Visual Communications student finds passion for the arts at MCC, career direction, and graduates with zero debt
MOHAVE COUNTY – Amber Cole, a 2021 Mohave Community College graduate, has been creating art since she could pick up a crayon. She completed her Associate of Arts in Visual Communication and an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts in May.
While attending Lee Williams High School in Kingman she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. She decided to take the college dual enrollment classes and put those college credits toward her Liberal Arts degree. After taking a few classes at MCC, she realized she enjoyed the arts.
“Since I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I decided to take various art classes that I thought I’d enjoy, like photography and drawing,” Cole said. “After my first semester I discovered my love of photography along with basically all forms of artistic communication.”
Being a Visual Communication student, she made lifelong friends and enjoyed participating in art shows and meeting Bob “Boze” Bell, publisher of “True West” magazine and artist.
MCC strives to make sure students succeed in their educational journey, and Cole found success with the help of her instructor and advisor.
She said she received guidance and support from MCC Visual Communications Instructor Ann King, who helped her figure out the best career paths and brought out her confidence as an artist. Her college advisor also helped guide her to make sure she was on the right path for graduation.
After attending an “Information Day” at the University of Arizona, she spoke with art school representatives and realized it was the perfect choice for her because of the degree options.
Cole is currently taking the next steps in her education and is going to attend the University in the fall, where she will work toward earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration and Design. She plans to find a career in different areas of the art industry, such as magazine photography, illustration, and theater set design.
While at MCC she was a work study student in the Financial Aid Office and Campus Library. During the pandemic she started working for a local animation studio, Dankrite Productions, where she illustrates backgrounds for a cartoon and other graphic design projects.
Cole said working while going to school was achievable because her supervisors understand education comes first, and she was able to rearrange her schedule as needed.
She finished her associate’s degree with no debt because she received financial assistance by following the college recommendation to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA. Cole didn’t have to pay out of pocket for her classes because financial aid covered her first two years of schooling.
“Not a day goes by that I’m not immensely grateful for the help of financial aid. If I didn’t have it, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college at all because I couldn’t afford it, but the Pell Grant ended up covering all of my costs,” she said.
Advice she would give incoming students is to ask questions and get involved with MCC clubs and organizations.
“Never hesitate to ask questions, every inquiry is valid and you’re definitely not the first one to ask,” Cole said. “Get involved, find a club or a program that resonates with you, you won’t regret it.”
Cole was Art Club President, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Ovis Writer’s Club. She enjoyed being Art Club President because she met different people from different backgrounds who all came together over a passion for the arts. At the Ovis Club she enjoyed learning how to put together a published literary journal, where some of her own work was featured.
Since she was a PTK member at MCC, the University of Arizona awarded her with a scholarship. She said she worked hard to get into PTK and is excited to see her hard work pay off, so she can continue her education.
Cole, 21, was born in Kingman and has lived in the area her entire life. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and friends. Watching movies, dancing and practicing all art mediums. At Lee Williams High School in Kingman where she was involved with marching band through the color guard and theater.
To learn more about the MCC Visual Communication degree, visit Mohave.edu/Visual-Communications. Fall classes start August 23. Those interested in becoming a college student should fill out the free online application at Apply.Mohave.edu, or head to the nearest campus Student Services Office. Assistance is also available by calling 866-MOHAVECC (866-664-2832).