Art Institutes

Graphic &Web Design

I'm ready to prove myself.

Nobody has to tell you that visual communication is becoming more and more interactive. And as the lines between graphic design and web design become less defined, employers are starting to look for both graphic designers with interactive skills and web developers with solid design skills. If you’re considering either direction, our Graphic & Web Design degree programs is the place to start. We’ll guide you through the fundamentals of visual communications in both disciplines. Then you’ll choose either a print or interactive concentration as you begin to work toward a future where you can do what you love. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be and pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty* who know what it takes to succeed in the real world.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty & instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
90
Timeframe:
6 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes
X

Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2551 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

View Academic Catalog

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic & Web Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes
X

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic & Web Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/4212 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

  • Graduates demonstrate versatile aesthetic layout and design solutions, including effective usage of space, line, color, shape, texture, form, balance and value; typographic and photographic hierarchy structures.
  • Graduates demonstrate conceptual thinking through work that reflects historical and contemporary trends, answering design problems with creative visual and writing elements.
  • Graduates demonstrate the interdependence of content and visual expression; evaluate and critique their design concept; articulate the vision behind their creative work, and defend their creative solutions.
  • Graduates articulate their design direction by communicating mastery of graphic and web design, problem solving, ethics and industry standards in visual presentations.
Graphic Design Concentration Specific Objectives:

  • Graduates demonstrate and apply competencies in industry-specific computer software. These include preparation and presentation of work, technical aspects of prepress, output, and quality reproduction as well as web design.
Web Design Concentration Specific Objectives:

  • Graduates demonstrate knowledge of interactive design & development using industry software, authoring systems and/or web scripting.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience


I have the talent and the intensity. I just need the tools.

Both graphic design and web design are really about coming up with new approaches to solve problems. So you’ll start with the basics of both in areas like color, illustration, and image manipulation, then explore concept development and implementation courses. After your first year, you’ll choose a concentration. In Graphic Design, you’ll take a more traditional approach, studying product packaging, posters, art direction, and layout design. You’ll work on product packaging, posters, and interactive media, including web page design. You’ll work with professional technology, including image manipulation software and computer-aided design, then progress to art direction and strategies for designing a product, service, or message. If you choose Web Design, you’ll work across media platforms from mobile devices to desktop computers. This is screen-based visual communication involving interactive design and development using industry software, authoring systems and web scripting. You’ll explore emerging technology, work with audio and video, and more. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Andrew Satterwhite

    Andrew Satterwhite

    Culinary Arts , 2013

    "The Art Institute of San Antonio [taught me] why recipes come out a certain way."

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    Andrew Satterwhite

    Line Cook at Luke San Antonio

    Andrew Satterwhite is working as a line cook at Luke San Antonio in Texas. He’s responsible for set up, prep, and running the grill station for dinner service. Andrew served in the United States Army for four years as a parachute rigger and has also worked in construction. “All [of these experiences] have taught me skills that I can use for myself, but also I have used them to help this country grow,” he says.

    Andrew looks to his surroundings for inspiration and says that the best part of his culinary career is that it’s always changing. “This is one of the most diverse and exciting careers to have. I can go anywhere and learn recipes, techniques, and cultures to help me make new and exciting dishes [to] introduce to my family and others.”

    Andrew, who in 2013 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that his education taught him why recipes turn out a certain way. “Growing up in California, I was lucky enough to encounter many cultures and the cuisines that accompanied them. In the Army, I used an electric skillet and a barbeque to make all my meals.” He recommends that current students open their minds to learning. “Figure out how to make [learning] a driving force in everything you do.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2550 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Angela Lawson

    Angela Lawson

    Digital Photography , 2015

    "My education at The Art Institute of San Antonio gave me the skills, knowledge, and business sense to be successful in [any] genre of photography that I choose."

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    Angela Lawson

    Real Estate Photographer for Curb Views, LLC

    Angela Lawson is a real estate photographer for Curb Views, LLC, in San Antonio, Texas. She photographs houses and collaborates with realtors to build virtual tours of real estate listings. To create her work, Angela visits homes for sale, photographing the inside and outside. “Sometimes, the home may not be photographically ready and I help the owners and realtors to straighten up,” she says. “I had a realtor specifically request me as her photographer because she liked my photographic style. The previous home I shot for her sold in the first 8 hours of being listed. She was so happy and that made me happy!”

    Angela’s creative inspirations include Annie Leibovitz, Martin Schoeller, Herb Ritts, Jerry Uelsman, Christian Coigny, and Helmut Newton. She’s excited to be learning new skills and meeting new people. “I have the chance with each passing day to make better work than the day before. This work is seen by many, many different people and is a reflection of my hard work and knowledge of my craft. I always enjoy learning more about photography.”

    Angela, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education provided the skills, knowledge, and business sense she needed to be successful in photography. “I learned about lighting, photographic design, portraiture, photojournalism, corporate and architecture, business practices, and so much more. All of this knowledge sets me apart from many photographers out there in the world.” She adds that current students should take their time and stay focused on their goals. “While you may pick up certain skills quickly, others may be more challenging. Life events, finances, and learning curves may seem to overwhelm at times—it happened to me—but don't let them discourage you from your goals and passion for what you want to do.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/4262 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Ayme Troas

    Ayme Troas

    Interior Design , 2015

    "My education [taught me] how to communicate with other designers. When they ask for particular items by name, I know exactly what they are talking about."

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    Ayme Troas

    Design and Sales for KBK to Trade

    Ayme Troas is working in design and sales for KBK to Trade in San Antonio, Texas. She assists designers in finding the right fabrics, furniture, accessories, and lighting for interior design projects. Ayme also works with vendors to get information for clients and to place orders. “The design industry is always evolving, as are the people. Every once in a while someone comes along and takes the industry by storm. I enjoy learning about the new trends and introducing them to our clients,” she says.

    Ayme finds creative inspiration in the world around her. “Whether it’s people, food, my surroundings, or a movement, there is always something that will spark a start to my next project.” Her creative heroes are people in the design industry who go above and beyond to reach the best possible design outcome. Looking to the future, Ayme believes that computer renderings will continue to improve—and will soon look like actual photographs. “The industry is headed toward more digital advances [including] creating applications for tablets or phones [that will allow designers to make] on-the-spot renderings. These [applications] would be extremely beneficial to designers who are always on the go.”

    Ayme, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education taught her the industry language as well as how to be a strong communicator. “When [other designers] ask for particular items by name, I know exactly what they are talking about and therefore I can help them more proficiently. I’m also able to quickly draft plans or create sketches to show custom pieces or room layouts.” She adds that current students should push their creativity and don’t hold back. “Find your signature style but don’t be afraid to explore others.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2546 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Sommer Bostick

    Sommer Bostick

    Media Arts & Animation , 2014

    "Working on game based training for the military has exposed me to things I never would be doing when I started at [The Art Institute of San Antonio]."

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    Sommer Bostick

    3D Modeler and Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton

    Sommer Bostick is working as a 3D modeler and consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton on the San Antonio Riverwalk in Texas. She works on game based training for the military, and is responsible for creating and texturing 3D models, video editing, and demonstrating products and capabilities at marketing events. Sommer says that she learns something new each day. “I think that's one of the coolest things about being in the animation industry because when you have to model and animate something you know nothing about, you have to learn everything about it so you can accurately represent it.”

    Sommer is especially proud to have created a welcome video for Booz Allen Hamilton’s incoming CEO—it was played for hundreds of employees. “That video gained me recognition from leadership and other teams in the firm. I met and talked with the CEO one-on-one during the event [where the video] was played, and it was an amazing experience for me.” Since her video was viewed, Sommer says that the company’s leadership has relied on her more and more. “I realized how much I proved myself to my team, and the whole firm.”

    Sommer, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education provided her with the knowledge, tools, and skills she needed to transition into her current career. She recommends that current students give it everything they’ve got—even if it means taking a job that isn’t a “dream job.” “It’s experience and you need that.” She adds that the future of her industry lies in staying on top of new technology and developing applications and training. “Currently we are diving into virtual reality with technology like Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. We are exploring how these technologies can benefit training in the military. I believe that virtual reality can go beyond that into health care and other professions, and be incredibly useful in training capabilities.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/2547 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

Study Section

I'm a visual problem solver. Let's get started.

The curriculum for each concentration is hands-on, rigorous, and well-rounded. It was designed by experienced industry and education innovators to emphasize the skills you’ll need to start your career. Beginning with common classes, then exploring concentration-specific areas, you'll study:

SHARED COURSES:

  • Color & Design Fundamentals
  • Image Manipulation
  • Traditional Typography
  • Layout & Concept Design
  • Web Page Scripting
  • Digital Illustration
  • Interactive Motion Graphics

GRAPHIC DESIGN CONCENTRATION:

  • Advertising Concepts
  • Form and Space, including Advanced Layout Design
  • Package Design
  • Business of Graphic Design
  • Publication Design
  • Art Direction

WEB DESIGN CONCENTRATION:

  • Information Architecture
  • Interface Design
  • Audio & Video
  • Design for Mobile Devices & Emerging Technologies
  • Web Page Design


I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Graphic & Web Design degree programs are built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet our Faculty

  • David Rodriguez HS Color

    David Roland Rodriguez

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Critiques throughout the design process allow students to see and look beyond the usual answers."

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    David Roland Rodriguez
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    The defining moment in my life that pushed me towards a creative field was when I was given the opportunity to help paint a wall during my high school year. This was for the 1991 Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City. My high school was one of the schools that were selected to “restore” an abandoned building wall. The opportunity to tell a visual story that helped create a boundary and a focal point allowed people to see the wall as a canvas versus a “tagged” wall.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    During the day I am a Graphic & Web Designer, so being an Adjunct Faculty for the Graphic & Web Design program I bring a vast amount of experience to our students. Using real-world projects helps students not only understand fundamentals, but also deal with time constraints and production issues. Not only focusing on how the project looks on computer, but how does it look as a finished piece.  To understand that not only is the overall design important, but how the final piece is produced. How does the finished piece feel in your hands; was the right paper chosen, should we have used a spot varnish, why is my paper cracking on the folds and I did not see this during the press check. By simply introducing & discussing these topics in class helps students understand the challenges in the field.

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    In my digital imaging class, projects are not only centered on building their skills within the program. They help student’s explore visual solutions to the project. Critiques throughout the design process allow students to see and look beyond the usual answers.  Thus, allowing for creative freedom to explore and develop a unique solution for their projects.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    Collaboration helps students feed of each other’s ideas and knowledge. Allowing a vast amount of communication amongst the students within different disciplines helps them verbalize their ideas. This brings about a level of refinement within their designs.  

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?


    That everything design has potential. Yet, you need to push yourself out of the mold to create visually stunning pieces, because your competition is sitting right next you.
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  • Arnette Portrait

    Jacquenette Arnette

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Keep EVERYTHING! You need an extensive portfolio and you are your own best archivist."

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    Jacquenette Arnette
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I have always worked with my hands, from a very young age I had two passions; Music and Art.  I never understood that my enjoyment of weaving, stained glass, pinhole photography and many other more craft oriented ventures would lead to contemporary art.  In music, I loved the technicality and musicianship of playing, but I never felt like a could innovate at it.  In art, I felt the freedom to express my viewpoints and communicate in a way that I never could with music.  

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    I think being current in the field of art also keeps me current with trends and conversations happening currently.  Additionally, my varied work experiences and   have given me a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in a creative career.  This is valuable to a student.
     
    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    I love to use current events and push the students to identify with their own unique viewpoints and perspectives and work on how to explain this to a broader audience.  One assignment that uses this example is in Image Manipulation, I ask the students to express the true meaning of an advertisement and create a message that is important to them.  It can be humorous to serious but connecting their personal stake in something they work on really does give them that seriousness about what they are doing in the classroom.

    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    Unique perspectives!  All of us have to work with a multitude of different people in all of our professions and in school it is easy to use this as a micro-chasm of the real world.    How do we best work with those of different experiences and perspectives.
     
    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    Top 3 rules for being successful in a creative career.

    1) In creative careers, you also need to be creative with your income!  Think outside the box on how you are going to support this possibly un-supportive career you have chosen.  

    2) Keep EVERYTHING!  You need an extensive portfolio and you are your own best archivist.  No matter how small the job or the paycheck it proves a history of work and shows your commitment.  

    3) Never stop learning, never stop meeting!  So, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, socialize or work with the same people always push yourself to meet new people learn new perspectives and learn new techniques.  You can never learn too much or know too many people in the creative fields.


    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

    I have been a working artist all around the world from 2000 to today.  From Australia, the Caribbean, Europe and across America I am a living example of the struggle and success that my students are about to embark on and I am happy to help them in their journey.

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  • Nancy Wood HS

    Nancy Wood

    Graphic & Web Design

    "I always encourage students to try different approaches to any project and to not be content with just one solution."

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    Nancy Wood
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Growing up I designed and sewed my own clothes and clothes for my dolls. In college I expected to major in costume design but the major required basic drawing and painting courses. In my first oil painting class at UCLA I fell in love with oil painting- manipulating colors and shapes and the aroma of linseed oil.The professor held up my work as an example for the class and I was advised to change my major to Studio Art.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?


    I worked in the printing industry during the 1970’s. I made darkroom negatives, did “stripping” (press layout) and made metal plates for the presses. I even learned to run a few presses. What I learned about printing and darkroom methods transfers to current tools in Photoshop and Illustrator. In the darkroom I made half tone negatives, did dodge, and burn by hand and made negatives and plates for four color process printing.

    In the 1990’s I worked freelance making simple animations and designs to be printed on advertising specialty products. I used Photoshop beginning with version 2 to make photo composites for clients. I learned HTML and used the first versions of Dreamweaver and Flash to make websites for clients. I was the technical reviewer for several software books published by Coriolis publishing. Because I enjoy learning new software and technology I was able to move between different industries to pursue opportunities.

    During the early 21st century I was involved with ACM SIGGRAPH and had the opportunity to meet leaders in computer graphics fields. I served on the committee for the 2002 SIGGRAPH conference in San Antonio and met amazing professionals, including one who produced Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video and did special effects for Lord of the Rings, and a computer scientist who helped develop raster graphics. It was a great opportunity to hear firsthand about their creative processes.


    More recently I experimented with 3D learning games and was Associate Producer for an experimental business game in Second Life and Moodle. I earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with concentration in Educational Technology so I could develop learning materials with a deeper understanding of how people learn using technology.

    I tell students that in the creative design industry they will always be learning new techniques and they will be valuable if they are flexible and can solve problems.

    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    When students create a good design- I recommend that they try two more versions. Often when a student creates a good first effort- if they try 2 or 3 more versions their next efforts will be outstanding! I always encourage students to try different approaches to any project and to not be content with just one solution. Versatility and the ability to work with different media and styles is key to being a successful designer.

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    I tell students that in the creative design industry they will always be learning new techniques and they will be valuable if they are flexible and can solve problems. Lifelong learning is key for any creative design field.

    Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

    I received my B.A. and M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with concentration in Educational Technology from Texas A & M University, College Station.

    My digital artworks have been included in more than 100 exhibitions around the world including the Museum of Modern Art New York’s “Museum as Muse” online exhibition “The Petersburg Biennale of Computer Graphics” in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the 2015 International Conference of Computer Graphics, Imaging and Visualization at the University of Barcelona, Spain. I’ve developed courses in visual design for colleges and universities and made presentations at national conferences including the 2014 National Art Education Association conference and the 2015 College Art Association conference in New York. 

    I taught 2D animation at The Art Institute of Houston for two years, was a full-time faculty member at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division for ten years and currently I am teaching adjunct online and for The Art Institute of San Antonio. I always enjoy working with Art Institutes learners because they are sooooo creative!


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  • Scott Cooper

    Scott Cooper

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Your education doesn't stop when you graduate—it's just the beginning of another level of learning."

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    Scott Cooper

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. When I met my wife, she encouraged me to consider the computer as another tool in my drawing kit. I began learning digital graphic design, which blossomed into a creative career I never imagined. I think of myself as a Renaissance artist, since I work in both traditional and digital mediums.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I recreate some of my early projects as classroom challenges. I encourage students to find a way to make the project work, and then explain how I approached the challenge. I ask them to bring any freelance projects they’re working on into the classroom to present to their classmates, and share any fresh challenges they come across. The more real-world we can make the learning, the better.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I present assignments as though they’ve come from real clients, and it’s up to my students to interact with those clients to establish the project parameters. Sometimes I arrange to have actual, real-world clients come to class to make the assignment as real as possible. They get the actual experience of dealing with the demands, needs, and vagaries of the real world. For example, recently a representative of the Kirby Animal Shelter met with students to explain the shelter’s need for new signage. Each student submitted designs, which were reviewed by to the Kirby City Council. If one is approved, that student will have a professional portfolio piece—and an actual client they can include on their resumé. And they’ll have made a contribution to the community.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?


    I try to have students from various departments work together as often as possible, because I think that helps prepare students for whatever challenges they may encounter in the workplace. Learning to work with different disciplines is critical for any successful career.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I stress the importance of time management, as well as communication with the client. Also, I want them to understand that design is for the client, not for the designer.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Your education doesn’t stop when you graduate—it’s just the beginning of another level of learning. Keep up to date with software, techniques, design trends. Keep your portfolio and website updated with current work. And socialize and network like crazy.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I never rest on my laurels. I practice every day, and continue my education even now. I’m in school again myself, working on my second MFA, this one in Web Design and New Media with a concentration in mobile device applications.

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  • Hilda Velasquez

    Hilda Velasquez

    General Education

    "My advice is to travel and see the world because we grow as human beings and as professionals."

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    Hilda Velasquez
    What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Since I was 8 or 10 years old I wanted to be journalist and communicator to be in TV.  Later, I studied a bachelor degree in Communication but I went into the advertising and marketing field, and I love it.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

    Here at the The Art Institute of San Antonio I feel like a fish in the water, because even when I am teaching Spanish, I feel identified with the degree we teach. Therefore I bring my cultural and communication background into my classroom to give students the opportunity to know the Hispanic world through media, ads, movies, etc.


    Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

    Every student has to do a cultural presentation about an Hispanic country and a specific topic related with their degree, so they have done great presentations about fashion, food, photography and the movie industry in Hispanic countries, which has opened their eyes to learn more and see beyond the American borders.


    What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

    My students learn from each other when they do their cultural presentations.

    In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

    My advice is to travel and see the world, because we grow as human beings and as professionals.
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