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California College of the Arts

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I do not recommend my school to anyone.Average
I do not recommend my school to anyone. This school has few student services, no meal plan, no gym, minimal health care, and expensive housing. There are many incompetent instructors. 78% of the instructors do not have tenure. This school is very expensive for how little services or quality classes it offers its students.
4th Year Female -- Class 2017
Faculty Accessibility: B, Extracurricular Activities: F
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Adult student, second round in college.Super BrilliantFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Adult student, second round in college. Photo Major and then switched to Individualized with concentration in Sculpture.

Best resource CCA has is the faculty's brilliance - which is disheartening once you realize that the administrators disrespect them and treat them as disposable. Seriously, the majority of them are genuinely interested in students' success, approachable, and appreciative if you are inquisitive and eager to learn. I have had some of my best education here talking to the faculty at great length, both in and out of the class room. This is a nerdy Art school - the Fine Art students that I know bust their asses off and majority are on some Financial Aid - not wild partiers like SFAI-ers.

Now for the cons, to be fair these issues seem to be commonplace in other Art institutions as well: steadily increasing tuition without Financial Aid adjustment, academically challenged (administrators put pressure on faculty to prop less competent students up), budgetary issues (SF Design + Arch programs given way higher priority over Oakland Fine Art ones), overcrowding (CCA has had issue accommodating students with proper studio/work space), few mature students (the cliques are 'painfully hip').

CCA has been going through major changes over the years...moving from a traditional craft-based school to an innovative design school. Restructuring has been happening as well leading up to the move of Oakland campus to SF, causing tension and feelings of uneasiness. Rumor has it some of the programs will be put on the chopping block. My hope for CCA is that it won't get lost in this change for the sake of change alone. Progress can only be achieved with wisdom and fairness and some of us are wondering if the CCA Board of Trustees have completely lost the school's original vision and if they are making decisions solely based on $$$ - it is the Bay Area after all, where greed prevails.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2016
Education Quality: A+, Social Life: D
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I have spent 3 years at CCA, onQuite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I have spent 3 years at CCA, on a year break now to actually get my nit picky crazy projects actually done!!, and will be graduating next Spring. I am a Welfare to art school, dream poster child, (not so much by CCA scholarships, they do help but, the Cal Grant and smaller grants, like the Pell really make it possible. I've taken out about 8 grand in loans each year, mostly for rent and living/school survival for the year)

I have loved my time at CCA, there's good and bad everywhere right? and just like in real life, the real world, it's up to you and only you to make your dreams come true!

You gotta be your own squeaky wheel to get that sweet sweet grease you need to fly! The administration is not very organized, but if you talk to them with gratitude and respect, you'll find there are many sweethearts that will help you. You gotta do your own homework, on all accounts! With faculty, ask around, I have heard about mind-numbingly dull teachers, and jerks that give no constructive criticism just cruel stupidity. . . ask around and get out of a class, whatever it may be if you don't feel stimulated or worse, defeated. The teacher's who are that way, show their true colors pretty quick. So you gotta be even faster in deciding what's right for you. There are AMAZING faculty, I have befriended all across the disciplines, and in the humanities too. Many have not even, or only been my assigned teachers, but have become my mentors, heros, true friends, drinking buddies too! Ha ha! (I'm legal!) There are absolute treasures of souls all over the place, that will change your life, and influence your art to heights you never imagined. It's up to you to make the most of it, and also participate in class. It's awful when everyone is "too cool" or maybe just too tired to talk in class. Participate! It's your education dammit!

My biggest problem, which has resulted in goofball insomnia, is dreaming beyond the tiny deadlines for projects, and driving myself bonkers trying to give my 150% for a handful of worthy and awesome classes. Try finding parallels that you can combine assignments, it's not like turning in the same essay for two classes. But devoting your energy to one solid multi-faceted art piece, that you can get different perspectives on and more than one grade on. That saves my life!!!

I think my biggest gem of advice is to shop around the majors, why do just the one thing your obviously already good at, coming into the door? Why not explore everything in your heart's desire and then narrow it down, (when they make you, ha ha!) ? They make it more of a hassle, because it's just more paper work for them, but I full-heartily endorse the Individualized Major, basically creating your own major, it rocks!!! Revolutionize, evolutionize! If I had to say my focus in a phrase, it would be Boo kArts, I got into CCA as a photo major, uhhh yuck, hell no, i knew it first semester in, I probably would have drown myself or someone else with darkroom chemicals, if I had stuck it out! Very technical totalitarian, not supportive of crappy quality negatives but awesome photos, what's more important, truly? Very expensive major and everyone can take photos, why oh why limit your self??? I have taken painting, ceramics, textiles, book binding, writing. . .classes called Drawing Without Drawing (James Gobel-awesome!) and one with the visionary hero, absolute hero of CCA(C), Barron Storey and his Visual Journalism class. Anyone interested in creating anything of a pictorial, narrative fashion, you will thank yer blessed mind blown stars, by taking at least his Illustration 1 class. He is as much a genius as sweetheart, and share's all his magic spells' recipes, how to techniques, gold, my friend's GOLD! And while Illustration and Graphic Design are some of the most popular majors cuz it gives you the fine arts with the professional banner of you having a better chance in getting a "real job" out of school. . . Guess what? Most everyone's work looks the same. Is that gonna help you in the competitive ass job market??? Hell no. Whatever you do, make it your own and grow from your own soul and what they can teach you to blossom professionally and artistically. For all these reasons, I again endorse the Individualized major, doing your own thing, whatever percentage you actually stray from one particular major, will profoundly change you. interacting with a much larger range of students, faculty. . . of course gives you more of a diverse edge in your own personal growth and networking circle of friends. I have seen it time and again, I think they call it evolution!

3rd Year Female -- Class 2010
Individual Value: A+, Perceived Campus Safety: D+
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