The Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
I was convinced to go to art school right after high school and I've spent every year since regretting it. I was not mature enough to navigate the absurd politics at SCAD or even ask the right questions to get what I needed out of my experience. I was advised to go into the Sequential Art Department to pursue work in concept art. That adviser had NO IDEA what I was talking about, the parameters of any of the programs, or any idea about job requirements. I don't mean to sound dramatic, and I did enjoy the Sequential Art classes, but this was probably the biggest mistake of my life. Had I gone into illustration, painting, or a host of other majors, I could have gotten what i needed out of SCAD. Sequential Art is only for people who want to pursue a COMICS career. Never let anyone tell you differently. Some classes crossed over into other areas, but very few. Also, if you DO choose to go into Sequential Art, there are a LOT of things about the department and curriculum they won't tell you.
For instance, you should read lots and lots of comics. For education, and also because a lot of people there are very elitist. If you don't know about classic comics or big name artists, some students and teachers will look down on you. Also, there is a HUGE rivalry between the superhero crowd (majority) and the manga fans. If you like quirky or indie comics, or want to pursue a different career, you will be shunted off into a third ragged group that is generally disrespected or ignored. Some professors will only let you pass if you draw in their preferred style. I don't even know why they let me pass my comics classes, and I felt like no one ever taught me what I really needed to know to do well at them.
The politics are really horrifying, too. They fired the best teacher I've ever had while I was in school, and some students were told (or implied that) if anyone protested that we would probably be expelled. It's happened a lot there. Check out some online articles and sites. Look for censorship and money laundering.You can go to SCAD and do really well there. Lots of people do and never hear about the bad stuff. But it's there. And as an unemployed alumni, their career preparedness is terrible. It was not worth the money. I could have done better elsewhere and you probably can too.
This school is way too expensive for the jobs that it prepares you for. Irrationally expensive. You aren't making lawyer or doctor bucks, but this place seems to think you are. Also, if you aren't its "baby" major, it will neglect your major in whatever way it can.
Save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars. Get a real-world degree (economics, business, etc.) from a less expensive college, and use all the money you would have spent on one quarter of classes here to buy art books, online animation/art classes, and supplies. Youtube is an amazing resource, and there are life drawing sessions all around Atlanta.
It sounds cheap, but that's what I wish I had done. I wouldn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay back, and I would have gotten straight into what I wanted to do, not taking stupid electives that had nothing to do with my major or what I wanted to do. You don't want to pay thousands of dollars to watch a video of some stupid, naked guy crawling around on broken glass. Seriously, that whole class was a waste of my life.
Most of the time, in the art industry, the only thing that matters is your attitude and your portfolio. Most people just care that you have a college degree and don't care what it's in or where it's from. Get something that won't take your whole life to pay for, and use the money you would have saved to buy side resources that are teaching you what you want to learn.
There are plenty of sites out there that will let you get feedback from others in the industry and outside of it. Use those for real-person critiques.DO NOT GO TO THIS COLLEGE. The cons far outweigh the pros.
Second of all, like most private universities, the people who tend to benefit from this experience the most are those who come from wealthy families. Good luck surviving on an unpaid internship in this economy if your parents can't help you out much. But that's more of a separate qualm. Internships are however, super important. If you want job placement immediately after school having internship experience will significantly improve your chances, but again, it definitely depends on what you did and who you know. But also, if you have to work your way through college it's going to be much more difficult to focus on your studies and time is not something that this university gives you much of. I'm talking 60+ hour projects that you have to finish in less than two weeks. Say goodbye to your social life if you want to succeed. Attending SCAD did greatly improve my work ethic though, but it also stressed me out to no end and gave me gray hairs and a handful of emotional breakdowns. So factor that in as well. This school is not for the weak-hearted.
Another problem area I encountered was the faculty in my department. I've heard that these problems are in other departments as well, because we're all human beings and have problems and bad days from time to time, but I did encounter some extremely unprofessional behavior within my particular department, which was Fashion Design. I did get some great advice from the faculty but some of them without naming any names could use some major attitude adjustment (or therapy). Professors need to leave their personal issues outside of school. Don't just not show up because you're having a bad day or lash out at students because you think they don't like you. It's completely unacceptable, immature, and hinders our learning experience. I've reported this behavior but I don't know if anything was done about it because of favoritism within the department. In my opinion, at a school as prestigious as SCAD you cannot just let your faculty go about harassing students and letting them get away with it. That deserves more than a little slap on the wrist.On the flip side, I did overall enjoy my time here for the friends I made, life experiences, and classes. Some of my favorite teachers weren't even within my department but from elective courses. SCAD does a really good job making the classes relevant to your interests and there are many thought-provoking discussions that take place in these classes. I regret not getting an internship, although I was lucky enough to land a salary job somewhat related to my degree less than a year after graduation. Not everyone is that lucky. Really make your time here worth it if you do attend. Learn how to utilize effective time management, don't goof off too much, and take full advantage of everything the school has to offer. I would recommend this school to any artist or designer who is serious about what they do, but know the risks and financial toll.
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