The Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
For starters, SCAD-Atlanta's theme is very metropolitan, in stark contrast to the Southern Lifestyle of Savannah. The main building is awfully bland, concrete, with only one entrance in the front, yet for some reason students have to come in from the BACK. There's no way of being able to go outside for fresh air as it's facing the busy Peachtree Street and a huge highway from both front and back and the sides are just parking. The interior is quite pretty, though there isn't a blank wall anywhere, so everywhere you look, expect to be "interpreting" something. The only chairs that exist here are mostly by the cafeteria, or "the Hub' as it's called. Be prepared to have a bad back as VERY few chairs in both the school and the dorms have COMFORTABLE seats, as most are just stools or plastic "sofas".
The students are nice here, they're very open about what they wear, so if you like graphic tees, feel free to wear them because you'll get more compliments than weird stares. They're also very approachable, easy to chat with, and the like. My only complaint though is how the students all seem to be in their own world. They're easy to talk to yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean friendship. Cliques are almost non-existent here, and you will very rarely see the same face twice.There's also a good number of international students, and they'll seem to be the only "clique" you'll see.
The food is pretty dang good for a college, the proportions are a little puny though and during certain hours, the kitchen gets SUPER packed. What's the most annoying though is that if you're like me and you have to carry a huge portfolio bag, it can be difficult carrying a hot plate and a drink when you're lugging that thing around in a crowd of hungry college kids.
Coursework-wise, it's a common joke amongst students that SCAD= Sleep Comes After Death, in regards to course loads keeping students up. So far, I've yet to attest to that, however, this is an EXTREMELY unreliable opinion as it's only been 3 weeks since I've started and I'm an animation student who's yet to take any such classes. However, the assumption that everyone here loses sleep seems kind of silly. EVERYONE'S work ethic is different, so there might be students out there who can get work done and ALSO get a full 8 hours of snooze. I for one HATE not having projects completed, so I make sure to get them done quick so I won't have to think about them. I believe that if you can prevent getting overwhelmed and keep a level head, you can still get sleep. Of course, I'm still new here...
For those of you expecting this place to be free of liberal arts, guess again. SCAD is still a college, so there IS math and science and whatnot, luckily I transferred from a community college so I knocked those out early. BUT once you're done with THOSE, you still need to take the Foundations classes, which are your art histories, drawing 101s and the like. So if you're freshman, you STILL will have to wait at least year and a half before you're working in your major. Don't let these classes get you too down, I was a little bummed at first, but I'm starting to enjoy these courses a little more.
The area around SCAD is great, I really can't complain. I've been told that Atlanta is a rough city, but I have to tell you, I don't see it in Midtown. This is the very artsy part of the city, so there's quite a few museums and tourists, in fact one of the dorms in situated in a big museum complex. The rest is a ton of business skyscrapers so it's full of well-to-do people. There are outdoor restaurants everywhere and it's honestly a safe place to be, very rarely do you see any shifty folks. Regardless, it's still a city, so just know where you're walking.
There are about two smaller buildings in the SCAD-Atlanta campus, and the shuttles will take you there. However, if you're a writing major, I HIGHLY recommend you look for a different campus. The school's writing center, Ivy Hall is a gorgeously restored building, BUT it's way out there and while the shuttles DO go there, they only go at certain times and there's no marker as to which bus. Also, for security reasons, the drivers NEED to see your id whenever you get onboard. Trouble is, even if the driver knows you, if YOU don't have your school id, you can't ride, which can be downright dangerous if it's late at night.
SCAD-Atlanta has two dorms, Spring House and ACA House. Spring House is the first years and up dorm and it used to be a hotel. From what I've heard, privacy doesn't exist there as it's just you and your roommate in one room. It's the closest to campus, obviously and it has a pool and study room/computer lab...BUT it easily has the WORST security. It's an outdoor-hallway kind of dorm, so there's no main desk or lobby you have to go through. Just climb the stairs and you're there. The only security is the small booth in the front, and worst yet, there are dorms that are actually OUT OF SECURITY'S VIEW. Unfortunately, this lack of watchdogs lead to a dorm actually getting ROBBED last year, as anyone can simply waltz onto the property.
The OTHER dorm is ACA House, which is for transfers, upperclassmen, and graduate students. This place is MUCH better in terms of security, it's one way in, one way out, and it's located in the Woodruff Arts Center complex. It's about a 15-minute walk from SCAD, and the shuttle stops here too. There ALSO is a MARTA station right across the street with a free bus that takes you to the local shopping center. The dorms are set up more apartment-style, you and your roommate have you own bedrooms, you share a bathroom and you get a kitchenette. Each floor has some kind of amenity, like a study room, or an exercise room open to all residents. There's also a full community kitchen downstairs along with a big tv room, a game room and a few more work areas. My only complaint here is how overly industrial it is. The rooms all have huge pipes running through them and the ceilings are cold, metal beams. The stairs and elevators are all metallic and clanky and the doors are heavy. Other residents have compared this type of living as prison, and I MUST agree. If you stay cooped up in your room for too long, you WILL go crazy, so make it an effort to leave your room every now and again and TALK to people.All in all, SCAD seems to be a decent place. Everyone here seems to be into their own stuff. In all honesty, the atmosphere is downright depressing, I HATE the thought of having to lose sleep and all the energy being drained from my body and it doesn't really help that the students here already seem to be depleted of life. If anything, I'd say that for those who're interested in going to SCAD-Atlanta, be an individual. It's kind of a weird thing to say about an ART SCHOOL, but nobody here seems to stand out, they're all just encased in their bubbles and are just floating. Just keep your chin up, be loud, do your work and if you don't want to lose sleep, don't be like everyone else.
First I will tell you about some of the foundation courses. So I guess I'm starting with the cons of scad.
Last spring I was required to take Art History: Survey of Western Art 1, which wasn't an entire waste of my time or money, but it was for several of my classmates. I had professor Hamilton, and he was the worst professor I have had at scad thus far. There were 26 students in my class, and 15 of us passed, most with a C at best (I earned a B). Several of my classmates (including myself) complained to the head of the department about him, and the department head gave us her promise that something would be done about him. Guess what they did? They offered him an extra art history class to teach.
The first thing you need to know about scad, is that they do not give a crap about you. You are a number, a wallet.
The 2D design class you are required to take is a total waste of money and time, along with drawing 1. Scad requires you to take endless foundation courses that are totally unrelated to your major. And for what? I still have no idea.
Each class is $3000, and I can most definitely say that only one out of six classes I have taken so far was worth even half of that, and that was intro to ballet. But that class wasn't even worth 3 grand.
Two, Paula Wallace is totally evil. She makes over $2 million dollars a year and only owns the school because she stole it from her husband via their divorce.
Scad may be the largest and 'most comprehensive' art school in the world, but it is most definitely not the best.
Three, the students. I have found a great group of friends here, but it took me two quarters to find them. I would say about 40% of the students here are arrogant, self centered rich kids who were only accepted because they could pay full tuition out of pocket. I would say only about 20% of the students here are chill, or, 'normal', and the other 40% are either totally socially inept or so broken spirited they just gave up on everything and everyone all together.
And if you live in the dorms, do not expect anyone in your hall to talk to you. No one EVER comes out of their rooms.
Four, the professors. I have had six teachers so far, and only two I felt really knew what they were doing. My photo 2 professor was a total joke, along with my black and white film professor. I learned absolutely nothing in either of those classes, and photography is my major. I am so disappointed with this school. On critique days in my photography classes, we would hang our projects on a wall and the whole class would critique them, and some of the work that was displayed looked like it took 20 minutes to make. Most of the students I have met here are not very dedicated or interested in being the best. I am not saying my work is awesome, I was just expecting to be a little more impressed, or at least challenged. My poetry teacher and ballet teacher were the only good professors I have had here. I am very disappointed with the professors in my major and also the curriculum for my major classes. I expected the classes to be much more challenging, but they feel like high school work.
And both of my photo classes consisted of nothing but conceptual work, which I did not enjoy.
There are things I like about my school. MOST (not all) of the photo printers in the photography building work and are very up to date, and the library is pretty cool. The schools biggest club as far as I know is swing club, which is a lot of fun and this past quarter I went sky diving for only $120 with the outdoor adventure club.
The student activities council also hosts a yearly Halloween (Masquerade) dance, which almost all of the freshman attend.
I love scad for it's diversity, and that's about it. I have no American friends at my school, all of my friends are either from Korea, China, Africa, the Caribbean, India, Dubai, Hawaii, Switzerland, Afghanistan or Turkmenistan. Once I transfer this will probably be the one thing I will miss most about scad, the diversity and my awesome friends.
Savannah as a city is beautiful, although the tourists can get annoying after awhile.
And I would say it's a relatively safe city, as long as you don't venture out at night by yourself. Three of my friends have been mugged on their way back from the library at night.
Last spring a seventeen year old boys body showed up in the disgusting river near the Weston dorms/Cafe scad, and last month a woman's body showed up in the river down on river st.
And three weeks ago there was a huge drug bust outside of Arnold hall, which is where all of the english/art history courses are held, and two scad students were killed during the burst.
I read online that there are 25 homicides a year in Savannah.
I walk around at night by myself only when I absolutely have to, but I'm from a town with a population of 4000, and I have never felt threatened or scared when venturing about Savannah.
Although I do carry mace with me!
Never eat at Cafe scad, I had food poisoning for three weeks because of that place. I can't say JO's is much better either, but I live in Oglethorpe house so I have no choice but to eat there. I actually like living in O-house, with the exception of the huge price tag that comes with living on campus. The rooms in o-house are a decent size and the dorm is in a really good location, everything is within walking distance from o-house; CVS, Forsyth Park, awesome restaurants, etc
Oh and Health services is a total joke. I went there with a bad cold and the "doctor" told me I was pregnant! She didn't give me a urine test or anything, she felt my stomach and sent me on my way. And I was most definitely not pregnant! Crazy crazy crazy!!!!
I think I have said it all. Obviously I am very bias and anti-scad, but if you are still interested in attending, my advice to you is this...
visit the school more than once, talk to the students there about their classes and their feelings about scad, and sit in on as many classes in your major as you possibly can.
There are many students here that are totally in love with scad, it just isn't the right school for me. It is too expensive and the financial aid they offer is total crap, the social scene is lacking (I don't mean parties, although there aren't any of those either), and most of the students/professors here suck.
And I also know several alumni who graduated within the last three years that are still unemployed or are working in minimum wage retail jobs.Scad is just not worth the money. Spend your money on a school that deserves it, on a school that actually cares about you and whether or not you succeed.
- The school itself is ok, lots of re-purposed building turned to schools; whether that is because of Savannah's strict historical preservation laws or what, being located in the historic district of Savannah Georgia.
- The faculty is pretty much the same as any other school, but its evident that the teachers are more helpful than the advisers.
-- Most teachers are great and experienced, but some can come off as strict only because they want to push you harder; a few teachers do glorify certain students because of their skills and experience, which pissed me off at times, and would receive more attention. They do expect a lot from you and your projects, so its best to keep your scope really small or spend countless nights NOT sleeping. Oddly enough, some teachers were, at one time, students at SCAD so that tells you something.
-- The adviser, unlike the teachers, change every year and have no clue who you are or what you do; For some ungodly reason SCAD has to rehire all of their employees each year, never completely understood that. Couldn't get reliable information and I almost always get screwed in some way with them; for example, I went to a career adviser for scheduling advise and pretty much was handed a schedule filled with classes I simply haven't taking yet, no really one on one conversations just in and out; plus I had later work around that "schedule" because some classes were not offered that quarter. Personally, I never had good luck with advisers anyways, but still there should have been more involved with students than just "here you go, good luck".
- Student life was good, well mix of people from all walks of life. Most students are in there own group and shallow, few are not. Many of them complaint about not getting sleep because of projects, that becomes some sort of badge of honor that is both real and fake and the same time.
- living in the dorms is not what you are lead to believe, unless you are a socialite, and your roommates can be pretty antisocial at times. Don't live in Barnard village if you don't have transportation, you'll be stuck there on spring break or whenever the buses stop running.
- Cafeteria food is sub-par, it gets old after the first quarter. Meal plans are expensive, but worth it if you don't want to buy groceries.
- traveling from one building to another is hectic, though its gotten better the year I graduated, its better to have your own car or bike if you want to get anywhere in a timely manner. Yes there has been robberies, shootings and murders in Savannah; Savannah is weird like that, some parts are safe and well populated while others are "ghetto" and its not group together in neighborhoods, its speckled everywhere.
- always busy with projects and almost never have time to enjoy the city of Savannah, the city they pride themselves in for producing fine artist.
- lots of events that overlap classes, can be frustrating to have potential employers visiting SCAD and you are in class, or special guest come to teach a lesson and you have a over scoped project so you have to decide on spending 2 hours on a lesson that is not impressive or waste a chance to network with professionals.
- Some classes are impressive and help you really think about things differently and others are a waste; for example, I had a problem with English because it was confusing, but when I took an English class at SCAD I realize that it wasn't confusing at all and that it was more simple that I thought, or that just creative writing. Some classes were not any help and was a review for me than anything else. Other classes were not what I expected, could have saved the money to learn it myself to be honest.
-Half way through my education, SCAD changed the curriculum and became a huge inconvenience: constantly had to get waivers to register for classes, classes for discontinued or merged into one class so it got confusing what to take. This curriculum change has happened before, so I'm told by other students.
Most of my Complaints involve the internal workings of SCAD rather the academia part. Like I said before I don't know if it was worth my time going; I did learn things and I did grow as a person, but I don't think spending over $100,000 is worth all that. I was lead to believe I would get into a good career and that the name of SCAD would get me somewhere. But now I've gotten nowhere, I've suffer regrets and depression, and only now I'm believing what my teachers were saying about how bad the video game industry really is: all the jobs are in California, there almost all freelance/contract jobs, no entry-level positions, and low wages (35,000/yr and you really need 65,000/yr just to LIVE in California).I know that the state of the video game industry is not SCAD's fault, but the education should at least reflect the industry itself; why spend $100,000 for a job that really pays peanuts, even if your extremely good at your job. I now have to go back to school and do something different to offset this mistake, plus I found out that the only thing that transferred to my new school is my English 101 class. I'm sorry to say this, but a career in art is not worth your time and going to SCAD would make it worse.
Advice for looking for a good school
- don't go for the cool factor, its just a front
- don't go to a school that was advertised, SCAD wasn't advertised, but I heard about colleges like AI were falsely advertising their school.
- check for accreditation and look up those who accredited them, they are not all the same
- if important information, like accreditation and tuition, isn't easily found or in a appropriate location, don't go
- don't go for a career that is heavily advertised, because that is a sign jump ship
- read up on the school through unbiased news articles and reviews like this one. Thanks for reading, I hope this help in some way. I hate to see people get tricked into a false career and go nowhere. Careers are not all the same, some are just fades or just a living; its like someone saying "hey you can be a railroad inspector for a living" and realize you just went to school to be a hobo.