Software Courses

2 Credits Each
The software courses can be taken anytime from Fall to Winter Quarter.


The software courses are a at your own pace, competency-based, introductory set of courses that introduce you to Adobe’s Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Animate software for Macintosh computers. Through reference materials, tutorial exercises and projects, students use software tools and menu commands to create a variety of media for Print, Web, Digital, or Multimedia projects.

An Overview of the SFCC Software Courses

Available Software Courses

  • GRDSN 156 Adobe Illustrator I
  • GRDSN 164 Adobe Illustrator II
  • GRDSN 158 Adobe Photoshop I
  • GRDSN 166 Adobe Photoshop II
  • GRDSN 163 Adobe InDesign I
  • GRDSN 168 Adobe InDesign II
  • GRDSN 175 Adobe After Effects I
  • GRDSN 178 After Effects II
  • GRDSN 179 Experience Design XD I
  • GRDSN 180 Experience Design XD II


You can use these courses to become familiar with professional graphic design software tools.

The courses are a great way to experience the many features of the programs, use industry-standard computers, and get an idea of what can be done with these powerful software programs.

As you work through these lessons, you will be guided through complex and realistic projects. Beginners will gain a working knowledge; experienced software users discover overlooked features and re-discover useful concepts.

To get the most value from these courses, try to use the skills on your own projects. Inventing a very simple test project will help store these software skills in your long-term memory.


You will need access to the Adobe Creative Cloud software at home, in the CBE lab, or in the SFCC Library. Also… internet access, the textbook, and storage for your computer files is required.


There will be various instructors available for assistance in the lab. Instructor lab hours will be posted in the CBE Lab.


You may work in the CBE lab (Bldg. 19, RM216)

You can also work from any internet-connected computer if the Adobe Creative Cloud software is installed. The instructions and quizzes are all available online, using the Canvas learning system.


The course time is “arranged” by you, to fit “your” schedule.

How to Complete your Software Course

Begin by starting your web browser (preferably Firefox or Chrome for Mac or Windows, or Internet Explorer for Windows) and log in to the SFCC CANVAS System.

In CANVAS, you will find a link to your course under the “Courses” menu.

Within the course page, you will find the “Assignments”. Each assignment will describe the required files and quizzes.

You will need to read the instruction page for each project. It will alert you to any problems in the book and special changes in the projects.

Each project/assignment may have special instructions for submitting files, so check the lesson instructions for each project.

In many cases, you will create a .zip archive of the lesson folder. The entire folder is usually required to properly review the project files, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Self-paced courses “online”?

These courses require the students to have access to a computer, the internet, the software applications, and the course textbook. If students have the software off-campus, they can do all the work online. The answer is, they can function as online courses.

What is the last day to turn in my files?
The last day to turn in your files is the “Study Day”, the day after the last day of classes, prior to Finals Week.
What does “arranged” mean? Are there any mandatory class meetings?
The term “arranged” you see in the catalog refers to “you” arranging your own schedule. You work around your schedule; there are no required meetings. Your instructor is available during the weekdays if you need help, but you aren’t required to work at any specific times.
What determines my grade?
Your grade will be determined by your scores on the projects and quizzes. The final grade is 60% projects and 40% quizzes.

The quizzes can be taken TWO times and your highest score will be recorded. The projects will be scored on completeness and function, compared to the examples in the textbook.

A grading rubric is provided in CANVAS.

Must I work in the lab, or can I work from home?
You can do the work in the CBE lab.

You can also work outside the labs, if you have a computer, the software, and your own copy of the textbook or e-book. The files included with the textbooks have lesson files but no actual software.

How do I begin?
You will need to login to the CANVAS learning system and connect to your course via the internet. For most courses, you will be using a textbook or e-book.
All coursework may be done on the CBE lab’s Macintosh or Windows computers.

The SFCC Library has Adobe software on its stationary computers and on a limited number of Mac laptops. There are workbooks available for checkout.

Do I need to buy a textbook?
Yes, you will need to purchase the appropriate textbook or e-book. It will be listed on the syllabus in CANVAS.
Do I need my own computer and software?

No, you may use the equipment in the CBE lab, building 19, room 216. You can use your own equipment; these classes & the CBE Lab are a good way to “try before you buy” if a computer purchase is in your plans. The Adobe software is available in other campus labs, but you will need to purchase the textbook to work outside the CBE lab, or you work at home.

When are the labs open?

The labs are normally open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am until 4:00 pm.

The CBE Lab is closed in the summer quarter and on holidays.

Is help available when I work in the labs?
Yes, instructors are available to help you.

Instructor lab schedules are also posted at the front counter in the lab.

Is the software available as a cheaper educational version?

Adobe offers educational software pricing for students at a substantial discount at

The educational versions are identical to the commercial version. The final graphic files are created in standard formats. You are not supposed to use educational software for commercial work, but you can upgrade an educational version to the professional one.

How long does it take to complete a course?

The courses are designed to be done in 44 hours. Your results may vary.

What computer experience is required to take a course?

You should possess basic computer skills. Using a mouse, navigating through the computer environment, create folders, save files, copy files.

Our labs use mostly Macintosh computers. If you are accustomed to the Windows operating system, you may want to try out the Macintosh. Most Windows users can adapt to Macs quickly and painlessly by reading the “Switching from Windows” topics in the Mac Help files.

Can I do the work on the Windows version of the software?

Yes, if you have a Windows machine and the software, the programs work nearly the same on Windows or Macintosh, and the files will transfer between platforms.

 There are Windows computers with Adobe Software in the CBE lab and the Library. There are limited numbers of textbooks in the Library.

Can I take more than one course per quarter?
Yes, there are no limits or prerequisites. You may wish to meet with the instructor before signing up for multiple courses.
Are the software courses offered every quarter?

They are offered in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Where do I store my files?
You can use your student network 8-gig storage area to store lessons. You can also use your own storage device; USB drives, portable hard drives, and network storage sites. You can even email lesson files to yourself if the files will are not too large for your email system.
What about USB storage devices?
They are a chip of flash memory in a little case with a USB plug on the end. They’re called Flash Drives, USB Drives, Thumb Drives, etc. They have no moving parts and are quite dependable. When plugged in they look and act like a hard drive. It is recommended you copy your projects onto the computer and do your work off that file. When you are done, copy the work back to the USB drive.

Be sure to use the appropriate unmounting, ejecting, or other disconnect procedure for the computer you are using before unplugging them. Data may be lost if you don’t.

Rename your USB drive with your name or other unique term. It makes it easier to trace if you forget your USB drive in the computer.

The self-paced courses will not need large storage so you can buy the cheaper models. A good plan is to periodically copy the contents of a Flash Drive onto a cloud storage or hard drive and then clean off the unused files. The files you delete will remain in the Trash folder on the drive, taking up space, until you empty the trash.