Rochester Community and Technical College


Graphic Design Programs Available at Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester Community and Technical College appears in our ranking of the 20 Most Affordable Associates in Web Design and Development Online.

Students attending Rochester Community and Technical College can earn an Associate of Science (AS) degree in graphic design. Though the program accepts new students each semester, some of the classes they must take are only available during select semesters. The college has an arrangement with Metropolitan State University that allows students to complete two years of study and earn an associate degree before transferring to that university to work on a bachelor’s degree. Graphic design majors can take courses that include Art History Survey, Computer as Creative Media, Photo Lighting Techniques, Digital Art I and II and Graphic Design I and II.

Also available is an AS program in web design. Web design and graphic design majors take many of the same courses. Those in the web design program learn how to use graphic design techniques to create websites for clients and to use those designs on the internet. Students can transfer to Metropolitan State University, Moorhead State University or Minnesota State University after finishing their degrees due to the arrangements the college has made. They’ll take classes that include Mobile Application Development, Typography, Motion Graphics, and 2D Design.

Rochester Community and Technical College also offers several Transfer Pathway programs for students who want to transfer to almost any state university in Minnesota. One of those programs lets students earn a certificate in mass communications. They learn the fundamentals of communicating with others in various ways, including through online campaigns and mobile apps. The college also offers a more traditional AS in art that lets students study fine arts and similar subjects. Art majors can take classes from different areas of art, including graphic design, photography, 2D design, 3D design, and studio art. The college asks majors to create a portfolio that shows some of their artwork.

About Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester Community and Technical College is a community college in Rochester, Minnesota that offers two-year degree programs. Founded in 1915 when Dr. Charles Mayo requested that the city add a college curriculum to the local high school, it opened the following year. Known as the University Department, it also went by the name of Southern University. Many of its first students were recent high school graduates who wanted to continue their studies. It later became Rochester Junior College and then Rochester State Junior College after it became a member of the Minnesota State Junior College System. A separate institute originally called the Rochester Area Vocational Institute opened in 1944 and offered evening classes. The two schools would later merge to become Rochester Community and Technical College.

Also called RCTC, the college grew even more after becoming part of the Joint Vocational Technical District 2501, which consisted of two other community colleges. Those schools would also merge with the Minnesota Riverland Technical College to become RCTC. The college now offers four degree programs: Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts, Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Science programs. Students can also earn diplomas and certificates from the college. It also has arrangements with other schools that allow its students to spend two years at RCTC and two years at another school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Rochester Community and Technical College Accreditation Details

RCTC received regional accreditation in 1923 and retains that accreditation today through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This is why high school students can earn dual credits at the college and why students can transfer to a four-year university after completing their degrees. HLC accreditation also lets RCTC students use government funds from the state and the federal government to pay for college. The nursing, business, veterinary medicine, allied health, and auto tech programs all have accreditation too.

Rochester Community and Technical College Application Requirements

Though RCTC does not have an application fee, it does have an application deadline. Students applying for fall admission must submit their applications by August 12, though the deadline for the spring semester isn’t until January 7. There is no deadline for students starting in the summer, though they will still need to make sure that the college receives their information before the semester starts. RCTC does not have many admission requirements. It asks that students have a strong understanding of the English language and that they have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. Those who do not have either may receive acceptance on a case by case basis. The college asks students to submit a copy of their certificates or their official high school transcripts.

Before starting classes, all incoming students must complete an orientation. This also gives them a chance to schedule their placement test, which is how the college decides when they need to take introductory courses first or if they can sign up for advanced courses. Students can also learn how to get an email address and receive their ID cards during orientation. RCTC encourages students to submit the FAFSA prior to the application deadline to make sure they get the financial aid that they need.

Tuition and Financial Aid

All students attending RCTC pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live. As it’s a community college, it offers an affordable rate of $187.98 per credit hour. Students can take a single class or as many classes as they want. Those who take 12 credits will pay $2,255.76 per semester, which increases to $3,383.64 for students who take 18 credits in the same semester. Students also pay fees of between $0.35 to $10 per credit hour and a student activity fee of $7.80 per credit hour. The college freezes this fee at $112.50 per semester.

Students have until September 25 to submit the FAFSA and still get financial aid for the school year. Those who file closer to the start of the semester or after that date may not get any aid until the following semester though. RCTC allows students to apply for financial aid for the spring and summer sessions too. Most students qualify for Pell grants and get more than $6,000 a year, but students can also take out loans. They can borrow several thousand dollars every year. Graphic design majors can also use private loans and external scholarships to pay for the costs of attending Rochester Community and Technical College.

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