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Kansas City Art Institute

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Don't listen to teachers and students who treatNot so brightArt & Design Department
Don't listen to teachers and students who treat your studio work more important than your livelihood. Working until 3am every night will make you burn out and be less effective in school. Also leave critique at school, it's a big part of the school's culture and can bleed into your daily life making you a cynical person. You don't have to criticize the coffee you get after work or the clothes a stranger is wearing just because you critiqued your classmates for a grade.
4th Year Female -- Class 2019
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Extracurricular Activities: D
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I honestly don't know where all the moneyBrightArt & Design Department
I honestly don't know where all the money students pay toward this school goes. Must be the painting and sculpture departments because the digital art, animation, and illustration departments sure saw none of it. The animation building, which has expensive electronics, leaks from the roof when it rains, and students don't have nearly enough space to work. It's just atrocious. But I guess our sucky working conditions bring us together as a department haha. While I've heard horror stories of other students destroying each others' work in other departments, I can say that you'll find a community of your peers in illustration and animation. We sort of suffer together through the incredible work loads, and seniors and juniors are more than happy to reach out to sophomores because they know what it's like.

If you're not in painting, sculpture, or ceramics, you're going to have a rough time your Freshman year. Foundations is essentially boot camp year to see if you can survive the toils of their work load. You won't learn much of value unless you're an abstract artist. But you'll either scrape by or drop out, it happens a lot. Once you're in your actual major I think the school becomes much more enjoyable.

At least in your major classes. The liberal arts classes that were taught by crusty, close-minded old men were atrocious. I would suggest taking some lib. arts classes during summer at your local community college because you won't want to have an 18 hour semester anyway, and that's what they like to tell you to do to graduate on time. Don't. It's awful. You'll spend 12 hours a day at school and hate it. Stick with 15 a semester and it will be manageable.Unlike the administration, which is garbage. If you want any information about enrollment or fees you owe or scholarships or ANYTHING, you need to take the initiative to contact them first because they will not. A lot of stuff is just plain on you.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2016
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, Perceived Campus Safety: F
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I should have looked deeper into these reviewsBrightArt & Design Department
I should have looked deeper into these reviews sooner before I came to KCAI. This school is set up for disaster. They were even put on academic probation. If my teachers had any ounce of respect for their students as the business office had, I might have stayed.

My instructor was so rude to me that I had to leave after only two weeks. I know that it's a very short amount of time but this particular teacher made the classroom an unbearable, hostile environment for me. My major was graphic design. I feel that I need to let people know exactly what goes on in that department because it was very misleading when I went into it and even though the administration tried to help me, I feel that they just wanted my money.

First of all, you need WAY more supplies than just a laptop, which is what they'll tell you you only need before class starts. Later they told me that you needed an xacto knife, scissors, etc. because SURPRISE, everything you do is by hand and needs to be cut out. But that wasn't the problem for me. Oh no, the problem was that the instructors expect all of your work to be completely perfect to the last detail even if you've never done it before, made a mistake or didn't have the right material; if it's not perfect, the instructors will shame you in front of the other students and they WILL NOT critique it! And this is only the first week of class. My instructor told me that I've seen what kind of quality work they expect from students and so I should work to those standards. That's like telling someone, "You know what Picasso's work looks like, do that."

The directions for projects are totally unclear and they are ONLY posted on blogs and e-mail, for which you have to check constantly, preventing you from having a social life. When I was struggling with my assignments, i.e. pondering over slitting my wrists with the xacto knife I never wanted to buy, all my instructor did was e-mail me a bunch of people I don't know to "talk to and converse with" about assignments instead of teaching me how to do things that I was stuck on. It's like the instructors try to be your best friend but at the same time berate you for not doing things their way. I think it's called narcissism.

Though we were required to bring our laptops to class, we were not allowed to even look at them and God forbid if you just have your cellphone out (they will personally e-mail you to stop). But then why does my other classmate get to take his sandals off and put his feet up on his desk? I understand they want you to work during class time, but they LITERALLY force you to work. If you're not doing something in the way the instructors want it, they go right up to you and tell you to do it differently. I couldn't even just sketch things out in my own process without being hovered over and being constantly told "no".

They told me that they encourage students to use the studio but I think what they really meant was "use the studio or FAIL". There were so many projects done in so many unnecessary ways because if the project didn't look good on the ceiling, the floor, or on the window in the studio then they also take off points. They care more about how well-crafted the project is rather than the idea or what you've learned from it.I feel bad for anyone who has to put up with instructors like this. They are obviously passive aggressive, immature, and self-absorbed. I never thought that I would ever write a bad review about this school because the staff was very nice and friendly... until I saw what they really were.

1st Year Female -- Class 2017
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Education Quality: F
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