Visual Communications

Graphic Design, Interactive Media, Video, Photography, Web Design, and Illustration

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What is VC?

Visual Communications is a program at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. We offer two degree tracks: An AAS in Graphic Design, and in Graphic Design with an Option in Interactive Media (Web design & animation). Have other questions? Follow the links below:

Overview Sessions

If you are interested in more information about the Visual Communication program at Chemeketa and the degrees we offer, we invite you to attend an overview session.

2015-2016 Dates

  • Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

All sessions are from 4:30–6:00PM in 4/225 on the Salem campus

We will talk about our degrees in graphic design and interactive media, show examples of student work, provide information about the application process and discuss transfer and career options. A packet of information is available online. You must attend an overview before applying to the program.

You are also welcome to attend our annual student portfolio show to be held Thursday June 2nd, 2016 from 4–7pm in Building 4, room 225.

Learn more about the VC overview sessions »

Latest News

Now Accepting Program Applications for Fall 2016

April 25th, 2016

The application period to apply for entrance to the Visual Communications program has opened. Applications are accepted now until June 24th, 2016.

Learn about the process in the How to Apply section of this site, attend our last Overview Session on Wednesday May 18th, 2016, or contact Peter Hoelter, Program Chair, for more information.

Creative Classes for Spring

March 3rd, 2016

Photography, filmmaking, and graphic software headline the Visual Communications late afternoon, evening, and online classes this spring.

You do not need to be a VC program student to enroll in these courses, but some do have prerequisites.

All courses listed meet for the full eleven-week term. See the schedule timetable for additional information on how to register for these classes. For questions about these or other classes, contact Peter Hoelter at or 503.399.6475.



Photo by Brian Wytcherle

Photography 1

ART 265 | 4 credits | Fridays 9:30am–3:20pm

Spend your Fridays working with amazing local photographer Kel Ward. Investigates digital photography stressing competent SLR camera handling. Covers exposure control, digital management, image editing, printing, and presentation. Emphasizes important photographic themes, including still life, lighting, and composition. Instructor: Kel Ward

Digital Photography 2

ART 266 | 4 credits | Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:30pm–3:20pm

Apply the basics you learned in Digital Photography 1 (ART265) to include studio work with an emphasis on lighting. Work with VC instructor Bret Malley in this advanced class. Prerequisite: ART265. Instructor: Bret Malley

Photo by Kelly James

Documentary Photography

ART 268 | 4 credits | Thursdays 6pm-9:50pm

Learn the art of storytelling! This course covers the concepts and aesthetics of documentary photography. Prerequisite: ART265. Instructor: Kelly James

History of Photography

ART 202 | 3 credits | Online

Surveys the history of photography from its beginning to the present. Includes technical, artistic, commercial, and social development of photography as a form of visual communication. Instructor: Jason Mekeel

Photo by Laura Lawn

Intro to Photography

ART 142 | 3 credits | Wednesday evenings 6:00 – 9:50pm

Learn to get more from your digital camera and inkjet printer. Covers camera controls, exposure methods, basic image adjustments and composition. Previous computer experience required. Instructor: Laura Lawn


Independent Filmmaking

FLM 268 | 3 credits | Tuesday evenings 6:00–9:50pm

Allows students with skills acquired either through personal experience or in previous courses to work on an independent film guided by industry professional Christian Bergmans. Students will work with digital video cameras and computer-based editing software to produce their own personal film projects in this intermediate-level course. Equipment provided.  Instructor: Christian Bergmans

Design Software

Adobe Illustrator 2

VC 140 | 2 credits | Tuesdays 6pm–8:50pm

Have fun, as you explore the advanced techniques of vector software.  Prerequisite: VC139. Instructor: Carson Brown

Photoshop 1

VC 130 | 2 credits | Mondays 6pm-8:50pm or Online

This is an entry-level class for students with no previous experience in Photoshop. Previous computer experience required. Projects Include: Photo Restoration, Color Correction, Digital Illustration, Compositing, Type Effects. Instructor: Julian Harkema

Dreamweaver 1

VC 134 | 2 credits| Online

Entry-level class for students with no previous experience in web design. Introduces the concepts and techniques of web design software. PC or Mac acceptable. Dreamweaver CS5 or higher required on your home computer. Instructor: Heidi Shamberger

Learn Photography, Design, and Filmmaking This Winter

December 7th, 2015


Explore your creativity this winter! Work with professional designers, illustrators and photographers in small classes for lots of hands-on learning. For more information about these or other classes in graphic design or interactive media, contact Peter Hoelter at Check the schedule timetable for additional information needed for online registration. All courses listed meet on the Salem campus for the full eleven-week term.

Check the schedule timetable for additional information needed for online registration. All courses listed meet for the full ten-week term.

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media Changes

October 15th, 2015

We are pleased to announce some big changes to our social media efforts.

Visual Communications now has a official Facebook page. Like us to get official updates from the program as well as photos and design work from current students. Going forward this will be the official page for announcements, news, and program updates. Like us today — we promise to not flood your Timeline with link bait.

The previous Facebook Group will continue on as before, and faculty and staff will still contribute and moderate the discussions there. However, official posts will now only come from the new page.

Visual Communications has also joined Instagram at @chemeketavc. Follow us for a more visual look at what is happening in the program.

Instant Approval Day is September 18th

September 2nd, 2015


Interested in Visual Communications? Haven’t applied for fall? We still have a limited number of positions available for Fall 2015.

Visit us anytime between 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Friday September 18th, 2015 for our Instant Approval Day.

With your application materials in hand (completed application form, portfolio, essay, and transcripts), have your portfolio reviewed and get an answer all in one day. Download the application PDF.

If you’re a new student, take the placement tests and bring the scores with you so you’re ready to talk. Your application should include the VC application, transcripts of any previous college work, the required essay, and examples of your creative work.

This will be the last day to apply — the program will close on September 19th and no applications will be accepted after this date.

For more information about the program please read the application packet then contact VC Program Chair, Peter Hoelter at 503.399.6475 or email at

More VC Blog entries »