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


NEVN Photography

Kermit — a Konica Minolta digital printing press in the SCC print lab

Ole Olafson, Reporter

Peggy Deal has been with Scottsdale Community College for 24 years.  She is Residential Faculty and the 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, with Deal at the helm, took a different direction and are currently the only school with a Visual Communication program.

The Visual Communication program at SCC encompasses three separate tracks. An award-winning Graphic Design program, a unique, hands-on Digital Process Management (Printing) program and a comprehensive Creative Branding (Marketing) program. 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 says that the projects that SCC students work on are real and allow them to claim actual work experience while going to school.

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. At Prisma, two to three students each semester rotate through every department in the plant to get a well-rounded experience rather than just working a single position which is common in most 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.

A big part of the reason that they know what they are doing is another unique attribute of the program. Students in the digital Process Management track learn how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot all of 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 various amounts of time in the Peridot room and the former location of Maricopa T.V. in the music building, the SCC Print Lab finally found a permanent home last summer in LC 426, just two doors down from the NEVN newsroom. The program’s two computer labs also found new homes in LC 353 and LC 355.

The center piece of the print lab is their Konica Minolta BizHub C1070 digital printing press with Fiery controller, nicknamed Kermit.  Other equipment in the print lab include a DG3 Direct to Garment t-shirt press which actually prints the garment rather than applying a silk screen.  A paper folder, a brand-new paper cutter, a saddle stitcher (stapler) and coil binder, as well as a laminator.

The Artichoke magazine, a promotional magazine for SCC, Vortex, a book of stories written by SCC creative writing students, and Two Waters Circle, which features research writing by SCC students are all currently designed by students in the Visual Communication program and produced in the SCC print lab.

In addition, Visual Communications students also create and print their own projects while attending classes at SCC.

In 2012, the program received the Fredrick D. Kagy Education Award from the Ben Franklin Society, distinguishing it as one of the top graphic design programs in the country.