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The Cleveland Institute of Art

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Its just depressing.Quite BrightArt & Design Department
Its just depressing. I'm a senior illustrator here at CIA with a gpa of about 3.8. I do well in class and so do most people, but god, the major is a mess. It's headed by someone who doesn't know who any of us are, let alone whos in the major. I've been referred to by the wrong name several times and have been confused with other students despite being in classes with him for four years. And I'm not the only one experiencing this.

While theres some genuinely great professors in this major, professors that care and want to see us succeed, its overshadowed by the head of the departments carelessness and the general apathy of the other professors who aren't nearly as happy to be teaching. I was accepted to thirteen other private art schools, sva, ringling and risd among them, and I just wish I could go back and reconsider. I hear that art schools are universally problematic, all of them over priced and low in quality, but it dosent stop me from wondering if any of them might have been better.

The curriculum is just outdated. Students have been doing the same exact projects, the same syllabus for years. For more modern jobs like concept art or visual development, it offers very little help. They tend to focus less on the entertainment business and more on editorials and business cards (an industry dying faster than any endangered species). Critiques are lacking and vague, and the skill levels between students is night and day. Its clear who was accepted because they have skill and therefor have great scholarships and who was accepted because theyre paying full price. Its a cash grab for cia, and they dont do much to hide that fact. They state that the student/professor ratio is about 10:1. That's a flat out lie. That's the average ratio for the entire school,including majors like SEM and biomedical art which are around 5:1. For illustration and other larger majors it's more like 16 or 17 to one, and they only plan on expanding and accepting more illustrators.

If you plan on viewing this as an opportunity for networking, I wouldn't bother. The only illustrators you'll ever meet are from American Greetings, a nearly dead company that isn't interested in really hiring because they just can't afford it.

I'm happy I managed to get so many scholarships to attend this school, because if I was paying full price like some of the other illustration students, I'd be way more than just disappointed. However there is hope! There's rumors that the head of Illustration may be stepping down next year. This may mark a change in the curriculum, it might fix the general attitude and moral of the major. While I will be graduated at that point and my time here will have mostly been wasted, I do still hope to see a change and I hope to see improvement just for the sake of the underclassmen.If you're considering CIA Id recommend its smaller majors. I hear theyre much better. If you're considering Illustration or another large major, I'd suggest anywhere else.

4th Year Female -- Class 1920
Campus Aesthetics: B+, Useful Schoolwork: D-
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I'm so...I don't even know about this school.Quite BrightOther
I'm so...I don't even know about this school. I have a pretty good feeling who wrote that other comment about this past semester, which is pretty funny. I know how she feels. Coming from an arts magnet high school though, I absolutely knew I wanted to go to a private fine arts school. CIA was an old favorite I'd kind of forgotten about by senior year but was reintroduced to and applied to. I got lots of good scholarship money. We appealed and got a good grant too. Plus low interest rates on loans (through the school! Don't do that Sallie May crap, you'll be in mega-debt). So, basically, we (my mom and I) got it down to as affordable as possible so she could stop suggesting in-state options. But I'm at a loss now. I felt like I tried, but some classes were just below uninspiring. I know you have to make the best of any situation and your time spent in college is what you make it, but between boring ass Cleveland, boring ass Case Western -who, if you didn't know, we share a campus with (CIA just has the two independent buildings and one dorm for freshman)- who we don't interact with AT ALL, yet we see them everywhere along with CIM who, unlike us, are allowed to participate in Case's sports, and what else, a socially awkward student body who is hilarious and heart-warming but hardly capable of grasping what it is to party. And I don't even care if it's a party school! But if I'm not really learning much I would at least like to be having a blast in college! So there you go. CIA is not the most rigorous, challenging, mind-expanding place you can attend. Cleveland is not a place full of hipsters and music and awesome nightlife. Notice that, even though Kid Cudi loved it so much, he obviously smoked a shit ton too, and now lives in Brooklyn, meaning, even he left. If you've been to art school it's super basic. Then again, I am in Foundations, which is why I'm so neutral, like, ya it kinda blows at times, but I still feel like putting up with it because I know they have my major and I could learn a lot. In the mean time, seriously just trying to make the best of it.
1st Year Female -- Class 2015
Scholastic Success: A, Surrounding City: F
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I an a freshman at the Cleveland InstituteAverageArt & Design Department
I an a freshman at the Cleveland Institute of Art. I have about 3 more weeks until this first semester is done and I feel like I have 100% wasted my time. I don't understand how this school's reputation is so good and why there is only 1 negative comment. I haven't learned a single thing since I've been here. Don't get me wrong, about half of the freshman are having wonderful experiences with wonderful teachers and are expanding their horizons in the art world. My entire life, all I've wanted to do is art. And now that I'm here, I don't want to go into art anymore. This school has made me hate it. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND GOING HERE. It was a waste of my time. My teachers do not care about the students. Of course, like I said, there are some good teachers, but not most of mine. I had two good teachers. All of the others were self righteous and absorbed in their own ways. One teacher I had every week, 5 hours a day, for 7 weeks. On the last day he asked me what my name was, we only had 14 students in the class. Most of the people I've talked to are transferring. I know I am. And I'm not transferring to another art school either. This school has created a new curriculum for the Foundation year. They cut both Material Color and Digital color in half, only half a semester each. Which I personally (along with others) do not think this is enough. They are such important classes which they cut down to have Charettes classes. These classes are a complete waste of money and time. We use our iPads in these classes (which the school gave to this freshman class for free) but we don't need them for anything at all besides quick references.I wouldn't go to this school. I'm not sorry I'm leaving and I'm not regretting it at all.
1st Year Female -- Class 2015
Campus Maintenance: A+, Education Quality: F
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