California College of the Arts
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California College of the Arts - Comments and Student Experiences |
The program sets you up with deadlines and small projects, and than in the end they throw a curve ball at you, called Thesis. In Thesis, you have to come up with your own project, even though nothing before this has prepared you for this kind of class. Talk about intimidating, you sit in front of a huge staff of graphic designers and they tell you how your work stinks if you aren't one of their beloved favorites!
On the more positive side, I would say that the faculty are very knowledgeable and even though they may not express their want for their students to do well, they try, but are elitist and too focused on how you do your work rather than what you produce.This is not the program to be in if you are not 100% sure you want to do graphic design. The teachers really have little if no respect for many of the students, but the students certainly produce beautiful work. What I liked about CCA was the great challenge and its conceptual nature. What I didn't like about it was its elitism, favoritism, and pretentiousness. Every idea should be given a fair chance. Design shouldn't be elitist!
However half the school is in oakland and the other half is in San Francisco. This is fine if your major is located generally in one building or the other. I was a painting major at the school. The program was really spread out. I didn't feel a lot of support for the painters at the school. There was hardly any community for the painting majors. I was often by myself in the painting studios, wondering to myself ... where are the other painters? This is why I decided to leave. I was a transfer student. I decided to use the dorms, to meet people .. etc... All transfer students generally go to the Webster Dorms. Three weeks into living at Webster a shoot out with machine guns happened outside my window. Thats right, MACHINE GUNS. Oakland has the fourth highest crime rate in the US. It's really important to think about that before deciding to go to CCA. Half the campus is in Oakland, ask how many classes exactly would you need to take in oakland? Their campus security reports will tell you only a few thefts happen on campus and that there are no reports of violence on campus ... What they aren't telling you is that people are getting shot and mugged at the safeway right next door to the campus ... the safe way is where a lot of students go for their food. It's really a scary situation .... What I got is that too many students where afraid to say they made a mistake and where afraid to go home because of being locked into student loans. Thats just my honest impression. My advice is not go here and check out other schools that are actually fully in SF.
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