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The Academy of Art University

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What makes my faculty good is that everybodyQuite BrightDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
What makes my faculty good is that everybody works hard to improve and increase the level of work, and most are very experienced professionals. Although one teacher at the industrial design department is not very approachable or considerate, everybody else I have met at the department is fantastic and devoted people. Especially the last year since Tom Matano became director of the industrial design department things has changed for the better.

Not every instructor is the same and some are not as good you wish they were, but most of them has been fair, and the most important thing is always you work and how you can improve. Remember, in the end its your portfolio, your work and your decisions not the teachers opinion that matters, as long as you pass the class of course. In college you are on your own, but most of the instructors I have met at my department has given me good help and instruction on how I may improve.

In my opinion, one of the weakest links at the Academy is the advisors, they know much less about my major than they should. They have not told me everything I needed to know, important information was not mentioned and I am behind schedule, graduating later than necessary. They signed me up for truly useless classes, telling me they were prerequiste, which they were not. That said, the best advisor in my opinion is Les Bowman, he's great, but it took me a couple of semesters to find out.

Also being located in downtown San Francisco has it weak and strong points. I miss being on a real campus with everything relatively close, not spread out in a busy city with hardly any parking. The Academy offers a transportation service for free taking you from you class to another or to the dorm, but they don't run very often and goes everywhere before arriving at your destination.

If you plan on going to AAC, I think you could have a great time and you can learn a lot if you work hard. In the upper classes expect to work over 80-90 hours a week, at least in my department. Don't live in the dorms, they are expensive, your fellow students may steal your clothes, supplies, not clean up after themselves, or be loud. Plus its rather expensive. If you don't have anywhere to stay when you come to SF, spend one semester at the dorm, find somebody you think you can live with and look for apartments on the internet (www.craigslist.com - its free and very very good) or just walk around in neighborhoods you would like to live and look for apartments for rent.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2005
Surrounding City: A+, Social Life: F
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I am currently planning to withdraw from the AAC.Quite BrightArt & Design Department
I am currently planning to withdraw from the AAC. I've been terribly unhappy since day 1 of my enrollment. The same problem in digital media sadly still exists in other majors as well-- the teachers.


The ********** class I'm taking has been badly taught by my instructor. The most difficult and aggravating thing to deal with was his mismanagment of time. Several times he became confused, and spent a lot of classtime trying to learn the material himself. It was frustrating to learn something new when there isn't a prepared method to teach it. We spend a ridiculous amount of money in this school, so I would expect at the the least, to be taught by someone who is a well versed in their trade. The root of this problem is that some of the teachers at this school DO NOT HAVE TEACHING CREDENTIALS. But wait, you would expect the faculty to at least be the best in their field. But no, you don't get even that. What you are left with are struggling artists who "fit the bill." People who may be stellar at art, but are barren of any teaching merit. That of course doesn't go for all teachers. Most notably--James Gleeson, who out of all my teachers has shown the most genuine patience and professionalism towards his students.

What has also been a problem concerning teachers, is that some of them are not an official part of the faculty. There are times that I've misplaced a teacher's contact information and needed to call them. As they aren't real faculty, their contact information is UNCATALOGUED by the school. No one, including the head of the department, could get me their phone number OR email. Furthermore, they don't have offices or office hours. That makes them unfairly inaccessible. Yet the school does offer workshop hours for struggling students, but they are usually held once a week at one specific time of one specific day for the whole semester. Which means that, if you have a class, job, or imp. engagement during those hours, YOU'RE LUCKED OUT.

This school is also famed for failing to provide what their catalogue offers. Case in point, a computer arts class I took that boasted the opportunity to learn adobe photoshop, after effects, AND 3D design. I'm unable to recall the 3D program we used, as we only used it during the last two weeks of class-- to make a sphere. Which consisted of 3 steps: click, click, drag. After that, we were treated to the knowledge of how to SLIDE (not roll) the sphere across the floor in after effects (the only time we used AE for that matter). End of Semester. Final? What final? There wasn't any. We spent 90% of the class getting our feet wet in photoshop. Learning techniques that should take a day, NOT two weeks to understand. I know for a fact the learning curve was low for the rest of my peers, because after an hour of learning and doing the work, class was over. Not over in the sense that everyone just got up and left in the middle of the material. Over in the sense that if we didn't choose to vacate, we would be left sitting and surfing the web, while the the teacher did his own thing for the duration of the class.

Something I'll never understand are the 5 hour foundation classes worth only 3 units. I know people at other universities who recieve 4 units for 2.5 hours of class. Doesn't sound right does it?

I really gave this school a chance. But the number of instructors untrained as teachers overwhelms me. Upon attendance you'll start to realize that for the money you paid, you aren't getting much in return. You'll wonder why the school doesn't care enough to give you quality teachers. And you'll marvel at the feeling of how sucky life is to be cattle.local alternatives = ccac,sfai

1st Year Male -- Class 2006
Social Life: A+, Faculty Accessibility: F
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BrightArt & Design Department
This school is not tat bad compared to some other art school
1st Year Female -- Class 2007
Education Quality: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: B+
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The Academy of Art University
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