The Academy of Art University
The Academy of Art University - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings|
|Total Grad Surveys||25|
|Avg years at University||1.9|
|Research Quality||D- (1.8)|
|Research Availability||C- (4.2)|
|Research Funding||D (2.1)|
|Graduate Politics||D (2.4)|
|Not Errand Runners||C+ (5.6)|
|Degree Completion||C- (4.2)|
|Alternative pay [ta/gsi]||D- (1.7)|
|Sufficient Pay||D (2.5)|
|Education Quality||C+ (5.0)|
|Faculty Accessibility||C+ (5.1)|
|Useful Research||C (4.5)|
|"Individual" treatment||C- (3.9)|
|Campus Beauty||C- (3.6)|
|Campus Maintenance||C (4.5)|
|University Spending||C- (3.6)|
|Scholastic Success||C+ (5.3)|
|Surrounding City||A (9.2)|
|Social Life/ Environment||B- (6.0)|
We believe that it is important to understand that the campus is spread out across hundreds of building throughout the San Francisco Bay with most of them in some of the most dangerous parts of the city. Campus security is unable to protect students because there is no real campus and the school's Clery Report doesn't honestly reflect the dangers that students face on a daily basis. Our experience confirmed that the University is staffed, from top to bottom, with inept personnel who show no interest in the well being of their students.If your are contemplating sending your child to this institution we recommend that you reconsider as there are much safer places to send your child that offer far better academics.
AACC even said, and I quote: ?We did not look at California, would you like to do that for us?? Well, I did. Calling into 22 of 71 community college districts throughout California, polling from metropolitan, suburban, and remote districts, not one HR administrator agreed with AACC, with one even stating ?AACC is from Mars if they think there is any kind of shortage with administrative personnel.? One district administrator commented that their big problem is sorting through the tons of qualified applications for each position open. One position, a Dean at Santa Barbara Community College, received over 150 qualified applications.
Calling into five other states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, I found the same response from HR administrators: no critical shortage of leadership personnel predicted. One HR administrator from Arizona, jokingly but half serious, replied (and I quote): ?AACC is not from Mars if they think there?s any type of leadership shortage?they are from Pluto!? Another HR administrator from New Jersey commented: ?There is always a shortage of leaders with more talent than God and more money than Bill Gates.?
I work at a university and currently in higher education. Unfortunately it?s a faith-based institution where you had better be a life-long member of the church if you apply for any administrative position. In California, as with my friend currently in the this PhD program who got a promotion to President of San Jacinto College, Roger Schultz, these degrees in Leadership for Higher Education might get you a promotion. It will not open the door to an outsider. Go do something of real value before you think about this worthless program.
After 12 years of adjunct for three California community college districts I have recently stopped doing that (oh how many times I?ve heard the carrot before the stick? ?well, we MIGHT have some tenure-track positions open soon!?) There are two things I used to do weekly: 1) apply to a California community college, and 2) play the California lottery. There is now one thing I do every week: 1) play the California lottery. And I?m damn glad I do! I?m up $62 bucks this year!
Let me be clear, I would rather ruin the reputation of my alma mater, than be associated with that place.
The San Francisco Academy Of Art University's sculpture department just fired the only redeeming quality they had. They just fired Erik Blome over email, with no notice.
For 3 years I put up with intimidation and emotional abuse from Peter Schifrin. He even openly mocked my religion in front of a class of students (I have 2 statements from students of the class to prove this).I was disgusted at the time that most of my gradshool professors in the sculpture dept had less experience, and less resume than I did. The claim that the school is run by "artists for artist" that "professional" teach there, was not true in the sculpture dept.
At this level of higher education, I find it rather irritating that the instructor still focuses on basic fonts, poster design, how to write heading, what subhead is, page tiling, even how to set margins.
Most instructors are not helpful and often tell students to get help elsewhere be it the ESL lab, the type lab, and other fellow students.
The school takes too many advantages from students. Everything is about business.
Academic advisor is not well-informed and not willing to help. When asking something outside of their scope of responsibility, I was told that it wasn?t their job. I had to fumble my way through various departments to get an answer I wanted.
And in my experience, this school really doesn't care about anything else other than money. Both my alma mater and several other private schools around me are cheaper - by hundreds of dollars per credit hour in some cases - than AAU, even at the graduate level. I initially chose AAU for the online flexibility, but I think now that it was a HUGE mistake. I have had only ONE teacher that I would call very good to excellent at this point, and she was a general Liberal Arts/Art History teacher. Totally unsatisfactory for the expense.
Between the terrible treatment as a person/red tape/inflated tuition/poor instruction quality, I will not be staying and I will never recommend them to anyone at any level.
The online program can be tricky at first; it starts out slow and then you are bombarded with hours upon hours of homework. But if you put in the effort, you are guaranteed to see visible improvements in your work. Going into my editing class, I had very minimal experience with final cut pro. Now, half way through the semester, I can edit, organize clips, apply transitions, correct audio, and so much more. I got off to a rough start with my story development class, in large part to unclear instructions from my professor. After having a dialog with the entire class about his teaching style, he took that information and made some key changes that make the assignments much more clear. Now THAT is a teacher. From what I have noticed from reading other posts, online students seem to have a much better experience with AAU. I have never felt like I was just another number or dollar sign, especially with my advisors who have been so friendly and helpful through this whole transition to grad school. I have wonderful discussions with classmates because everyone is dedicated to their work and open to sharing their thoughts and opinions. It's truly the best learning experience I have ever had. Period.
After completing most of my BFA, I felt hopeless because of the amount of debt I had and struggled through to finish. It was a horrible experience, though I graduated with honors. After finishing I fought to get my work together and my skill level up (outside of AAU).
Just recently I got word (from an instructor) that my personal life was a topic of discussion in a FA meeting at the academy. I guess things haven't changed much. I feel sad for a lot of the faculty there. I hope they can try to be better people.
I try not to mention that I went to AAU and will never endorse the Academy in my professional life. I have affiliations with other learning institutions that I can proudly claim.
For those of you that are still in your degree there, work hard and focus on standards that are in your field - not your class, grades don't matter. Good luck.
At the time of joining this school, not many other schools had access to the expensive 3D animation equipment that I needed. What brought me here is that they had Game Design advertised as a major choice. I wanted to learn every aspect about creating video games and chose to specialize in the art side since I was not cut out to be a programmer/engineer.
So about the school. I was surprized to find how few of my classes where focused on games. It seemed as if I was lumped in with the Visual Effects Students who mostly wanted to work for Pixar and ILM.
Still I managed to do what I thought that I needed to do to get a good portfolio together. Often times I felt that, to the schools administration, I was just another opening cash register. I did however manage make the best out of the situation and worked at my craft. I stayed home many a weekend and forsake going out to allow my art skill to grow. I was blessed with having instructors who genuinely did care that students get better, and where honest about the whether the quality of their work was good enough to be considered professional.
As other people described, I was one of those kids who was well off and had the full loving support of my parents paying for everything. While I don't feel guilty at all for taking advantage of it, It did wise me up to the reality that if you have to work many hours to go here, you won't get as much out of school because instead of mastering your art you will be at your part time job. I spent all my possible energy into my artwork and still feel that I am mediocre.
If you are planning on comming here, make sure you can afford it.
A 3 Unit class cost's about $1700 in tuition fees, and if you are a full time student you will be taking 4 of those in a semester. Add in $0-500 lab fee per class depending on if it is a computer or film or expensive equiptment.
I wouldn't reccomend going into debt to come here. Don't believe that the job placement assistance people will find you jobs or have any contacts for you. You have about 100 other students competing for the jobs they have listed, so you better be damn good if you hope to land it.(Still, try you must)
I was fortunate to have knowledgable teachers most of the time, but every educational instutute has it's share of hacks.
Here is what I would do knowing what I know.
Go to community college and take some Photoshop, Illustrator, Drawing and all the art classes relating to what you want to major in you can take before going there. Be sure you are dead set in your major before you attend the Academy, because changing majors is a co$tly decision.
I would then take one class per semester for the specialty software classes not available at other schools.
Now the advisors will try to get you taking 4 classes and have you go through all the prerequisites. Resist at all costs! Make something up that you cannot afford 4 classes.
To bypass taking prerequisites, get to know some of the faculty while you are taking that one class and learn who is teaching what classes and who is the best for what you want to learn. Talk to the instructors teaching those classes and they will permit you to add thier class if you have the neccesary knowledge to be in that class, (you may have to show some artwork from community college). You may be able to bypass the salesmen *ahem* I mean advisors to get in those classes.
Go to all the workshops in your major. They are like free classes. Take advantage.
That way you would have access to the equipment and the computer lab at AAU. So you can work on a body of artwork to get you a job. The equipment and highly specialized classes (something like combustion or shake) are the best things about that school.While you are taking that one class at the Academy, go to a more affordable school for your degree.
For the cost of tuition the school should be at least above average. AAU takes advantage of International students (no TOFEL requirements) and gets other students because it is located in San Francisco.
In short, you will NOT get your money's worth and will graduate with LOTS of debt and NO skills.If you want an art school go to the California College of Art (was CCAC) or to the SF Art Institute (it is NOT the chain - it is the other one)
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