Independent Study

Teacher Name: Mrs. Meg Palmieri

Teacher email:

Teacher voicemail extension: 3605

Classroom Number: 132-computer lab &134 shop area

Web site:

Course Description: Independent Study/ half year 0.5 Credit Grades 11-12

One of the most important aspects of your education as well as preparation for entering the professional world of design is to gain practical experience. Independent Study is an in school experience and is the primary opportunity for you to learn important job skills. This is only available to students whom had taken all three Graphic Arts classes such as Photoshop, Graphic Design and Screen Printing. This allows students to expand their design education in their own way.  Important factors in approving a student for independent study are his/her self-directness, dependability, conscientiousness, and sincerity in pursuing learning.

Students will enhance their development of their graphic design skills through the advanced use of Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe InDesign CS5 and Adobe  Illustrator CS5. Students will apply these skills with all kinds of design jobs around the school; each student’s experience will be different. The students will be responsible for a final portfolio. As an advanced class, the students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to their placement.

Course Intent

The Graphic Arts Independent Study program will prepare students with the technical skills and practical experience to prepare and produce printed communications using offset, screen, and digital technologies. Students learn the fundamentals of graphic design and use software applications at an advanced level including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, to prepare electronic files for output. Students have hands-on experience with single and multiple color offset printing and screen-printing.  Students will have opportunity to work with “real” clients on “real” projects for the school and non-profit community, under the supervision of their teacher. Students develop a portfolio of printing projects. Combine media from various sources to form projects and adhere to all safety rules of the graphics computer lab and shop area. Students must conduct themselves in a professional manner expected with being an Independent Study student. Eligible students are in demand for paid employment with local co-op employers, and through work experience, develop contacts and skills that lead to continued full-time employment or further training in the graphic field.

Forms are available in the Student Services Office. All arrangements must be made with the teacher prior to registration for the semester.

 Prerequisite: Photoshop, Graphic Design received a grade of “A” or better in each. This course is designed for the student who is serious about pursuing a career in the graphics field. The student will apply prior knowledge and the skills developed a portfolio pieces that are self-directed. Emphasis is placed on developing the computer and creative skills necessary to design pieces that effectively communicate information and meaning.

The goals of the Independent Study in the graphic art program can be described as follows:

 Understand the methods and practices necessary for success in the graphics communications industry.

  1. Select and/or demonstrate the best means to communicate a message to a target audience.
  2. Understand the relationships between illustrators, photographers, designers and others in the industry.
  3. Understand the laws and regulations governing information gathering and media production (copyright, trademarks, intellectual property)
  4. Employ the use of printer’s measurements to compute inches and fractions, points and picas, decimals, percentages, and proportions.
  5. Demonstrate how to prepare thumbnail sketches, rough layouts and comprehensive layouts.
  6. Demonstrate how to use copy fitting and mark up procedures to specify type sizes, type styles, etc.
  7. Demonstrate basic use of industry standard software for digital media, Photoshop, InDesign and ILLustrator.

Understand the elements of visual design to effectively deliver content.

  1. Use the elements and principles of visual art forms and their ability to effectively communicate a message.
  2. Critique various elements of design.
  3. Understand color theory and its relationship to additive and subtractive color spaces.
  4. Understand art elements and principles of two- and three-dimensional forms.
  5. Demonstrate basic art studio skills.
  6. Analyze web page parameters and usage.
  7. Create visual layouts.
  8. Assess typographical elements.
  9. Demonstrate pre-fighting materials for imaging.
  10. Demonstrate camera and scanner operations to produce images using digital imaging processes.
  11. Demonstrate the ability to export images into appropriate printing format.
  12. Identify and select the appropriate paper for various projects/processes.
  13. Identify equipment, tools and materials that are found in a bindery/finishing department.
  14. Discuss and demonstrate applications of other media such as web page design and digital imaging.

Understand the necessary employability skills in order to achieve success in today’s workplace.

  1. Decision-Making & Problem-Solving: Demonstrate and apply good decision-making and problem-solving skills by outlining issues in situations/problems and determining, collecting, and organizing information needed in order to formulate a solution
  2. Self –Management: Demonstrate and apply self-management skills by adhering to regulations, being responsible, and following through on commitments.
  3. Communication Skills: Demonstrate and apply effective communication skills: verbal, written, visual, and listening.
  4. Ability to Work with Others: Demonstrate and apply the necessary skills in order to work effectively with others.
  5. Information Use – Research, Analysis, and Technology: Demonstrate and apply the use of information through research, analysis, and technology.
  6. Mathematical Concepts: Demonstrate mathematical and computation skills as applied to real world situations.
  7. General Safety: Demonstrate and apply safe practices and procedures in the workplace.
  8. Career Development: Demonstrate personal/career development skills by completing a career plan and portfolio.
  • COMPETENCIES: Graphic Arts grading uses a competency based educational approach by moving control of learning from the “instructor” to the “learner.”  A competency is simply a statement of learning outcomes for a skill or a body of knowledge.  When students demonstrate a “competency,” they are demonstrating their ability to do something.  They are showing the outcome of the learning process.  Lots of the things that people do in their lives can be defined as different competencies job skills, living skills, etc. Mastery levels are determined by course project rubrics (see Appendix A&B).  Students must meet the criteria and demonstrate the competencies for each project.
  • Attendance: You are expected to be here on time and for every class. It would be hard for me to catch you up for hands on time that you had missed; you should be here for the entire class session. Not being here will affect your grade in this course because it’s a hand on class. Important information will often be covered in the beginning of class, and announcements, discussions and problems will frequently be addressed during work sessions and at the end of the period. Stopping work 15min or more before the bell, will also affect your grade.


  •  ADVANCED Learner —Grade Level 100-90(A+A-)Did research, designed, planned, and completed projects on time; applied academic skills; evaluated work and made adjustments; did quality work; needed little help from the teacher; sought and found resources independently; demonstrated knowledge with a grade of 93% or higher; produced a quality portfolio.
  • PROFICIENT Learner —Grade Level 89-80(B+B-)Did research, designed and planned; needed some help from the teacher; did quality work with a few flaws; needed feedback from the teacher to realize work did not meet standards; redid work to meet standards; demonstrated knowledge with a grade of 85% or higher; produced a better-than average portfolio.
  • BASIC Learner—Grade Level 79-70(C+C-)Needed help to research, design and plan or had to be given a plan; relied a great deal on the teacher; had to be given procedures for performing tasks; required significant help to produce a quality product; needed help to evaluate a product; final product stall did not meet standards; demonstrated knowledge with a grade of 74% or higher; produced an average portfolio.
  • BELOW BASIC Learner—Grade Level 69-60(D+D-)Required a great deal of help in completing research, designing, planning and completing projects was unable to evaluate projects; required step-by-step instruction; competencies not mastered; demonstrated knowledge with a grade of 66% or higher; produced a poor or partial portfolio.
  • FAR BELOW BASIC—Grade Level 59-0(F)Did not complete projects; if projects were completed, they were of such low quality that they did not pass; failed to document procedures; did not show criteria for determining quality; scored 65% or lower; produced a poor portfolio or none at all.
  • Resources: Materials needed for this Class: USB flash drive 2 GB or more

Grade Weights: 

Projects:  50% of student’s grades are hands on everything will be done on the computer.

Employability Skills: (25%) this has many parts but mainly involves attendance, discussion, and critique activity, Quizzes, being on task and daily class preparation.

Final Portfolio: 25% of student’s grades are their final Portfolio and other related projects

  • Makeup Work (late, missing, or incomplete assignments):
  • Many assignments in this class will be graded at the student’s computer or will be printed out and placed in a folder. If a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to talk to the teacher what he/she had missed. Also, if the student is not able to make up assignments during class time, the student needs to be prepared to spend time after school and make up any missing assignments.
  • All projects are due on the due date.  Each day the project is late, 10 points will be taken off and after 3 days a 0 will have to  be given.  Being on time with projects is the student’s responsibility.
  • Extra Help: Mrs. Palmieri is available 30 minutes before and after school, unless attending a meeting, and during lunch and prep period or any other time by appointment