Moraine Park creates Mac labs for Graphic Communications students

by admin16. December 2007 19:00

Macintosh computers are typically used in the printing/publishing industry and in graphic design. With that in mind, Moraine Park Technical College recently converted the PC computer labs used by the College’s Graphic Communications – Electronic Prepress program at the Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses. The new Mac labs are designed to give students additional preparation for the workplace.

 A Moraine Park graphic communications instructor and a student look at a design in Adobe Illustrator using a Mac.

“Since Macs are the standard platform in this profession, we decided to move from a PC lab with a few Macs to an all-Mac lab,” said Bobbi Laine, program dean. Parallels software enables the Macs to also act like PCs so students
can be experienced in both platforms, and students from other programs can continue to use the labs if they prefer the
PC style. 

 

Graphic Communications students will be able to work on both platforms when they graduate. “It seems common for area printers to use Macs in some departments and PCs in other, more business-related departments,” said Laine. “It gives our students a ‘leg up’ when seeking employment because they can be productive on day one of the new job.”

 

Joe Remillard of West Bend, a Graphic Communications – Electronic Prepress student who graduates this month, agrees. “More and more businesses are adding Mac computers to their design shops and the ability to become familiar with a Mac before employment is a great deal of help,” said Remillard. “All of the new technologies that are given to us in the lab have allowed me, personally, to grow as a graphic designer. … The Macs allow the students to quickly move between all of the software programs with ease. I believe and have seen that the new Mac computers can handle the large, complex intricacies of our software packages more easily than a PC. At home I have a PC laptop which I have never had a problem with, but the Macs, with the large screen and massive amount of disk space (300 GB), have helped me gain another element in the graphic design field.”

 

The transition to Macs has had its challenges for some students, although, Remillard said, “I feel that this is good that they get their differences settled now and not on the job.” He has tutored fellow students, explaining to them that “the screen may look a little different but both computers run basically the same. In addition, once you open a program such as Photoshop, the screen and the tools look and work the same on a PC or Mac,” he said.

 

A variety of classes using the Mac labs are available. “We’re offering the same instructional content as before, using Macs as the tool now, so grads can return for Mac training in all courses,” said Laine.

 

In addition to the traditional and online courses, Moraine Park offers customized training in the Mac labs or onsite if a business requests, including instruction in Adobe CS3 products – Photoshop, Acrobat and InDesign – and QuarkXPress. 

“We are currently offering an online accelerated Winterim session of Photoshop, which is a ‘hot’ program for anyone working on their own photos, as well as for those who work in the graphic industry,” said Laine.

 

For more information, contact Laine at 920-924-3163 or blaine@morainepark.edu.

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