatly in the area of multi-media presentations. Students with the layout, typographic and mechanical preparation skills coupled with computer design talents will find numerous positions available in the area of graphic design. Positions are also available in such areas as sign making, visual merchandising, package design and display and exhibit design. Source and use of Task analysis Teachers/Instructors must hold a valid certificate to teach that CIP Code. That information is also listed in the CIP Code description obtained from PDE’s website. During curriculum creation, services and accommodations must be made available to all students with IEP’s. The guidance or student services department must work with the teacher to establish articulation agreements and or dual-enrollment for the program area. Every single program area should promote student involvement in CTSO’s. Students that are involved do better in school because they have a vested interest. It is also important to look for other industry certifications to offer besides the NOCTI Certification. In my program area, students are encouraged to become Adobe Software certified, which is our industry standard software suite. Program Validation If your program has a CIP code, you can follow the task grid created by the PA Department or Education or PDE. It serves as a template for integrating your curriculum into what the state requires while adding your own lessons and academic content. This information will also be used in your school's strategic plan, which outlines how we will meet the requirements of the standards created by the PDE. The plan also shows the need for involvement from the community, teachers, administration, and parents to work together to accomplish these goals. A second group that is instrumental in creating and reviewing curriculum is the programs Occupational Advisory Committee or OAC. This committee consists of local business owners in the community, parents, past and present students, and professionals that work in the industry of the CIP code you teach. The committee meets twice a year and reviews the current curriculum including your task lists and lessons, reviews the equipment and textbooks used in the program to ensure it complies with industry, and discuss current trends in the industry that may need to be added in the future. Once the information is collected, the instructor will form a plan of action to use the information to keep their program up to the standards of the industry while meeting the requirements of PDE and your organization. The third group of stakeholders that I look to for guidance with my curriculum are professional organizations like ONET, NOCTI, L&I, and the MAVCC that provide data and resources for specific to your content area. I have provided a list of references below that explain these organizations and provide links for further study. I visit these websites on a regular basis to see what the job market is like, to find out what jobs are in demand, and what prerequisites needed to obtain these jobs in terms of education and job skills. I can also collect the information from these sites to my OAC and administrators to show what changes or improvements need to be made, if any, and to make sure that I am preparing my students to give them the opportunity to be successful in their chosen profession. Importance of Academic integration and content review Once you have a program that complies with the standards of your content area, it's important not to forget about the academics needed to teach your material. Even though we teach a specific trade or profession, we are still academic teachers and need to make sure we integrate subjects like math, science, and reading and not "hide" it in our curriculum. I was fortunate enough to join our school's Technical Assistance Program or TAP initiative that gives teachers the resources and techniques to successfully integrate academics specific to your content area. My group and I have attended numerous workshops and seminars that provide methods to help us in this pursuit. We take what we have learned and pass them on to the rest of the staff during In-Service and faculty meetings. We have seen a marked improvement in our students PSSA and NOCTI scores, and the students realize that academics are a part of our everyday life and need to be learned in order to work in their chosen career and just don't end at graduation. Lastly, it's important to periodically review and revise your curriculum in order to keep up with changing requirements by the organization, state, and by industry. I believe that my curriculum is a living document that grows and evolves as the years go on. Professions change all the time, along with the technology used in it, which requires us to adapt our material to meet the needs of industry. Also, with new political administrations, state requirements, and a changing global workplace, our curriculum must be able to adapt to the necessary changes to these factors. We live in an ever-changing world, and we must be able to prepare our students to be ready and succeed in their careers and one of these ways is by having a curriculum that prepares them for any challenges they may face. References used in Career & Technical Curriculum and Information O-NET Online The O*NET system serves as the nation's primary source of occupational information, providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations. The O*NET database houses this data and O*NET OnLine provides easy access to that information. http://online.onetcenter.org Labor and Industry L&I administers benefits to unemployed individuals, oversees the administration of workers' compensation benefits to individuals with job-related injuries, and provides vocational rehabilitation to individuals with disabilities. The Department prepares job seekers for the global workforce through employment and job training services for adult, youth, older workers, and dislocated workers. In addition, L&I enforces various laws and safety standards in the workplace and administers the Commonwealth's programs for community service by young Pennsylvanians. http://www.dli.state.pa.us/ Center for Workforce Information & Analysis (CWIA) Your comprehensive online resource serving Pennsylvania's job seekers, employers, education and training providers, counselors, news media, and workforce professionals. http://www.paworkstats.state.pa.us/ PA Tech Prep Initiative Tech Prep programs combine at least two years of high school education with two years of postsecondary education to prepare students for technical careers in areas such as engineering technology, health and human services and business/information technology. These articulated programs combine a common core of higher academics in math, science and communications with a specific field of technical preparation. Tech Prep is a college prep program that leads to an associate degree, two-year certificate or apprenticeship. Tech Prep students will be technically and academically prepared to join the workforce or continue their education towards a baccalaureate degree. (http://www.pde.state.pa.us/career_edu/cwp/view.asp?a=115&Q=104261&career_eduNav=|6334|) Multi-State Academic and Vocational Curriculum Consortium (MAVCC) For over 30 years, the Multistate Academic and Vocational Curriculum Consortium (MAVCC), has been recognized as a leading provider of career and technical instructional materials that help prepare students for a diverse, high-performance workforce. But, what you may not know is that today, we offer so much more. (http://www.mavcc.org/) National Center for Career and Technical Education Career and technical education programs are an integral part of public education and are designed to educate about, though, and for careers. The National Research and Dissemination Centers for Career and Technical Education, as primary sources of research-based information, will significantly affect the quality of knowledge and understanding necessary to advance career and technical education in the United States. http://www.nccte.org/ NOCTI The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) is a leading provider of high-quality occupational competency assessment products and services to secondary and post-secondary educational institutions in the United States and around the world. The Whitener Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of NOCTI was created in 1999 to serve the special needs of our business and industry clients. http://www.nocti.org/ Art Directors Club of Philadelphia This site consists of the creative minds that conjure the visual images that move you in print, on the web, and in full motion. The ADCP is open to all creatives-designers, art directors, illustrators, web designers, videographers, animators, and copywriters. http://www.adcp.org/