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Course Descriptions

Sessions College offers an exciting range of online design courses. Ask an Admissions Advisor about tuition and start dates--and taking a course as part of a degree or certificate program.


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General Psychology

Root your creative choices in an understanding of human behavior

An understanding of human psychology is essential for any designer. In this online psychology course, you'll build a foundation in theories of the mind. The course focuses on the biological and environmental bases for human behavior, including motivation, emotions, states of consciousness, learning, and personality. Students examine classic theories and theorists in psychology and complete research- and reflection-based projects.

Graphic Design Capstone Project

A portfolio project for Graphic Design majors

The Graphic Design capstone project provides a simulation of an extended client design project. Students will take a project from concept to final presentation. Students work closely with the department head, interpreting a project brief, developing design elements, and designing a logo, brochure, and package design. The project is executed in three stages with feedback and discussion at each stage. Students are expected to discuss, present, and critique their work with a high level of professionalism, and implement research strategies that contribute to the overall finished project.

Graphic Design I

Develop a professional approach to graphic design projects

Graphic designers today must be ready to tackle a wide range of projects from identity design to editorial design to product and packaging design. In this online graphic design course, you'll establish a firm foundation for professional design work. Gain insights from industry veterans and explore the challenges of designing posters, logos, magazine covers, book layouts, 3D designs, and brand identities. Hone your design process, as you research each project, develop concepts, work with expert instructor feedback, and begin to develop pieces for your portfolio.

Graphic Design II

Grow your portfolio with advanced graphic design projects

Graphic design is the art of visual communication, the visual representation of ideas or concepts. In this advanced graphic design course, you'll study the movements that shaped today's design world. Working with a professional designer, you'll discover how to conceptualize projects, reinvent clichés, distill complex information, and motivate your audience. Class assignments include postage design, annual report layout, poster and book design, an art poster, and a direct mail piece.

History of Art

Learn about art in its social and historical context

What essentials do artists and designers just need to know? In this online art history course, you'll build a foundation in art and the artists who created it. You'll explore profound themes that have concerned artists for centuries: nature, the human body, society, religion, and politics. Through engaging lectures and projects, you'll learn how to identify the mediums, materials, and techniques artists use and discuss the styles of important artists, art movements, and historical periods from antiquity through the mid-20th century.

History of Photography

Explore the evolution of photography in your work

When photography was "invented" in 1839, the scientific breakthrough brought forth a new way of seeing. In this online photography history course, we'll trace the development of photography from its pioneering days in the 19th century to the experimental movements of today. We'll discuss major innovations and photographers in each period, and really put into practice what we're learning. Each exercise will require you to take photos that emulate historical styles, genres, or techniques.

HTML and CSS I

Create standards compliant Web sites using HTML and CSS

In order to build a Web site today, you need to know how to code using HTML and CSS. In this online HTML/CSS course, you'll learn just how fun and creative hand coding and designing Web sites can be. Working with a professional Web designer, you'll discover how to create Web pages with HTML and control page design and layout with CSS. Working with a pro Web designer, you'll get up to speed with current Web design practices including HTML5, CSS3, semantic coding, Web fonts, and responsive design. By the end of the course, you'll have designed several Web sites, including your first responsive Web site.

ILL 101: Digital Illustration I

Dive into creative illustration projects

Creating illustrations in Adobe Illustrator can be fun or frustrating, depending on how you approach it. In this online basic digital illustration course, you'll discover professional illustration techniques for creating great-looking artwork using deceptively simple elements. Working with a veteran illustrator, you will be guided through every step of illustration projects that get your creative juices flowing. Creative class projects include still life illustrations, editorial art/brand logos, and character illustrations.

ILL 104: Intro to Drawing

Build a foundation in traditional drawing techniques

Think drawing is a gift that has to come naturally? Drawing is a skill that can be developed with practice. In this online beginner drawing course, you'll learn how to draw with proper techniques, discovering how to represent what you see through studies in contour drawing, perspective, positive/negative space, and value. With feedback from an expert instructor, you will improve your drawing and develop a deeper understanding of any subject you are trying to capture as an artist or designer.

ILL 111: Life Drawing I

Develop figure drawing skills

Life drawing is a fundamental artistic challenge. Capturing the human figure in all its infinite, intricate variations requires both a mastery of technique and a thorough understanding of the body. In this online life drawing course, you'll make your figure drawings come to life with guidance with feedback from an expert instructor. Following traditional methods, you'll learn the standard measures and proportions artists use to achieve naturalistic and expressive figure drawings. The course builds progressively from the fundamentals to the challenges of portraiture, three-dimensional form, composition, and expression.

ILL 142: Illustrator II

Round out your Illustrator skills in challenging projects

Adobe Illustrator puts any conceivable vector art objective at your fingertips. But most digital designers only scratch the surface of Illustrator. To make a splash, one must delve deeper. In this advanced online Illustrator course, you'll create photo-realistic illustrations, complex patterns, rich designs, and learn how to accelerate your efforts with helpful workflow features. Working with an expert instructor, build on your existing Illustrator skills and tackle high-end projects with depth, dimension, and wow-power.

ILL 202: Digital Illustration II

Apply your Illustrator skills to diverse projects.

Digital illustration is a challenging and expressive area of graphic design. With Adobe Illustrator, you can develop your unique personal style as an artist. In this online advanced digital illustration course, you'll learn professional illustration and Adobe Illustrator techniques for communicating your creative concepts. Working with a pro designer, illustrator, you'll learn approaches for creating editorial illustrations, icons, retro poster designs, 3D illustrations, and restaurant identity designs.

ILL 204: Painting I

Paint the world with traditional techniques

For centuries, artists have used paint to represent the physical world. Now you too can learn how to paint online. In this online painting course, you'll learn a traditional approach to oil painting or acrylic painting. Working with a professional artist, you'll study a time-honored approach to painting that enables you to capture proportion, perspective, and lighting in the world around you. You'll learn how to build a foundation with preparatory sketches and underpainting, find out how to mix your paints correctly, and gain control over value through monochromatic painting and color studies.

ILL 207: Portrait Painting

Learn to capture the human form in a portrait

Portraiture has a rich history. In this online portrait painting course, you can learn time-honored techniques for portrait painting in oil. Working with an experienced painter, you'll utilize your knowledge of anatomy, learning how to construct a painting from drawing to underpainting to final work. Along the way you'll learn essentials for lights and darks, flesh tones, and laying on color. Helpful critiques on your drawings and paintings will help you improve your techniques and build your style.

ILL 208: Watercolor

Learn techniques for a vibrant painting medium

Watercolor has a rich tradition dating back centuries, and is still enjoyed by today's artists for its unique color effects and wide range of techniques. In this intensive online watercolor course, you'll explore traditional techniques including various washes, glazes, scumbles, resists, and more, getting feedback from a professional artist to help you hone your skills and perfect each project. The class involves creating a series of complete watercolor paintings.

ILL 209: Commercial Illustration

Explore exciting projects for professional illustrators

Explore business applications for your illustration work, from editorial and commercial to advertising and marketing. In this online commercial illustration course, you will explore different genres of project work, learning how contracts and copyright work and how to represent yourself professionally and effectively.

Illustration Capstone Project

A portfolio project for Illustration majors

The illustration capstone project provides students the opportunity to complete a multidimensional illustration project in three stages, working closely with a department head. A children's book publishing and promotion project will challenge students to demonstrate their proficiency in key aspects of the Illustration program. The project will require research, concept development, and critical thinking, providing students with the opportunity to explore a professional, iterative process as well as experience simulated client interactions.

Illustrator I

Unleash the power of the industry-standard vector drawing tool for print and the Web

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful and versatile tool for creating illustrations, logos, and graphics for print and the web. You can learn to produce detailed and scalable art in this online Illustrator course. Working with an expert instructor, you'll build a strong foundation, exploring shape tools, drawing tools, layers, the Pen tool (a lesson unto itself) as well as transformations/distortions, type tools, and modifying paths and shapes. Hands-on illustration projects include creating a robot, a series of album covers, a marketing postcard, an advertisement vehicle wrap, and a company logo.

Illustrator II

Expand your Adobe Illustrator skills in challenging projects

Adobe Illustrator puts any conceivable vector art objective at your fingertips. But most digital designers only scratch the surface of Illustrator. To make a splash, one must delve deeper. In this advanced online Illustrator course, you'll create photo-realistic illustrations, complex patterns, rich designs, and learn how to accelerate your efforts with helpful workflow features. Working with an expert instructor, build on your existing Illustrator skills and tackle high-end projects with depth, dimension, and wow-power.

InDesign I

Learn the ins and outs of the industry-standard page layout program

Layout designers today need the skills to move seamlessly between print and digital projects. Luckily, Adobe InDesign can handle it all. In this online InDesign course, you’ll explore a host of essential InDesign techniques and focus on developing efficient workflows. The course will impart a working knowledge of InDesign's main capabilities, everything from basic features to using master pages, importing and manipulating objects, controlling text flow and style, and organizing content with tables, layers, links, and conveyor tools. Projects give you training in a range of real world print/digital publishing projects, from brochures to catalogs, magazines to ePubs, and even an interactive folio for the iPad.