DEG 344: Professional Practices

Strategies for success in advancing your creative business

During this class you will develop and/or enhance your business forms and collateral materials for your photography, illustration, and design business based upon industry standards and best practices. In preparation for running your own creative services business, you will also create a business plan and marketing plan as you explore an ethical and scalable business philosophy. You will focus on networking with fellow creatives through local industry organizations and/or respected creative work sharing sites and implement your internship outreach plan in preparation for the DEG 410 Internship and Entrepreneurship.

BFA | 3 credits | Next Start:
August 26, 2024
Highly functional collateral

About This Course

Project-Based Learning

Class projects ensure that your creative business is on the right track. Students create a business plan or lean business model canvas, a set of professionally designed business collateral pieces including agreement, estimate, and invoice, a client questionnaire, and marketing and networking plans.

What Skills Will I Develop?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Develop and/or enhance business forms and collateral materials for your creative services business based upon research and a synthesis of industry standards and best practices.
  • Create, organize, and present a business plan and develop a plan for effectively marketing your work.
  • Analyze, evaluate and implement contemporary approaches to networking with fellow creatives, engaging with local creative industry organizations and/or respected creative work sharing sites to expand your presence in the marketplace.
  • Advance the cultivation of contacts in order to secure an internship in preparation for the DEG 410 Internship and Entrepreneurship Internship course and report your progress to your instructor during this course.
  • What Software and Supplies Do I Need?

    • Computer with Internet connection.
    • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC (optional).

    Course Instructor(s)

    The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

    Course Outline

      1. What is Professionalism?

        What does "professional" mean for a working creative, and who sets the standards? We will examine professionalism as an important foundation principle for your work, with reference to the ideas and resources promoted by leading creative professional organizations.

      2. Develop a Business Plan and Model

        We will will explore how to research and create your own sustainable business model/plan, whether your goal is to establish your own company or simply work freelance.

      3. Creating Functional Collateral

        Your collateral, which can range from a website to a business card, can embody your professionalism and your brand. In this section we will discuss how to identify your niche and brand and create highly functional collateral to support it.

      4. Marketing Your Freelance Business

        How will you get the word out about you and your work? We will explore what options and strategies best suit your business marketing needs.

      5. Establishing Your Presence in the Market

        Personal connections can be just as important to your career as professional ones. We will discuss how to research and implement networking and establish yourself in your creative marketplace.

      6. Advanced Research and Relationship Building

        Looking for jobs? We will examine how to do the research to build connections and secure professional opportunities.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    How Do The Courses Work?

    Our courses are project-based and instructor-led. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills. Weekly assignment deadlines keep you on track, and with no set-logins or Zoom meetings, you can build your studies around your schedule.

    Who Are The Instructors?

    Our courses are developed and taught by our industry-leading faculty of creative professionals. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work. View our Student Gallery for featured student projects.

    When Can I Start?

    Classes start January, April, and August, and this course is completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of Degree and Certificate programs at Sessions College. You can enroll in this course on an individual basis or as part of a program.

    Explore our Programs: Bachelor's Degree | Associate Degree | Undergraduate Certificate

    How Do I Register?

    To register for a program, complete our program application. To register for this course on an individual basis, please contact our admissions team at An Admissions Advisor will contact you to setup your enrollment.

    Course Tuition and Fees
    Registration Fee* $200
    Total Course Price $1730

    Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment.

    Is Sessions College accredited?

    Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).