2018-2019 Catalog 
    Sep 23, 2023  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Visual Communications - Photography Concentration, A.A.S.

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Visual Communications

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.) with a concentration in Graphic Design, Multimedia Design, Photography, Web Design
Contact Information: Program Office 615-353-3390, Program Site, E-mail: vis.com@nscc.edu

The Visual Communications program provides a strong technical foundation to prepare students for visual media careers.

The Visual Communications program fosters a creative learning environment where students have access to state-of-the-art equipment, current software, instruction, and strong technical foundations in a variety of visual media fields. Students are challenged to expand and refine problem-solving skills while participating in real-life class projects and job situations in preparation for success in the workforce.

Students learn design principles, current imaging technology, business practices, and portfolio development. The specific concentrations prepare students for careers in photography, print, web, or multimedia industries.

Graduates of the program should be able to:

  • Demonstrate technical proficiency of hardware and software applications related to discipline;
  • Exhibit creative and conceptual visual skills and craft through creative problem-solving;
  • Demonstrate time management skills by meeting deadlines;
  • Create a portfolio or comprehensive final project that is displayed in a professional manner; and
  • Demonstrate knowledge of business issues relevant to the Visual Communications industry.

Special Requirements

Our courses are designed with the expectation that entering students possess fundamental computer skills, including the ability to:

  • Save files to specific destinations;
  • Navigate drive directories;
  • Write to a hard drive, CD, or flash drive;
  • Type effectively;
  • Edit text in a word processing program; and
  • Send email with attachments.

Students lacking typing skills are encouraged to complete ADMN 1302 .

Grading Policy

A grade of “C” or above must be earned in all COM and PHO courses to meet prerequisite and graduation requirements.


The A.A.S. degree is designed to prepare a student for employment upon graduation. Some universities, at their discretion, accept some technical courses for transfer. A student who plans to transfer to a university should consult his/her advisor and the receiving university about transfer and articulation policies. Failure to do so could result in loss of transfer credits.

Notice of Right to Retain Student Work

The Visual Communications program reserves the right to retain copies of selected examples of student work for teaching purposes, promotional purposes, and as a part of its permanent collection.

Photography Concentration

The Photography Concentration includes traditional and digital components, preparing photographers to work effectively in darkroom, studio and digital environments.

Graduates of the program should be able to:

  • Convey an intended message photographically;
  • Efficiently operate a digital SLR and a 35mm film SLR camera;
  • Work comfortably with digital imaging computer programs;
  • Function competently in a photography lab;
  • Efficiently operate professional studio lighting equipment;
  • Approach photographic problem-solving in a creative manner; and
  • Produce and present a professional quality portfolio.

Career Opportunities

  • Photographer
  • Photographer’s Assistant
  • Lab Technician

Course Requirements

Required: NSCC 1010 - First Year Experience

Humanities/Fine Arts

Natural Sciences/Mathematics Elective

  • Natural Sciences Elective* 4 Credits
  • Mathematics Elective* 3 Credits

Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective

  • Social/Behavioral Sciences Elective* 3 Credits

Photography or Visual Communications Technical Elective (choose one)

Total Required – Associate Degree: 61 Credits


Recommended Full-Time Schedule

First Year

Second Year

Fall Semester

Spring Semester


Additional course requirements: The Tennessee Board of Regents requires that students either demonstrate the appropriate skill levels in math, reading, and/or writing before enrolling in college-level courses or enroll in appropriate co-requisite experiences with college-level courses to develop competency in those skills while performing college-level work. ACT/SAT scores, ACCUPLACER test scores, COMPASS test scores, or other relevant information determine whether a student needs to enroll in co-requisite courses in math, reading, and/or writing (English).

Part-time students and those required to take Learning Support classes should consult with their PHO faculty advisor prior to their first semester registration.

* This course is part of the general education core.

** PHO 1110 must be taken in the First Year Fall Semester in order to complete the degree in a two-year timeframe.

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