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Students draw new career paths with credit or Continuing Education

By Shelby Stender
On September 18, 2015

Whether offering classes for credit or participating in Continuing Education courses, Kirkwood Community College has a variety of opportunities for those interested in graphics.

On the main campus, there is a Graphic Communication Technology program, and students who complete the program will earn an Associates of Applied Sciences degree. This program also offers students two certificates: Web Developmental and Web Design. 

David Brandstetter, graphic communication technology faculty, said, “We are looking for people who draw in the margins of their notebook and have a creative mind.” 

Brandstetter stated the department has 55 students actively looking into the program right now. Last year, the program had 14 graduates who have all been successful in locating a job, according to Brandstetter. 

However, jobs in graphic communication could require graduates of the program to relocate, according to Brandstetter. He said, “Students looking in a microcosmic area might take some time to find a job.” 

For those who would like to learn more about graphics, but do not want to commit to a two-year program, Continuing Education also offers a variety of graphics-related courses. 

According to Tom Leaverton, Continuing Education marketing manager, students can earn a degree or a certificate. Leaverton also said, “they can take classes with credit hours or continuing education credits (CEU).” 

CE has many programs to teach students about a skilled profession.  The classes are fast-paced, for students who want to start working right away. Classes can be long or short, depending on what the student is looking for. CE has classes ranging from 6 to 8 weeks to 12 weeks or even a year.

Whether enrolling in a two-year program or taking a weekend Continuing Education course, Brandstetter said networking is essential. Networking is important for every student because “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” added Brandstetter. 

He said he helps his students learn to network and every year, he takes students to events with presenters who are nationally known. 

“It gives students the chance to network possible employers,” said Brandstetter. 

For more information about the Graphics Communication Technology program, contact Brandstetter at For more information about Continuing Education, call 319-398-1022.

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