Graphic design academy teaches real world skills to RHS students

Quinn Guffey, Staff Writer

The Rolla Technical Institute is used for giving students hands on experience and real world skills. The RTI educates high school upperclassmen and recently graduated students in fields they enjoy, all while widening their opportunities, as well as progressing students in their personal interests. The RTI prides itself in its mission, in their website motto,

“RTI/C will provide quality career education and leadership opportunities through skilled training and community partnerships in a continually changing society.”

The Design Academy is one of the many courses offered at the RTI.

“It’s Images, visual communications, thats whats graphic design is, visual communication,” Academy Director Angi Yowell said.

The Design Academy teaches a multitude of skills, providing six areas of study for students to explore. These include Graphic Design, Animation with Game Art Design, Animation with Game Art Development/Programming, Website Design & Development, Drafting Design and Interior Design. All of these fields share a lot in common. They have similar skill sets required, some of the most important being time management, work ethic, creativity, and motivation.

During class, students continue to work on a multitude of projects. The classroom is filled with computers and sticker or heat vinyl with layouts. Computers are a huge tool used in the classroom, they mainly work on Adobe software, such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, and Adobe Photoshop.They learn useful skills like typography, animation principles, and many other useful assets.

Not only is the program digital based, the course also teaches screen printing, which is a printing technique where mesh is used to transfer ink onto an underlying surface. The students practice screen printing with assortment of hoodies and t-shirts.

As for being hands on, the students get opportunities to perform jobs out of the classroom setting, like designing logos for businesses, websites, and even doing some work around the high school.

“It’s a great program, the amount of work ethic I’ve learned from this is amazing. There’s just so much I’ve learned. I know how to cut vinyl, do screen printing, and those are very viable skills for what I’m going into. The fact that I know how to do it, will probably get me hired a lot easier,” Senior Emily Jackson said.

As far as benefiting knowledge wise in the course, there is also some great opportunities to go to competitions and earn scholarship money for top colleges and private art schools. The program participates in local and even national levels of SkillsUSA, which is student career and technical organization with a mission of ensuring a reliable and skilled workforce for the future of America. Students who participate have the chance of winning at these competitions, and potentially receiving thousands of dollars of scholarship money for their future in their desired career path.