VCD no longer requires Basic Studios Skills class

Kristen Russo

Freshmen visual communication design majors are saving $400 this semester.

The School of Visual Communication Design has replaced Basic Studio Skills, which cost students approximately $400 in materials, with a lecture class called Introduction to VCD I.

Bruce Morrill, who is teaching the course’s only section this semester, said it focuses on introducing students to all the aspects of design, such as photo illustration, 2-D graphic design, 3-D graphic design, wayfinding, computer Web site motion graphics and illustration.

“We’re trying to get students to see what they’re getting into, see if it’s for them,” said Morrill, assistant professor of VCD.

Steve Timbrook, interim director of the school, said the faculty thought they may have been losing students because Basic Studio Skills – the first class freshmen took in Visual Communication Design – didn’t show students all they could do in design.

“There were a lot of students in Basic Studio Skills who thought because they didn’t like the content of the course, they wouldn’t like VCD,” Timbrook said.

In Basic Studio Skills, students did more hands-on work, such as drawing and making models, and had a more intense workload. Athough students won’t learn the same skills in Intro to VCD I as they would have in Basic Studio Skills, he said no additional classes have been added to the curriculum.

Morrill said the only negative about the course is that it could give students a false sense of the skills they should have for their major.

“It’s impossible, or nearly impossible, to possess the creative, problem-solving mentality students need from this course,” he said.

But Timbrook said some of the critical information from Basic Studio Skills is also covered in Introduction to VCD II.

As of now Introduction to VCD I and II will both be offered during the spring and summer semesters, Morrill said. After this year, Intro to VCD I will only be offered during the fall. The course work in Intro to VCD I includes a research paper, two tests and a few in-class assignments.

Freshman visual communication design major Louis Delciappo said he would like to do some drawing in the class, but saving $400 on materials makes up for his disappointment.

“It’s good for working on the thinking aspects of design,” he said.

Katie Kotler, freshman visual communication design major, agreed.

“The class helps for being able to know what the different majors in VCD are, which is helpful for knowing what you want to go into out of college,” she said.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Kristen Russo at [email protected].