• Frequently Asked Questions


  • We’ve answered the most common questions about our program and the admissions process.

    Read on! Still didn’t find the answer? Contact an Integrated Media faculty adviser.

    How do I apply?
    There's no longer an application process. Interested students will simply register for Fall term classes when the registration period begins each year in late May.
    Don’t I need to apply or submit a portfolio?
    Not any more! Several years ago, we changed our application process, giving more students a chance to try out Integrated Media and find out if it's a good fit. Any student who meets the minimum proficiencies in Math, Writing and Reading can register for Fall term classes. We use this first term to identify those students who show the most potential to succeed based on their performance.
    So what’s the catch?
    First year students must have the consent of their IM Program Adviser and meet the proficiencies of the fall term program classes to continue into the winter term Integrated Media courses. Students are provided with clear performance expectations when classes start in September.

    We look for students who demonstrate the ability to succeed in ALL core areas. To be competitive in the creative services field, you'll need to have commitment, talent, solid digital skills and the willingness to collaborate with others. The first term classes are designed to provide an opportunity for you to show us your abilities in each of these areas. Two years is a very compressed time period to prepare students for an entry-level position. Our curriculum is rigorous and fast-paced so identifying qualified students at the end of the first term allows us to move through the material more efficiently and effectively thereafter.
    Can I change my major to a different major after fall term?
    Students who qualify to move on into winter term classes must continue in the program in which they started Fall term (Graphic Design, Photography, Broadcasting or Video). You will need Fall term's critical foundation courses to be successful in the Winter term. However, you could make the transition to another discipline by changing over the next Fall term. Talk to your IM adviser.
    When can I register?
    Fall term registration begins in late May. Register early because space is limited to a first come, first served based on space availability. Wait lists will open once the classes fill to capacity.
    Can’t I just wait until later in the academic year?
    Fall term is the ONLY opportunity to begin the IM program. Students will not be able to enter the program mid-year unless they meet with an IM faculty adviser and have the appropriate skills and/or prior coursework that will allow them to be successful mid-year.
    When is the application deadline?
    There is no longer any deadline. Classes will fill on a first-come, first served basis. Register for Fall term as soon as the registration period begins in late May.
    How can I find out more?
    IM faculty advisers are always happy to meet with prospective students during office hours. Please contact us by Email or by phone. We are not on campus during the summer months so please use Email to connect with us during the summer. We’re back on campus September 21.
    Do you have any other suggestions?
    Contact one of the IM faculty advisers via Email, phone or by stopping by the IM offices in AC1373.
    What software will I learn?
    Recognizing that current technical skills are critical for seeking gainful employment, the IM program prepares students to be fluent in industry standard software: Adobe Creative Cloud: Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, Lightroom, Premiere and After Effects; and, for Broadcasting students, Pro Tools.
    Will I have time for a job?
    Yes. Most of our IM students have part-time jobs averaging 20 hours a week. We’ve designed the IM program to be as efficient as possible. For 2016-17, all first year IM courses are on Monday- Wednesday- Friday. Second year courses are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Three classes are packed in to each day, scheduled back-to-back.
    How much homework is involved?
    It differs every week, depending on the class and the stage of the projects you’re working on at the time. Each class is structured to be 2-4 hours of lecture and up to 3 hours of lab each week, so you’ll learn new content through the lecture and the other hours are devoted to practicing what you just learned. There are complex projects where you’ll need to research, explore and experiment outside of class. We recommend that you have access to a computer with an Internet connection at least 3 - 5 days a week to keep up with assignments.
    What will my schedule look like?
    So that students can easily plan personal, work and academic schedules during the two-year program, the core Integrated Media and required discipline courses (three per term) are offered according to a very specific and dependable schedule: First-year courses meet on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, while second-year courses are on Tuesday/Thursday.

    During the second year, students participate in a three-term sequence of courses designed to simulate a professional environment. Students work in teams to complete projects for both internal and outside clients and/or non-profit agencies in the Portland metro area. The experience provides students with a realistic understanding of the creative and technical expectations required for entry-level positions, the business knowledge to build a freelance career and most importantly, professional contacts in their discipline area.
    Are there any Integrated Media classes in the Summer?
    No. However, summer is a great time to work on your General Education requirements such as Writing, Math, Health and Physical Education, Human Relations, etc. Some second year students may be ready for a credit-earning internship in the summer between their first and second years.
    What classes can I take Winter, Spring or Summer terms, before the program starts next Fall?
    You can take any class that satisfies the AAS degree’s General Education requirements (Math, Writing, Human Relations and Health/PE).
    Can I take evening or weekend classes?
    Not really. Most of our Integrated Media core and option classes follow this schedule: 9 - 11:50 a.m., 1:10 to 3 or 4 p.m. and 3:10/4:10 to 5 or 6 p.m. (students must take ALL THREE, each term). They are sequential and taught in sets of three each term. If you just took one class each term, you wouldn’t be able to progress to the next terms’ classes because you lack the prerequisite skills and knowledge to be successful at the next level. Also, some content "bleeds over" to all three concurrent classes. Since many of our projects are structured in collaborative teams, we believe that it's important to keep each cohort intact throughout the two-year program.

    Many General Education classes are available during non-traditional evening and weekend hours or are offered through Online Learning.
    I only have time to take one course at a time. Can I do that?
    Probably not. Read the answer to the previous questions. However, if you are interested in a very specific class, talk to an IM adviser. Occasionally, there may be an open seat for someone who has sufficient prior skills to be successful in a class.
    What about online classes?
    Because Integrated Media is very hands-on, most of our courses aren't appropriate to a totally virtual classroom. Students learn a lot from their fellow learners. Great creative work is usually the result of close collaboration with both instructors and peers. However, most of our courses are already enhanced through the use of Lynda.com, WordPress blogs, Blackboard, Canvas or MHCC's course management system, the MyMHCC Portal. This allows students to complete some requirements in each class when off campus.
    What should I know before beginning the program?
    You need to have good keyboarding skills, be very familiar with and comfortable on the computer (we’ll teach you the Mac software) or at least fearless in learning the computer applications. This program may go too fast for novice computer users and is not an appropriate choice for those without computer experience. You should already know how to use a computer, basic applications such as the MS Office Suite and have experience with web browsers and the Internet before entering the program. You should be able to use a mouse and comfortably sit for up to nine hours a day. We assume that you sincerely love working with/on a computer as that is the primary tool that you’ll use in Integrated Media.
    Will I need to buy a computer?
    Not right away. In class and in labs, you’ll work on a Macintosh computer in one of our Integrated Media Mac labs. You’ll have access to computers in the Main Computer Lab (AC1451) or the Maywood campus Community Skills Center. Many students buy a computer while enrolled in the program. If you already have a computer at home, you should subscribe to the same software (the Adobe Creative Cloud) we use at school so you’ll be able to work on your projects outside of class. PC/Windows users can subscribe to the PC version of the Creative Cloud. You’ll need to take a few extra steps and precautions when transporting files to and from school so that the files can be read successfully on both platforms.

    There are significant student discounts available on both software and hardware, so please ask an IM adviser for advice before purchasing. The Adobe Creative Cloud is offered at deep discounts to students who are currently enrolled.
    What other equipment will I need?
    All students will need headphones and a USB flash drive (1 GB or more) or external hard drives. Enrolled students will get supply lists in each class.

    Students accepted into the Photography program will need to have a high quality adjustable, full-frame digital camera. Contact Photography Adviser, David Strohl for his most current recommendations. IM invests in Canon lenses that are available for checkout.

    Broadcasting and Video students will need high quality sound-dampening headphones and external hard drives. Contact Jack Schommer or JD Kiggins for more information.

    The IM Department has an equipment checkout facility (The Cage) with digital cameras, lighting and sound recording equipment. Most items can be checked out for three days at a time to IM majors. Second year students are given access to higher-level equipment.
    Must I be able to draw to be in the Graphic Design option?
    Yes and no. Many great graphic designers draw very proficiently. Being able to communicate your ideas to others through sketching is very important. However, just as important is the ability to be organized, creative and detail-oriented. There are so many directions to take your career in Graphic Design that someone with moderate drawing ability can still be very successful. You will need to be able to communicate your ideas to others by writing, making quick "thumbnail" sketches and/or doing rough drawings. If an illustration is required, graphic designers usually commission a professional illustrator to do the job. With computer software applications, designers often build an illustration or graphic in a very different way than with traditional art media. Digital photography and image manipulation are other ways to create art without being able to draw well. You’ll learn both at MHCC.