I attended here when it was Tampa Technical Institute. I can only hope now that it's a different college that they cleaned up their act and start actually giving people real tools they need to get jobs. I came here after having 4 years of experience as a working designer, mainly because it was closer to my house and less expensive than Ringling or the Academy (which I've heard sucks worse) Most of the teachers were clueless hacks who had never actually held down jobs to speak of in the field of graphic art. So it was hard to take advice and guidance from someone who cannot DO the job. I can think of maybe ONE teacher who actually knew what she was doing and didn't just pass students for the sake of passing them (like most of them did)
I had one teacher who was supposed to teach us Photoshop. She spoke terrible English and was very hard to deal with. On top of that, she really didn't know much about Photoshop at all. I had already used the program for many years, so I ended up correcting her many times when she was showing people the wrong way to do things. Photoshop is one of the most important tools a graphic designer needs to use. Come on already, you know??
I was one of the lucky ones in that I had experience and I didn't listen to a word the fools in the "career services" department said. I was forced to take my resume to them as part of a stupid class they make you take on getting a job. To make a long story short, the person who was supposed to help me get a job spelled the names of several programs I was supposed to know wrong. Can believe that? I took that to the dean and told him I dared the teacher to flunk me for refusing to spend another 5 minutes in that worthless class.
Another highlight of my time there was showing up for class in my 6th quarter to find the FBI had shut the place down for the day. Nice. I had less than 3 weeks to go and luckily they figured out the problem at least long enough for me to get my diploma and get out.
I am currently the art director where I work and when I see resumes from graduates there, I know what to expect. People who made it by based on teachers trying to keep up that pass/fail rate and not on the fact that they learned anything of value. All the TTI grads I've had to work with often don't know how to prep files for print...and that's one of the most important thing a designer needs to know!
I've run into several classmates since graduation and not one person I've talked to is actually working as a designer. At last count we had a girl working at a doctor's office, at Geico answering phones, a gas station, a pizza place. All of them are probably stuck with student loans still. Bogus.
Since I was a working designer before I went there I remained one, but I truly felt bad for the people who really wanted to learn this trade. The job market in 2001 was terrible and even with lots of experience under my belt it took me almost 6 months to find a full time job that paid what I needed it to (It's the job I still have) I can't imagine what it must have been like for the people who had no real world experience.So in short, I paid $20,000 for an education I could have gotten from an Adobe Classroom in a Book. And I would have also saved a ton of money I instead spent on cookies and tater tots at the Putt Putt next door. :)