Visual and Performing Arts

Visual & Performing Arts

Creativity is a vital component that connects us and moves society forward.  Art, theatre, and music venues are often the cornerstone of our communities.  Likewise, our media, communication and entertainment industries are essential to keeping those communities connected and engaged.  Parkland offers degrees and certificates that will allow you to pursue your personal creative interests, while also positioning you to seek a career in the arts, broadcasting, graphic design, communication, public relations and more.

  • - Financial aid eligible
  • - Transferable to a 4-year institution
  • - Transferable to specific 4-year institutions through 2+2 agreements
  • - Can be earned entirely online

Communication: Photography

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Photography program prepares students for employment as studio photographers, photographer assistants, lab/print specialists, freelance photographers, studio managers, and small business owners. Courses cover the fundamentals of photography through studio photography; historical processes through digital photography; the development of a photography portfolio; and the business of photography.

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Interactive Design Certificate

Certificate (CER)

The Interactive Design certificate prepares students for entrylevel positions that require in-depth knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other web development tools. Students will learn the practical side of developing interactive designs for websites and devices. The certificate stresses technical competency and prepares students to manage a small business or community organization website. Students will build a diverse portfolio of digital media projects including responsive websites and ebooks.

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Music Foundations: Music Business and Technologies

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Music Business and Technologies emphasis provides a foundation in music that prepares students for further study and careers in music fields such as music management, music production, sound engineering, sound design, music publishing and media promotion.

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Communication: Media Communications Concentration

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Media Communication concentration provides the foundation for further study in mass communication related to areas such as advertising, public relations, audio/video/internet production, journalism, and media effects research. Students in this area are prepared for careers in mass media industries such as radio, television, entertainment, and journalism.

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Communication: Broadcast Technology

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Broadcast Technology Program prepares students for careers in radio and television engineering and technical support. Students prepare for professional certification and work in broadcast facilities, including WPCD-FM on the Parkland campus. The program stresses maintenance and repair as well as performance measurement and installation of various types of equipment found in the broadcast industry. Graduates are prepared for positions as station chief engineers or engineering assistants.

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Theatre Arts: Design Track

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The design track provides a foundation for continued studies in art and design for theatre in areas such as costume, stage make up, set design and construction. The Design track prepares students for careers in the entertainment industry, community and professional theatre, as well as other industries including themed restaurants, or design, fabrication and installation of exhibits.

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Music Performance

Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.)

Parkland students who are seeking a bachelor’s degree in music are strongly encouraged to complete the Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree and the general education core curriculum before transferring. To transfer into a baccalaureate program with a major in music education or music performance, students should complete the course work in consultation with a music faculty advisor. Completion of the A.F.A. degree does not fulfill the requirements of the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum. Therefore, students are advised to complete the general education core curriculum before they transfer. Choose two additional Social/ Behavioral Science electives from two different subject areas and one Humanities/Fine Arts elective to complete this core curriculum. Transfer admission is competitive. Completion of this program alone does not guarantee admission either to the baccalaureate program or to upper-division or specialty music courses. Students may be required to demonstrate skill level through auditions and placement testing at the institution to which they transfer. In some colleges and universities, a bachelor’s degree may also require competency in a single foreign language.

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Theatre Arts

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Associate in Arts degree prepares students to transfer into a bachelor’s program in Theatre Arts. Students may choose either the performance track—which emphasizes acting, voice, and movement—or the design track, which allows students to explore the role of art and design in theatre. Both tracks immerse the students in foundational studies of theatre and provide a wide range of experiences both on stage and behind the scenes. Admission to a baccalaureate program is competitive and completion of these courses alone does not guarantee admission. Students should plan their transfer programs with a Parkland academic advisor or counselor and the catalog of the four-year college or university they plan to attend.

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Communication: Media Arts and Production

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Media Arts and Production program prepares students for employment in small and medium market radio and TV stations as well as corporate communication and public relations offices. Because communication technology personnel must perform a variety of duties, this program stresses versatility. Communication courses offer students experience in live-audience and recorded speaking. Advertising and business courses involve students in other aspects of the communication industry. Audio, video and internet components are meshed with an understanding of the history and theory of development of the message. Students polish their skills by operating WPCD-FM, Parkland’s 10,500-watt educational radio station and filling production crew positions at PCTV, the college’s educational cable access channel.

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Interactive Design

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Interactive Design program prepares students to design interactive user experiences for websites and devices. The program prepares students for careers in marketing communication, web design, web development, and related fields. Courses cover principles of design, visual communication, creative problem solving, user experience design, and web development. Students will build a diverse portfolio of creative digital media projects including responsive websites, ebooks, apps, and animation.

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Music Foundations: Music Performance/Composition

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Music Performance/composition emphasis provides a foundation in music that prepares students for further study and careers as a musician in professional or community music organizations, music education, teaching private music lessons, arts administration, music arranging, and music copyright.

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Music Education

Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.)

Parkland students who are seeking a bachelor’s degree in music are strongly encouraged to complete the Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree and the general education core curriculum before transferring. To transfer into a baccalaureate program with a major in music education or music performance, students should complete the course work in consultation with a music faculty advisor. Completion of the A.F.A. degree does not fulfill the requirements of the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum. Therefore, students are advised to complete the general education core curriculum before they transfer. Transfer admission is competitive. Completion of this program alone does not guarantee admission either to the baccalaureate program or to upper-division or specialty music courses. Students may be required to demonstrate skill level through auditions and placement testing at the institution to which they transfer. In some colleges and universities, a bachelor’s degree may also require competency in a single foreign language.

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Theatre Arts: Entertainment Technology

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Entertainment Technology program prepares students for technical careers in the entertainment industry. A partial list of potential careers includes set construction, production and lighting crew for stage and film, technical work in educational institutions, resorts, restaurants and theme parks, music and theatre touring companies, community theatre, social organizations, and radio and television. Students will benefit from foundational studies in several technology fields as well as theatre and will gain a wide range of experiences in production behind the scenes. The theatre practicum will allow for dedicated experience in areas of special interest to the individual student.

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Art and Design

Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.)

Illinois colleges and universities offer two different bachelor’s degrees in art: the professional Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree with a major in art. In general, the B.F.A. degree requires about 135 semester credits for completion, while the B.A. degree with a major in art requires 120-124 semester credits for completion. The B.F.A. degree generally requires more studio art courses than does the B.A. degree. In some colleges and universities, a B.A. degree requires competency in a single foreign language, while the B.F.A. degree often does not. To transfer into a baccalaureate program with a fine arts major in art education or art and design, students should complete the course work in consultation with an art and design faculty advisor. Completion of the A.F.A. degree does not fulfill the requirements of the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum (GECC). Therefore, students are advised to complete the GECC before they transfer. Transfer admission is competitive. Completion of this program alone does not guarantee admission either to the baccalaureate program or to upper division or specialty art courses. Students may be required to demonstrate skill level through a portfolio review at the institution to which they seek transfer.

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Theatre Arts: Performance Track

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The performance track provides a foundation for further study in acting, voice, movement, and theatre production. This track prepares students for careers as actors, performers, and production personnel in the entertainment industry including theatre, film, and broadcast.

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Digital Media

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Digital Media program equips students with the skills necessary for the design of computer-generated applications and media. Areas include 3D animation and game design. The digital media program prepares students for employment in such areas as gaming, feature film, web design, video and commercial production, post-production, visual effects, and architectural design. Students begin their training in classes in 2D and 3D fundamentals, imaging, and design. Students then study the aesthetic and design aspects of digital media with focused courses in graphic design, fine arts, and advanced imaging. This program transfers to the Bachelor’s of Science in Media Arts in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

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Entertainment Technology

Certificate (CER)

The Certificate in Entertainment Technology program helps students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on careers as professional stagehands, stage carpenters, stage electricians, audio technicians, or technical directors. Emphasis in this specialized program is on production; many hours are required in the operation of the theatre plant, and the construction of scenery, properties, and lighting of theatrical events. Students will be actively involved in the production of numerous music and theatre events in the Parkland Theatre.

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Communication: Media Production

Certificate (CER)

This certificate program is designed for students interested in media, music, computers, and the arts. It prepares students for entry-level positions that require in-depth knowledge of mass communication production techniques and software. Students will gain practical experience producing for radio, television, sports, music, film, and digital media. Graduates are employed as production assistants at radio or television stations or in corporate departments in gaming, music, film, or other entertainment industry fields.

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Graphic Design: Digital Illustration

Certificate (CER)

This certificate program is ideal for students who enjoy drawing and art creation using traditional media, but would like to add digital tools to their skill set. Students will learn the practical side of creating original art using digital tools while building a portfolio of editorial illustrations, concept art, technical illustrations, and animation. The certificate program stresses digital media software proficiency, a thorough understanding of design principles, and visual problem solving. Graduates are employed in in-house corporate art departments, illustration studios, and as freelancers.

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General Studies

Associate in General Studies (A.G.S.)

The Associate in General Studies (A.G.S.) degree program consists of courses designed to meet individual goals for personal improvement and self-understanding. This program is designed for students who wish to earn an associate’s degree but not in a specific career or transfer area. This associate’s degree is not covered by the “articulation compact program” nor by the Illinois Articulation Initiative.

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Graphic Design: Print Production

Certificate (CER)

The Print Production certificate program prepares students for entry-level positions that require in-depth knowledge of graphic arts software. Students will learn the practical side of preparing digital press-ready files for efficient output to either film or plates while gaining practical experience creating posters, brochures, newsletters, and other printed materials. The certificate stresses Macintosh computer proficiency and a thorough understanding of various commercial printing processes. Graduates are employed in printing facilities and in-house corporate art departments as pre-press operators, print production specialists, or production assistants.

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Music Foundations

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

Parkland students who are interesting in exploring careers in music while completing general education courses needed for transfer should consider the Associate in Arts in Music Foundations. The degree offers a foundational experience in theory, aural skills, instrumental instruction, and music technology that allows the student to consider the pathways offered by a career in music. The program is designed for those students with or without formal experience in music. Transfer admission in music is competitive. Completion of this program alone does not guarantee admission either to the baccalaureate program or to upper-division or specialty music courses. Students who determine after the first year that they wish to transfer to a four-year program in music performance may want to consider additional coursework in music in order to complete the A.F.A. degree program in preparation for transfer to institutions requiring audition.

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Communication: Public and Professional Communication Concentration

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

The Public and Professional Communication concentration provides a foundation for continued study in effective communication strategies and research in areas such as interpersonal, public address, organizational communication, and rhetorical studies. Public and Professional communication prepares students for careers in public service, customer relations, education, corporate management and leadership.

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Graphic Design

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Graphic Design program prepares students for careers in marketing communication, advertising, and related design fields. Courses cover principles of design, visual communication, creative problem solving, and digital media. Students learn to create digital art for print and web.

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Communication

Associate in Arts (A.A.)

Bachelor’s degree programs in communication typically encompass two areas of concentration: Media Communication includes concentration areas in advertising/public relations, audio/video/ Internet production, journalism/photojournalism, and media theory/research/effects. Public and Professional Communication includes concentration areas such as interpersonal, public address, organizational communication, and rhetorical studies. The introductory coursework in either of these concentrations will provide a solid foundation from which the student may choose any of the various pathways offered in a four-year communication program. Students are encouraged to complete an associate degree prior to transfer. Students should be aware that some schools have specific requirements for admission to the major, and should consult with an advisor at the transfer institution concerning specific degree requirements.

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Art Education

Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.)

To teach in Illinois public schools, teachers must be certified by the state of Illinois either by completion of an approved teacher preparation program or through transcript analysis. To transfer as a junior into an approved baccalaureate program in art education (K-12 or 6-12), students must complete a minimum of 60 semester credit hours, including the general education courses specified to meet certification requirements. Students should plan their transfer programs with a Parkland Art and Design faculty advisor and the catalog of the four-year college or university they plan to attend. Students must also pass examinations in basic skills (reading, writing, grammar, and math) required for admission. Students are strongly encouraged to complete an A.F.A. prior to transferring. Since admission is competitive, completion of the recommended courses does not guarantee admission.

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