The Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
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.
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.