College and Career Readiness - McHenry West High School

Arts, A/V Technology & Communications - Coursework and Careers

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Individuals pursing a career in the Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications cluster are offered two different avenues of concentration. Careers in the Performing Arts, Visual Arts or certain aspects of Journalism, Broadcasting and Film require courses and activities that challenge students' creative talents, while careers in Audio/Video Communications Technology, Telecommunications or Printing Technology require strong backgrounds in computer and electronic-based technology and a solid foundation in math and science. In addition, the creative aspects of this cluster are rapidly merging with the technological, making it even more challenging.

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Career Pathways Career Choices Tips for Successful Planning
  • Audio and Video Technology and Film
  • Printing Technology
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Journalism and Broadcasting
  • Telecommunications
  • Actor-Actress
  • Video Producer
  • Journalist
  • Audio Engineer
  • Telecommunications Technologist
  • Printing/Graphics Technologist
  • Take placement testing at MCC in March/April of Junior year.
  • Take ACT/SAT in spring semester of junior year of high school.
  • Meet annually with high school guidance counselor or MCC academic advisor or call (815) 479-7565.


Suggested Coursework

Grade English/
Language Arts
Mathematics Science Social Science Career Related
  • English I
  • Honors English I
  • Algebra I
  • Honors Algebra I
  • Honors Geometry
  • Biology
  • Honors Biology
  • Issues of the 21st Century
  • AP Human Geography
  • World Language I
  • Intro to Business
  • Journalism
  • Computer Literacy
  • Graphics
  • Art & Design I & II
  • Intro to Fashion
  • Drawing & Painting I & II
  • Ceramics & Sculpture I & II
  • Photography I
  • Photography II
  • Band/Choir
  • English II
  • Honors English II
  • Geometry
  • Honors Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Honors Algebra II
  • Earth Science
  • Chemistry
  • Honors Chemistry
  • AP Physics I
  • AP Environmental Science
  • Foundations of Ancient Empires
  • Development of the Modern World
  • AP World History
Any of the above plus:
  • World Language II
  • Honors Rhetoric & Research
  • Intro to Theater
  • Business Mgmt.
  • Accounting I
  • Marketing for Sports & Entertainment
  • Honors Studio Photography
  • Independent Studio
  • Web Fundamentals
  • Graphics Occupations I
  • Fashion Merch.
  • English III
  • Honors American Studies - English
  • AP Lang. & Comp.
  • Algebra II
  • Honors Algebra II
  • Honors Pre-Calculus
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • College Algebra with Trigonometry
  • Action Chemistry
  • Action Physics
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Physics
  • Forensics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics II
  • US History
  • Honors American Studies - US History
  • AP US History
Any of the above plus:
  • World Language III
  • Publication Yearbook
  • Creative Writing
  • Rhetoric & Analysis of Media
  • Accounting II
  • Independent Studio
  • Lit. of Theater
  • AP Photography
  • Graphics Occupations II
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • English IV + ½ Eng. Elective
  • Honors Cultural Studies - Eng.
  • AP Lit. & Comp.
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • Transition to College Math
  • AP Statistics
Any of the above
  • Govt. & Citizenship
  • AP Govt. & Comp. Govt.
  • Honors Cultural Studies - Govt.
Any of the above plus:
  • World Language IV
  • AP World Language
  • Seminar in Industrial Tech.
  • MCC - Digital Media


Career Planning

Type of Degree Degree Names
Certificate Career and Technical Education Certificate

Career and Technical Education Associate Degrees

Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees are designed to prepare students for immediate employment.


Transfer Associate Degrees

Transfer degrees are designed to provide students with a strong general education foundation and prerequisite coursework for continued study at a four-year college or university.


Sample academic plans are provided for use by students who have decided on a major but not on an intended transfer school.


For students who have decided on a transfer school, transfer guides are provided, showing how courses apply to specific majors at many in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities.


Art, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications

A few examples of baccalaureate majors related to this Career Cluster include the following:

  • Art
  • Broadcasting
  • Communication Studies
  • Dance
  • Graphic Design
  • Journalism
  • Media and Cinema
  • Music
  • Radio-Television
  • Theatre

There are many Illinois colleges and universities that offer programs in these areas of study. To see a full list, please refer to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) website.