Increase of Enrollment in the Graphics Department


Photo courtesy of Craig Polanowski

Story By: Jhoselin Clark, Reporter

In semesters following the campus closure in March due to COVID-19, Fresno City College has experienced an increase in the amount of students enrolling in the Graphics Department.

Craig Polanowski, a graphic communications instructor and chair of the Visual Media Technology department said the departments are fully asynchronous this semester. “Our courses are completely online,” he said, also adding that the department has offered student’s free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud software suite. Also, FCC started to loan laptops, tablets and mi-fi units for students who are in need of technology. 

According to Polanowski, about 400 faculty members were trained over the summer to deliver online instruction in this emergency. FCC provides many avenues to support students and instructors on a wide range of topics.

According to the Dean of Applied Technology, Becky Barabé, in the fall semester of 2019 there were 310 students enrolled in the Graphics department when the classes were held in person. Compared to the 2020 fall semester currently all classes are being held online and there are 581 students enrolled. 

At the moment there is a percentage of 119 Hispanic students enrolled in the program, 36 White/non-Hispanic, 23 Asian/ Pacific Islander, 14 African-American/Non-Hispanic, five Multi-ethnicity and one unknown, information from students headcount analytics.

“The class size is now 30 students instead of 24, and (personally) I have added students from the waiting list. I had 36 enrolled in my Web Design class,” said Polanowski.

Even in these difficult times that we are living, light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

Currently, most of the online classes in the Graphics department are self-paced courses, giving flexibility to students that have families or jobs and allowing them to work at their own pace.

As for photography classes, there were 1,489 students enrolled in the fall of 2019. Currently there are about 1,167 students enrolled in online classes for the fall 2020 semester, according to Barabé. However, there are more upcoming short-term photography classes available on Oct. 10, an opportunity for more students to enroll. 

On the other hand, there are a few classes that are not being offered at the moment until new notice due to the social distancing requirements. But none of the classes would affect the students seeking for their certificate or degree, according to Barabé. 

The Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are working with their best effort to assist the FCC students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are advised to make an appointment with their counselor to talk about their upcoming online and in-person courses for the spring 2021. 

Photo courtesy of Craig Polanowski