Visual Communication program, print lab, find new homes in Language Communications department

Peggy Deal is a Scottsdale Community College employee for over 24 years.  She is the Residential Faculty Director and Program Director for Visual Communications.

When Maricopa County Community College District adopted the “Guided Pathways Program”, nine of the ten Maricopa schools adopted the same Digital Media Arts Degree, which includes a fine arts component (drawing).  Scottsdale, headed by Deal, took a new direction and is the only school that offers Visual Communication.

SCC’s Visual Communications program comprises three distinct tracks.  A Graphic Design program that has won awards, as well as a hands-on Digital Process Management program (Printing) and a Creative Branding program (Marketing).   All three tracks share a common core of five classes which Deal says helps student’s decide which specialized track they will want to follow.

Another key difference, according to Deal, is that Scottsdale’s Visual Communication program is practical and project based, rather than theory based.  Deal states that SCC students can claim real-world work experience by working on projects.

Deal told NEVN that around 80% of SCC’s interns get offered full-time positions.  They have established a unique, paid externship program with Prisma Graphics, the leading marketing/printing/solutions provider in the southwest.  Prisma has two to three students per semester who rotate through each department of the plant. This gives them a broad experience, as opposed to just one position that is typical in many internships.

“As an occupational program, we have to have an advisory board.  It reads like a who’s who in the industry – I’ve got all the leaders,” Deal said.  “They call me when they have a job and they’re like – send me a student – we need somebody to do this.  And I send them somebody and they hire them.”

“We’ve built a very solid industry partnership with a number of companies, Deal said.  “These are all huge companies, that have all said ‘I would hire from Scottsdale before I hire from ASU in a heartbeat’.”


“It’s because our students know what they are doing,” said Deal.

The program’s unique attributes are key to their ability to know what they’re doing.  The digital Process Management track teaches students how to maintain, troubleshoot and operate all the equipment in their state of the art print lab.

Since 2020, the Visual Communications program had been spread out around Scottsdale’s campus. After spending a variety of hours in the Peridot Room and the former Maricopa T.V. location, the SCC Print Lab finally found a permanent home. The SCC Print Lab was located in the music building. It finally moved to LC 426 last summer, two doors below the NEVN newsroom.  The program’s two computer labs also found new homes in LC 353 and LC 355.

The Konica Minolta BizHubC1070 Digital Printing Press with Fiery Controller is the centerpiece of the lab.  A DG3 Direct to Garment t shirt press, which prints the garment instead of applying a silkscreen, is also part of the print lab.  A paper folder, an all-new paper cutter and a saddle stitcher (stapler), coil binder and a laminator are also included in the print laboratory.

Artichoke is a SCC promotional magazine. Vortex is a book of short stories written by SCC creative writer students. Two Waters Circle features research writing by SCC students.

SCC students in Visual Communications can also create and publish their own projects during classes.

In 2012, the Ben Franklin Society presented the Fredrick D. Kagy Education Award, which recognized the program as one of the most prestigious graphic design programs in America.