The Communications Technology pathway at Burlington High School offers students an immersive education in digital imaging, graphic design, and production graphics. This pathway is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to thrive in various fields of visual communication and graphic arts. Through a series of specialized courses, students gain hands-on experience with industry-standard software and techniques, preparing them for careers in digital media, graphic design, and related fields.

Whether they choose to pursue further education or enter the workforce immediately, students who complete the Communications Technology pathway are equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to succeed in the dynamic world of communications technology. They acquire essential skills in using industry-standard software and techniques, making them valuable assets in the rapidly evolving field of visual communication.

Communication Technology Pathway at a Glance

Communication Tech Courses

Digital Imaging and Photography, Digital Design, Graphic Design Principals, Production Graphics Technology, Advanced Digital Imaging, Graphic Communication Capstone, Pathfinder (Yearbook)

Other Suggested Courses

Computer Applications, Advertising/Sales, Marketing, Web Design

Check out the Program of Studies for a complete list of course offerings and descriptions.

National Workforce Statistics for Graphic Designers

2023 U.S. median pay$58,910 per year/$28.32 per hour
No. of U.S. jobs in 2022270,900
Projected no. graphic designers needed annually7,300
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Southeast Iowa Workforce Statistics

Graphic designer wage$22.11-$25.72 per hour
Openings10 per year
Source: Iowa Workforce Development

Communication Technology Course Descriptions

Digital Imaging and Photography
This course introduces students to the fundamental functions of digital cameras and basic photographic concepts such as composition, exposure, lighting, and flash. Students will learn to use image editing software to create and manipulate digital images. Skills include using layers, cropping images, and adjusting color and lighting. By the end of the course, students will compile a portfolio demonstrating their acquired skills.

Advanced Digital Imaging and Photography
Building on the skills learned in Digital Imaging and Photography, this advanced course teaches enhanced photography techniques, including camera handling, lighting, and composition. Students will also explore more complex image editing techniques, such as adding light effects, retouching, and creating web graphics. The course culminates in a portfolio that showcases students’ progress and advanced skills. Prerequisite: Digital Imaging and Photography.

Digital Design
Students in this course will gain familiarity with graphic layout using electronic pagination software. Emphasis is placed on publication design, development, reproducibility, and proper design techniques. Students will create a variety of print media using the publishing software.

Graphic Design Principles
This introductory course covers the basic principles of design aesthetics for print and web media. Students will learn about the history of desktop publishing, communication basics, document structure, typography, color usage, and illustration. The course provides a strong foundation for further studies in graphic design.

Production Graphics Technology
An in-depth study of various forms of graphic communication, this course covers design, layout, paste-up, binding, finishing, screen printing, computer graphics, desktop publishing, and video production. It is intended for students interested in a career in graphic communication but is applicable to many areas. Prerequisite: Digital Imaging, Digital Design, Graphic Design Principles, and instructor approval.

Graphic Communication Capstone
In this capstone course, students apply their knowledge and skills from previous graphic communication courses to create, design, and produce graphic projects. They may work independently or in collaboration with the marketing capstone class on real-world projects that support school and community programs. Students will also create a digital portfolio showcasing their work. Prerequisite: Production Graphics and instructor approval.

Pathfinder (Yearbook)
This course involves the production and distribution of the school yearbook. Students will practice refined journalistic techniques, critical evaluation of story content, and publication mechanics. The course covers writing, business management, and layout design. Students are expected to participate in after-school activities and must enroll in all three trimesters. The course is repeatable for credit. Photography or Graphic Arts experience is beneficial.

Betsy Wolf

Communication Technology Teacher
Betsy Wolf