Digital Communication Tools for Creative Professionals

Complete your creative toolbox with a powerful set of skills that can take you anywhere.

Program Overview

This certificate will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career as a creative professional.

Using Adobe Creative Cloud tools, you’ll experience a project-based curriculum that teaches digital communication skills in the context of the professional web design and development process.

A quick Google search might show an endless array of options for learning graphic design or web design skills. What’s unique about this certificate is that we’ll take you one step further and provide you with project management and iterative design skills. Using both Agile Scrum and Design Sprint, you’ll learn how to take your new technical skills into a professional work place to provide real value and leadership.

During the certificate, you’ll develop four key skill areas:

  • Project management and collaboration
  • Design
  • Research and communication
  • Professional web-authoring tools

You’ll develop these key skills in a spiral—with each project adding more challenging skills onto the foundation proficiencies.

Each project you’ll tackle will follow a design and development process, from project planning to evaluation and launch. To simulate a professional work environment, you’ll gradually migrate your design work from an individual process to a group process. True to the iterative nature of design work, projects will contain activities that require you to evaluate, redesign and then rework your communications.

Digital tools included in this course are Dreamweaver, Illustrator and Photoshop. Additionally, students will be introduced to one of Adobe’s newest products, Experience XD, which focuses on user experience design.

Dreamweaver and Photoshop will be taught to the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) standards, enabling students to immediately take the Associates exam for these valuable industry credentials. Illustrator will be partially taught to the ACA standards.

To finish the certificate, you’ll complete a capstone project, which will utilize the full certificate content. The results of this project will provide you with a tangible work product to show prospective employers or current managers.

Level Entry/non-credit
Class format Lectures, projects, guest speakers, case studies
Commitment 7 weeks / classes held two nights a week + four Saturday labs
How to Pass Complete capstone project / career coaching
Certificates University of Utah certificate, digital badge, transcripts
Scholarships Available
Industry Credentials Teaches to the Adobe Certified Associate exam for Dreamweaver, Illustrator and Photoshop

DIgital Communications BadgeEarn a Digital Badge

Those completing this certificate will earn a Digital Communication Tools for Creative Professionals Digital Badge that can be shared on social media sites.

Click on this badge to see the metadata behind your badge.

Find out more about Digital Badges and how they can have a positive impact on your career development here


Careers in Digital Communication

“A college degree isn’t always enough to open the right doors for graduates. As global competition places new pressures on businesses, many companies are raising the bar on the requirements for new hires. Rather than offering on‐the‐job training in multimedia technologies and practices, companies are requiring validated skill sets upon hire so that new employees are ready to hit the ground running when they walk in the door.”

Adobe Creative Suite Success Story 
Lake Washington Institute of Technology / Gaining the Right Multi-media Credentials 


Certificate Director – Ellen Donovan

Ellen’s Bio 

Ellen is a Senior Web Developer at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics and has also been an Associate Instructor with Continuing Education for the past six years. She is a recognized leader in the fields of technical education and web, digital, and vector application training as well as a courseware developer for educational programs and corporate training. Ellen has also owned and operated her own company, Getting Smart, Inc. for 15 years. She specializes in graphic design, web interface development, usability design, digital publishing and social media using the latest in software from Adobe and Microsoft.

Ellen received her B.A. in business from Pepperdine University. She is an Adobe Certified Expert/Instructor and holds various technical certifications.

Meet All Our Instructors

Have a question? We have answers.  Contact Us!

For questions about how to enroll, scholarships or other administrative questions:

Andrea Miller – program director
801-587-8822 /

For questions about curriculum, career opportunities, class experience or the capstone: 

Contact our program director – Ellen-


Student Feedback Highlight

"Ellen and Drew were fantastic. I don't know if they were the ones who designed the course but it was very effective (and followed instructional design best practices!). I have actually taken classes and even had jobs working with all of these products before, and have NEVER learned as much as I did from these too. I've tried to figure out what they did differently, and I think they just had a really good mix of explaining tools and resources, walking through examples, and then providing space and time to apply those new skills. Also, I think it made a difference that they both actively use everything they were teaching about (as opposed to a professor or librarian who may know how to use the tool but doesn't necessarily have the practical, applied perspective.) Ellen changed my work life by listening to my project management needs and recommending an appropriate tool, and Drew blew my mind when he explained InDesign and I realized that the way I was managing documents across InDesign was wasting weeks’ worth of hours."


What do our students say? 

Read student feedback...


Certificate Courses

Week #1 & #2 

  • Introduction to Agile
  • Design process, logo design
  • Adobe Illustrator

Week #3

  • File types and formats, Photoshop, storyboards and style tiles

Week #4

  • UX (User experience)
  • Analysis of the competitive landscape, wireframing, Adobe XD
  • Information architecture and site maps
  • User testing

Week #5

  • HMTL and CSS
  • Adobe Dreamweaver

Week #6

  • Phases of web development
  • Advanced Photoshop for layouts
  • Designing high fidelity comps including mobile

Week #7

  • Capstone project and presentations
  • Job skills for creative professionals
  • Careers for creative professionals


  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Workplace ethics and respect
  • Listening skills

Tuition - $1499

Register now

Download the Syllabus

Download the Syllabus

Last Updated: 3/5/18