Application Process

Visual Communications Overview Session

Your first step to applying to the program is to attend an Overview Session, even if you are sure that Visual Communications is the right place for you. If you have additional questions after you have been here and talked with us, make an appointment with Program Chair Peter Hoelter.

In addition, most of our evening classes are open to all students and they are a great way to see if the program is a good fit for you. The annual Portfolio Show is also open to everyone and is a good opportunity for you to talk with us and see the work of our amazing students. Complete term-by-term class sequences are available in the Classes section of this web site.

Program Application Process

  1. Enroll in any required prerequisite courses indicated by your placement tests. You must be currently enrolled in or have successfully completed all other prerequisite classes with a grade of "C" or higher before entering for the program. That means you may submit your application, but your acceptance is conditional on having completed any prerequisite courses.
  2. Assemble your work. Your application materials will include your VC application, entrance portfolio, essay, and transcripts from other colleges (if applicable). Submit your application via a Google Drive folder shared with peter.hoelter@chemeketa.edu. Only applications submitted in this manner will be reviewed for entrance. More information on the portfolio and essay is available below.
  3. We usually accept 48 students into the program, with approximately 30 in the graphic design/interactive media track, and 18 in multimedia arts. We will accept applications after the closing date only if there are remaining slots in the program. This web site will have updated information on whether or not additional applications are being accepted. Applicants will be notified of their status by email. Check your inbox often during the process, as additional or missing materials are sometimes requested.
  4. If you need feedback regarding your application status for financial aid purposes, be sure to apply early. No feedback will be given during the last week of the term or during finals week.
  5. While the primary sequences of classes begins in fall, you may begin taking general education and some program classes at any time. Most program classes are only offered once a year. It will take a minimum of two academic years to complete the program, beginning in fall term. You may take additional time to complete the program as needed without re-applying to the program.

You are considered a pre-VC student until your completed application is evaluated and you are accepted into the program. Your application will be evaluated only after you have attended an Overview Session and submitted the required application package. If your financial aid status depends on being accepted into the program you must apply early.

Criteria for admission

We are not looking for professional-quality work as entrance criteria. We are looking for evidence of the creative, technical and communication skills that will help you be successful in the program. While some students seem to be born with talent, it is your experience, training and attitude that will determine your success.

If you do not have examples of previous work, you may begin by taking art or photography courses and develop a portfolio from these projects. The program reflects a balance of creative, craft and communication skills, which should be evident in the work you submit, regardless of media. We are looking for potential, not excellence. More details can be found in the sections below.

Selection process

The program chair reviews completed application packages using the VC admission screening criteria worksheet. Review this document as you prepare your application packet.

Students may receive one of several email letters regarding the status of your application:

  • You may be notified that you have been accepted and are ready to begin classes.
  • You may be notified that you are ready to begin, but that we have more applicants than we can accept, and based on the date of your completed application, you will be placed on a waiting list.
  • If it is determined that you need to complete additional work prior to gaining admissions into the program, you will be notified of this decision and may reapply for admission after this work is completed.
  • You may make an appointment with the program chair to review your portfolio if your application is not successful.

Application Essay

We would like to hear why the Visual Communications Program is the next step in your education and career path. This should be a one-page essay, written from a personal perspective. Write a brief summary of your background, including any previous experiences, education, hobbies, and work that have brought you here. Write about anything that you feel is relevant, from family history, mentors, and inspirations, to what you find yourself happiest doing. Then tie this into what led you to Chemeketa and the VC program.

The final paragraphs should include what you would like to do with your new or enhanced skills and abilities after completing your degree here. This may include additional education as well as career choices, both immediately on graduation and for long-range goals. There are no right answers here, just your thoughtful reflections on why you would like to join us.

Entrance Portfolio

For Graphic Design/Interactive Media Applicants:

Entrance portfolios for the graphic design track should include 9-12 examples of any visual work that you have done. This may be in a single medium or comprised of a number of media. For example, your portfolio may include 12 photographs, 12 pieces of fine art, or 12 works of graphic or web design. On the other hand you may want to include 3 drawings, 3 photographs, 2 web pages, 1 photograph of a sculpture and 3 scans of character sketches. Neatness and craft count regardless of media.

For Multimedia Arts Applicants:

For the Multimedia Arts applicants, submit a mix of 5-10 items of your creative work in with fields of photography, filmmaking, digital video, animation, and motion graphics or other creative media.

Submission Details for All Applicants:

Your portfolio of work would then be submitted via a link to a Google Drive folder. Share your application folder with peter.hoelter@chemeketa.edu. Do not e-mail individual applications and portfolios to this address—you must share your information using Google Drive. Everything must be included in a single folder.

The video below includes detailed instructions on how to assemble your application folder. View in full-screen mode to catch all of the details.