2309 Silver Star Road
Orlando, FL 32804

Phone: (407) 316-8310
Toll Free: (888) 9FIRST1

Graphic Design and Web Development Program

Graphic Design & Web Development Program Introduction

Program Objective

The Graphic Design and Web Development program strives to successfully train students for entry-level employment in the Web Development and Graphic Design industries. 

Program Description

The comprehensive Graphic Design and Web Development program was designed to prepare our students for the real world of web development and design, starting them from basic computer skills and multimedia design fundamentals and working up to advanced graphics and web programming techniques. We combine hands-on education using up-to-date technology found in the real world with F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s signature teaching methods applied to give students all they need to succeed in Design industry jobs.


744 Total Clock Hours

536 Hours - Instruction

168 Hours - Lab

40 Hours - Internship


Courses are designed to be taken in order as numbered, i.e. course 101 is taken prior to course 102.

GDWD 101 - Graphic Design Principles

In this course, students will gain a very basic level understanding of computers, their parts, and terminology. After students have learned the fundamentals of computing and have a good understanding of the different types of digital media formats, we start by first introducing them to art history, design basics, and color theory. Classes then get introduced to a common graphic design program, Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator will be consistently used throughout most of the graphic design and digital art portion of the course. Students will use the techniques learned in Illustrator to complete several projects that include a branding strategy for small and large businesses. 

GDWD 102 - Digital Art & Design

Students are introduced to digital photography and camera basics. Here, they will set up cameras and learn to use them in a real photo shoot. The assets obtained from that shoot will be used to introduce them to Photoshop. Next, students take some time to learn basic layout techniques utilizing grid design. Once students have a full understanding of the basics of Photoshop, these assets and skills are used to develop a print campaign and website mockup and design for their course project. 

GDWD 103 - Front End Web Design 1

Before getting into actual website design and architecture, we get students acclimated to the web with blogging, or creating a personal website from content management systems, like Wordpress. Creative writing is an essential requirement for almost all web developers, so we focus on personalizing your blog and studying creative writing as it pertains to blogging. Students create a blog around something they can write passionately about, such as their own personal interests. 

CD 101 - Career Development 1

Students are first introduced to the concept of Career Development, what it means, and its monumental purpose in helping them find Design industry jobs. They will focus on the design of their own personal portfolios which will include a cover letter, resume, and business cards, and learn tips for self-marketing on social media outlets like SoundCloud, Youtube, and Vimeo. This week is wrapped up by covering interviewing skills with an instructor-led mock interview session. 

GDWD 104 - Front End Web Design 2

Front End Web Design 2 encompasses most of the aspects of web design and basic web development that many people think of when they talk about website design. This includes the initial conception, sketching of the design, and implementing those ideas as HTML structure, CSS styling, and very minimal JavaScript scripting for the browser interaction. 

GDWD 105 - Web, Tools, Frameworks & Preprocessors

After being introduced to the basics of front end web design, students need to understand what accessibility and website optimization are, and how they are applied using modern browser technologies. Understanding accessibility will make browsing the web easier for certain groups of people. This type of optimization makes websites more efficient and easier to use by the masses despite the differences of the end user. Students will be taking into consideration how they can best make applications and websites available to those with disabilities. By simply practicing web standards, we are already building more accessible websites. Once the class has a good grasp on how to build proficient and usable websites, we turn to preprocessors that will aid in tooling, building, and deploying websites. Starting with basic command line introduction using JavaScript centric tools and libraries, as well as other frameworks and preprocessors that help write more maintainable CSS, we introduce the students to package management, CSS preprocessors, and various JavaScript libraries that can be installed to help with tooling and building steps. 

GDWD 106 - JavaScript Fundamentals & API Programming

There is no argument in the web community that JavaScript is the most useful and cross platform language that one needs to know as a web developer. This is why students spend several weeks covering introduction to programming through JavaScript. Our focus is using core JavaScript to teach those basic programming fundamentals. Students then move onto several weeks of both core JavaScript and JavaScript in the DOM or Web Browser. Additional time is spent on the most productive and most used JavaScript API called jQuery. This further teaches JavaScript and lets the students understand where they can use abstraction instead of regular JavaScript. These concepts will teach them not only the core concepts of JavaScript but also how to use any API to give them additional power writing less code. This course is the prerequisite for teaching server side JavaScript programming. JavaScript runs deep everywhere and for this reason, we want our students to know it deeply. 

GDWD 107 - Advanced Web & Database Introduction

The majority of basic web design and development concepts have been covered up to this point. Students move into advanced front end JavaScript. Bleeding edge front end technologies like web components, future releases of JavaScript and front end frameworks are used in class. The most up-to- date JavaScript front end framework is utilized to learn front end design patterns like MVC, MVVM and Single Page Applications. Having pushed this far into front end web development, the next logical step is to start to move over to the server side of web technology and begin to understand the fundamentals of database design. SQL based Relational Database systems and NoSQL options like MongoDB, a document database, are covered. 

CD 201 - Career Development 2

The second week of Career Development will center in on a student’s internship and academic experience. Students will learn how to update the portfolios created in the first week of Career Development. This week will also go over proper networking skills and business etiquette. Students finish off the week by making sure they are on track to meet all of their requirements for graduation. 

GDWD 108 - Server Side Development & Data Integration

In our final course and our final month, students will move almost exclusively into the server side of web development. Because of the emphasis of using JavaScript at every point in programming, it only makes sense to use NodeJS as our introduction to the server side. Students finish off the program by learning to use NodeJS and MongoDB. Frameworks such as Express are used to ease into NodeJS development and reinforce core JavaScript skills. When working with a document database, students communicate to and store documents as JSON and JavaScript objects. Also covered are various ways of using Node and Express with other JavaScript frameworks, Single Page Application (SPA) frameworks, and templating engines. 

GDWD 109 - Student Internship

Under the supervision of a professional, student internships are conducted in the many fields of graphic design and web development. Student skills will be assessed and the internship will provide students with the opportunity to further develop business skills and gain exposure to the work environment.

Internships will allow students to take initiative and become accountable for their experience. F.I.R.S.T. Institute encourages students to make lasting relationships and also to practice the skills learned during Career Development, class lectures, and hands-on training. Practical training for each student will vary considerably, but all opportunities should teach students about their industry and set expectations for entry-level employment upon graduation.