University Printing Programs -- The Next Impression
"We are very fortunate to have had much support from the industry," notes Jesus Rodriguez, professor and chairman, Graphics and Imaging Technologies, at Pittsburg State University. "Heidelberg has been one of our staunchest supporters. Since 1997, we have received more than $1.3 million in assistance in the form of cash, donation of materials, supplies and equipment."
The Department of Graphics and Imaging Technologies at the Pittsburg, KS, school offers two majors: Commercial Graphics and Graphic Communications Management. The department's home, the $30 million Kansas Technology Center, showcases more than $2 million of equipment. When the center was completed in 1997, enrollment was 170 students; it currently stands at 250.
"We also added the digital media, photography and screen printing emphases," says Rodriguez. "It is our responsibility to maintain and grow a program that has appeal and practicality and, at the same time, in keeping with the needs of the industry."
Although many colleges and universities offer some sort of associates or bachelors degree in graphic communications, Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) vaunts the best associate degree program in the nation, according to Dean Flowers, associate dean.
On the verge of breaking ground on one of the most advanced academic facilities in the country, WCTC is aspiring to create the regional hub for industry training. The college, located in Pewaukee, WI, is centered in the largest printing population in the country.
Tentatively named Printing Applied Technology, the center will be combined with the 55,000-square-foot Harry V. Quadracci Printing and Graphics Center, which opened in 2001. The new 27,000-square-foot center will be a home for industry training, education, manufacturer demonstrations and will provide opportunities for the entire industry.
"The main goal of the center, and of the school, is to maintain a highly skilled, higher-waged printer," says Flowers. "We want to support the industry by increasing employee technology skills and knowledge about the entire industry."