The Ringling College of Art and Design
The Ringling College of Art and Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
My adviser is extremely condescending, as is the registrar. On top of it, i have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, while meeting with faculty to discuss my disability and how it may affect my class work, even while my condition is recognized by the university and I have an official plan set up, i got the wonderful initial comment of "you don't look disabled." I'm truly honored to be taught figure drawing for the second time again by a teacher who believes i have to be drooling to be considered disabled, and assume my disability is a mental one. The students are extremely socially inept and childish, and the older ones are condescending also. I went to the cafeteria this morning dressed someone nicely and i had 6 upperclassman guys follow me and say "DAT ASS THO" ?TURN AROUND LET ME SEE THOSE TITS? in a fucking cafeteria. When I spoke to student life, all they said was ?Well upperclassman are thirsty!?
Im extremely concerned about how sexual assault is not addressed on campus also, only one mention in an orientation and an online class is not enough in my opinion to keep students safe. Honestly, I feel like im at a summer camp and not at a school. While students are handed opportunities on a silver platter, I can see that the maturity of those attending lacks so much to not even being able to finish a semester and the self care to be able to take on the course load. I?m so frustrated by the way I?ve been treated, and how the atmosphere of this school actually is, so im leaving. I wish I didn't convince myself that their career services are worth dealing with a school of immature children, and inadequate administration. When I spoke to my adviser, Dr. something, I loved to hear her adopt an arrogant tone immediately without reviewing my work about how Ringling's classes are better. So far, all I?ve seen is them hold my hand and hold me back. I?m so extremely disappointed in what this school was supposed to be. A great self importance doesn't mean the school is great at all.
Let's start with the good- faculty here is AMAZING. Even in your first semester as a freshman, your professors will be industry professionals who are for the most part overwhelmingly kind, helpful, and excited about teaching. Since class sizes are so small (anywhere from 10-20 students in a studio), you'll form a solid personal relationship with all of your professors. It's important to keep in mind that you get out of a class exactly what you put in- if you slack off on your assignments or are disrespectful, you're not going to get any respect or extra help from your professors. (Since it is such a small school, the professors gossip a TON- one incident can give an entire department the wrong impression about you in a flash.)
Also fantastic is the caliber of guest speakers that come visit campus. Actors like Elijah Wood, Aubrey Plaza, and Justin Long have come to visit and work with the Digital Film students. Glenn Vilppu comes to work with the freshmen every year. The Digital Painting Sketch Club pulls in some incredible demo artists, from Bobby Chiu to Aaron Blaise. There's no shortage of talent among upperclassmen, either, and most are eager to meet with underclassmen and talk about their artwork.
In terms of coursework, it can be very frustrating (especially in the first year) how slow the pace is. Ringling's first year curriculum very much focuses on the absolute basics- composition, design, basic techniques. It's a very solid foundation, but it can be infuriating watching your peers at CalArts complete full animated films while you're still working on a ball bounce. However, nothing feels like busywork. Most professors are very good about explaining the teaching points behind each assignment so you know exactly what you're working to improve.
I would not recommend coming to Ringling if you are not absolutely sure of your choice in major. It is very difficult to switch majors, and most students who do will spend an extra year (and $40,000) at the school.
Ringling definitely throws most of their support behind the Media Arts (Illustration, Computer Animation and Game Art), Digital Film, and Motion Design. Most of the focus on campus goes towards promoting these five majors. Not that the other majors aren't worthwhile (for instance, Interior Design flies way under the radar but has won a ton of national awards), but you can certainly find a comparable degree at other colleges for far less money. Business of Art and Design is also a great program and has produced some graduates who go on to incredible jobs immediately after graduating.
One thing that I was startled by were the senior thesis shows at the end of the year. Although there were a few great projects, many were unexceptional- and a few were downright bad. Ringling does a great job promoting their successful students, and has proven to be even better at hiding their mediocre ones.
Activities outside of coursework are lacking, to say the least. The exceptions are a few excellent art-focused clubs (like DPSC and FEWS). Sarasota has zero nightlife, and parties around campus are rare. I cannot stress enough that if you want a traditional college experience with lots of parties and alcohol this is absolutely not the school for you! Sarasota is a charming city, but not very accessible to students without a car.
The area directly surrounding campus is not particularly savory. I have never felt unsafe on campus, but even visiting the gas station across the street can prove to be a harrowing experience. Car accidents are common, so be aware when walking or biking around and always take a friend with you.
In summary, Ringling is definitely not for everyone. I would explore other options if you enjoy having lots of free time, are unsure that you are not 100% committed to your major, or want a more traditional college experience. If you are passionate about your major, have a strong work ethic, and are prepared to be totally committed to art, this is the school for you!