Date Posted: October 25, 2011
Print Edition: October 19, 2011
Graphic design students will be pleased to now have their own developed and structured department following the official launch of a new Graphic Design program at the UFV Mission campus. The project, which resulted in the campus’s first-ever flagship department, was created in partnership with the District of Mission, which invested $500,000 as seed funding.
Dr. Jacqueline Nolte, Dean of Arts, explained that Mission’s community has sought the presence of a strong program on their campus for a long time, and that the concept of a Graphic Design diploma at UFV had been suggested before but had never been formally launched.“We thought this would be a good opportunity to review and revise the program and provide the Mission campus with a flagship program,” she said.
Graphic Design courses have previously been available at UFV on the Abbotsford Campus, though the courses have been a part of the larger Visual Arts department. Now the newly-reviewed courses will be instructed (in part) by full-time, dedicated Graphic Design department faculty.
Nolte explained that Graphic Design was actually once an independent department, though administration eventually chose to close it down. “The Visual Arts folk advocated over a number of years [to reinstate it] because they thought there was a great loss, particularly in this digital age. It was imperative for this university to be offering something in terms of digital design, print and web. Finally the administration has responded and it’s in conjunction with fulfilling a community’s needs and interests,” she continued.
While Nolte noted the program’s ability to provide an exciting and relevant new field of study at UFV, Mission Mayor James Atebe emphasized the program’s location at the Mission campus as a valuable community development.
“My belief is that a university in our community is a strong engine for community and economic development, and by establishing a flagship campus with this program, this strengthens the community.” said Atebe. “I’m sure that this program, given that it is an innovative project, is very relevant to a young and growing community.”
The new program will be a 60 credit, two-year diploma. A Graphic Design minor and extended minor have also been developed as a part of the founding of this new department.
Nolte noted that “When a graduate enters the marketplace with a diploma only, they would require a lot of initiative to succeed within the marketplace,” adding that students could build on the Graphic Design diploma and further develop their skills by putting it towards a larger degree.
“Because it is a very futuristic and innovative program, I believe that Mission is well-positioned to attract students all the way from Vancouver,” said Atebe, noting that the West Coast Express would make travel from Vancouver to Mission easy.
Atebe also pointed out that the artistic aspect of the program has the potential to greatly influence and further develop the art sector of Mission. “The more [the University] is connected to our community, [the more] it acts as a catalyst for community development,” he said.