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The University of Illinois - Chicago

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For the class of 2006, UIC's Anthropology departmentAnthropology
For the class of 2006, UIC's Anthropology department was undergoing significant changes and students felt the brunt of it through limited personal and poor career advising. This was a program which was moving away from theory and applied anthropology to archaeology and medical anthropology. My class was during the archaeology and medical anthropology times and it was under an administration facing annual state budget crises while trying to invest in many young faculty. Let me list key issues with the program in my time which may help you understand us and our frustrations and why many of us do not get involved as alumni.

As a small program in a large university, there is potential for personal attention and individualized mentoring. Despite my best efforts, none of that happened for me but it may have happened for others.

The Field Museum relationship program was a benefit for graduate students and not for undergraduates except for maybe five quietly chosen students per class year. Field Museum faculty primarily taught upper-level courses which were for either graduating undergraduates or graduate students. There was no networking at that point for students about to graduate. Also, most undergrads assumed that the program was a back-door to Field Museum work. No. Most Field Museum docents are retired volunteers who can commit to more than two years of work and last-minute scheduling changes during the week days. Most UIC students do not fit that expectation. The average UIC undergrad did not get fast-tracked to a paid (or even volunteer) research assistant position. Museum faculty were mostly unavailable to undergrads.

Most undergraduates should seek internships related to the job they want after graduation. This program did not provide that. A few students took loans to pay for fieldwork trips during the summers. This was not financially possible for most students. The result? Many students would have to leave Anthropology to find a job after graduation. This should be emphasized in all faculty interactions with students.

Undergrads were kept in the dark about most apartment events with very few exceptions. Each class had a few students who quietly won the two (then unadvertised) department scholarships, worked with Museum faculty as paid interns, and went on annual field site projects in ethnography or archaeology. Most undergrads took lecture courses and worked off-campus to pay for groceries while taking growing loans. To learn that there were unadvertised scholarships and that some students had multiple paid fieldwork experiences left multiple students feeling betrayed and bitter.

Take a look at who wins department awards. There could have been a strategy to invest limited department resources into a select few rather than the whole lot.

The arguable lack of significant anthropology career advising was more than disappointing--it was negligent. LAS advisors reasonably seemed to have had little idea about anthropology career guidance and they provided little help, as one would have expected. However, as a department student it was tempting to conclude that the multiple Anthropology undergraduate advisors treated the job as a service to their colleagues rather than to their students. It often seemed that the undergrad advisors were largely hands-off and the saying "I'm not going to hold your hand" was commonly used or expressed to alleviate personal responsibility for students unsure of what to do.As a result, it was not unusual to meet double majors who found employment related to their second (not Anthropology) major. Many students entered careers in medicine or public health. A few students continued in Anthropology and became contract archaeologists, adjuncts, or professors. It's possible that things have improved since 2006.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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The graphic design program is very new toBrightDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
The graphic design program is very new to UIC and quite frankly it should have been kept in the oven a little longer. The Art, Architecture, and Design building was supposed to be completely done with renovations before the first design students came in, but that simply was not the case. Often times you will hear construction through the thin walls while in Class. The building has misleading winding stair areas (some leading to nowhere.) I was hoping we would have computer labs seeing as how it is a computer oriented major but instead we have to bring our laptops in every day and hope there is a power chord available. With the amount we spend on our lab fees, we should have free printing instead of off brand moleskine notebooks. We see the same exact teachers every semester and if you really don't like one, oh fucking well. Registering for classes is a nightmare for this major, we cannot choose which instructor we prefer nor can we choose proper class times to work with our work schedule ( I personally want more 9am classes so I can work in the same day to help pay for school.) the lack of lockers In this building is very upsetting to those who commute to school. Often times you will be expected to come into class when most of the work you could have done sitting at home on the computer. I hate this school, I really fucking do. This program needs to be updated yesterday. You would think graphic design would be a more updated major but alas it's ran by people stuck in the dada movement who are obsessed with Paul rand and Saul bass.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2017
Innovation: C, Useful Schoolwork: F
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I'm currently attending uic.AverageNursing
I'm currently attending uic. As pre nursing student. Let me tell you... pre nursing does not mean you are garenteed to college of nursing. Lot of students here is competitive, and if you are not willing to face that do not come here. Medical district is 1.2 miles away, and literally all my friends talk about med med med. and this school have no social life. It doesn't have a good community since lot of people are commuters. So. If you just come here to study and want toget into medical programs. Your life is all about focus on your school. I'm transfering to uiuc. I know that I will have to face difficult courses just like any universities. But if you want a higher quality education go somewhere else. People say reputation doesn't matter in America... I know that reputation is huge in my home country but reputation truly tells you why that school derserves better then others. So many times I felt I deserve more then this... When I see others who doesn't give shit about school and spending their college just to get by.. Sometimes I wonder why i am here.. Well. I'm moving out.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2019
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, Education Quality: F
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The University of Illinois - Chicago
The University of Illinois - Chicago
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