Experiential Learning a Focus for New Center for Print Production
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 12, 2012) – Providing additional experiential learning opportunities for students, the University of Central Missouri is realigning personnel and resources in Printing Services with the academic Graphic Arts Technology Management (GATM) program to create the Center for Print Production (CPP). The first phase of this realignment is effective Feb. 1, and will place all university in-house printing functions under the School of Technology within the College of Health, Science, and Technology.
“We’re going to assign the first five months in 2012 looking at how Printing Services does its business and overall operations,” said John Sutton, chair of the School of Technology. “Our main goal is to tie our academic program to production so that our graduates can have hands-on experiences in the production and management of a printing operation. A second goal is to be more cost-effective in the university’s printing operation.”
He emphasized that the immediate goal is to create a smooth, uninterrupted transfer of responsibilities from Printing Services to the CPP while initially providing some limited applied learning opportunities for students. As the transition progresses, a new operational budget and staffing model will be developed that offers more extensive laboratory experiences, internships and some paid positions for students. The CPP will be fully implemented and operational by July 1, 2012.
UCM’s GATM program is the only print-based four-year Bachelor of Science degree program in Missouri, and is one of the top five in the nation in graphic arts/printing technology. Sutton said the degree program traditionally has a high placement rate. In the current market, employers are expressing a strong interest in students who understand both the technical and managerial aspects of print production. The new Center for Print Production will provide such experiences. Objectives for the CPP are:
- Provide an environment where students can participate in and learn from all aspects of a real-world production (printing and copying) facility;
- Prepare students for future careers by utilizing the methodology taught in both theory and practical applications;
- Expand services to provide broader support for the campus community in printed materials, andbroader experiences for students;
- Develop and implement a fiscally sound budgetary structure over three fiscal years by reducing current university subsidy; and
- Increase production efficiency and maintain currency of the academic program by acquiring more advanced printing equipment reflecting current print technologies.
Sutton said Barry Wilson, a faculty member in GATM, will assume daily management responsibility for the overall operations of the Center for Print Production, and GATM faculty will supervise student production and projects. Actual production will occur in either Printing Services, which is located in the General Services Building, and in School of Technology labs, located in the Grinstead Building.
According to Sutton, students enrolled in the GATM program will have more opportunities to gain printing experience in a variety of ways. They will take on projects beginning with the production of campus letterhead, business cards, and similar work as determined by the curriculum and GATM faculty, and assist professional personnel in support capacities such as cost estimation, production planning, product distribution, and related center functions. Students will fulfill some course requirements through practical experiences in print production, and have opportunities to apply for paid student positions that will help meet another university goal – to reduce student debt load.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to learn from experts. Working side by side with printing professionals will give students unique insight into the profession,” said Alice Greife, dean of the College of Health, Science, and Technology.
Sutton said campus units and individuals who currently have printing jobs scheduled or planned over the next few months should notice no change in the services provided, and the quality of materials provided. Anyone who has questions about the new Center for Print Production should contact Barry Wilson at
660-543-8833, or the School of Technology office at 660-543-4439.