WHAT IS Print[ED]?
Print[ED] is a nationally recognized accreditation program for high schools (secondary) and junior colleges (post-secondary) that teach graphic communications. Administered by the Printing & Graphics Association, Mid Atlantic (PGAMA), Print[ED] accreditation involves three parts: program standards, Industry approved competencies, and assessments.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION?
To the student, Print[ED] provides a career pathway to enter the workplace with verifiable credentials, or to pursue further education at the college level.
To the educator, Print[ED] ensures an instructional program that is current and relevant, consistent across the nation, and aligned with industry standards.
To the employer, Print[ED] graduates are knowledgeable, trained, skilled and ready to enter the workforce.
HOW DOES A PROGRAM ACHIEVE ACCREDITATION?
After completing an application, an Evaluation Team Leader (ETL) is assigned to mentor the candidate program’s instructor. The ETL maintains monthly contact with the instructor. A team comprised of industry professionals conducts the final evaluation to determine if the program has met accreditation requirements. An applicant program is granted 12 months to complete the accreditation process. Accreditation is awarded for five years, with an Annual Status Report due at the end of each academic school year. Areas of accreditation include:
INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS*
DIGITAL FILE PREPARATION AND OUTPUT
DIGITAL PRODUCTION PRINTING
OFFSET PRESS OPERATIONS/BINDERY AND FINISHING
*Accreditation in Introduction to Graphic Communications, as well as in one other area, is required. Schools may choose to be accredited in additional areas.
DOES Print[ED] HAVE DEFINED STANDARDS?
Print[ED] has identified six standards that encompass the elements of a solid training program. For a program to be awarded accreditation, it must meet these standards in at least two skills areas.
Standard 1: Teaching Credentials
Print[ED] instructors must possess a valid teaching certificate. Provisional certificates are acceptable. Loss of a teaching certificate will result in the suspension of Print[ED] accreditation until a valid teaching certificate is issued or the program files a change of instructor application.
Standard 2: Facility, Equipment and Safety
The physical facility must provide a learning environment in which students can be successful. In addition, equipment must be of the type typically found in the industry that provides an authentic experience for the student. Both the facility and equipment must meet current safety standards. If the program does not have adequate equipment, accreditation may be achieved by submitting a plan (supported by the school administration) to acquire the necessary equipment.
Standard 3: Instruction
Program curriculum must align with Print[ED] competencies, include safety rules and regulations, incorporate acceptable work habits and ethics, and provide testing and evaluation.
Standard 4: Program Outcomes
Program must have clearly defined outcomes related to, assessments, internships, work-study, full-time industry placements, part-time industry placements, and college-bound graduates.
Standard 5: Program Advisory Committee (PAC)
Administration must insure that instructional activities support and promote the goals of the Print[ED] program.
Standard 6: Program Budget
Funding must be provided to meet the approved program goals and performance objectives.
WHAT ARE THE GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS COMPETENCIES?
The Graphic Communications Skills Competencies (GCSC), developed by educators and industry professionals, provide measurable or observable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors critical to successful job performance. These competencies form the basis for instruction in the six areas of Print[ED] accreditation. See list of competencies.
DOES Print[ED] PROVIDE ASSESSMENTS?
PGAMA in partnership with SkillsUSA offers online assessments which include:
INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS
DIGITAL FILE PREPARATION/DIGITAL FILE OUTPUT
DIGITAL PRODUCTION PRINTING
OFFSET PRESS OPERATIONS/BINDERY & FINISHING
A student who receives a passing score on any of the Print[ED]/SkillsUSA assessments is awarded a Student Certification in that subject area, valid for two years. The certification, which does not require work experience, is designed to be the initial step for students seeking to build a career in the graphic communications industry.
Print[ED] Quick Facts
The accreditation fee of $1800 includes access to our Professional Learning Community, two visits by an experienced Print[ED] ETL, an accreditation plaque, and copies of any materials updated during the five-year accreditation.
Although Print[ED] does not provide its own course of study, there are curriculums available that are aligned with the Print[ED] competencies.
Many Print[ED] accredited programs have established articulation agreements with institutions of higher learning. Articulation agreements are designed to build strong partnerships between high schools and community colleges and/or four-year institutions. The agreement outlines specific requirements completed at the high school level that will transfer to institutions of higher learning. Print[ED] instructors are encouraged to form articulation agreements to provide students with the benefit of pursuing further education with college credit already in hand.
Print[ED] was developed in 1986 by the Printing Industries of Georgia (PIAG) at the request of the Georgia Department of Education. In 1990, Printing Industries of America adopted the Georgia program as a national industry-approved accreditation program. GAERF assumed management of Print[ED] in 2000. Effective July 1, 2019, GAERF transferred administration of Print[ED] to the Printing & Graphics Association, MidAtlantic (PGAMA).