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The Art Institutes of York PA

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Oh where to begin.BrightArt & Design Department
Oh where to begin.
I chose to attend the Art Institute of York for Graphic Design for various reasons. The major one being location. I lived 30-40minutes away from the school. My best friend was attending the school and we could commute together. Saved both time and money considerably.

Another reason was that I have decent to above average art skills. I had been drawing all my life and thought that pursuing a career in art would be simple, perfect for me, and with my basic knowledge of the art world I wouldn't need certain classes, having already excelled in that field.

The last reason being that it was one of the most highly recommended and talked about schools in the area. If you had anything to do with went there.

We applied, got a guided tour, and were greatly impressed with what was offered to me as a valuable student. The deal was made and I became an AI of York student.

That's where things went downhill pretty fast. First off, the classes I was forced to take were well beyond what was expected. I had to take a freshman course...incredibly costly for a class in which I pretty much sat with 30 other students and discussed my "feelings". I wasted another 100$ on the book for the class and we never used it.

First lesson learned. Never buy any book for your class until you are at least two weeks into the course. You will only be able to tell if your teacher will ever pick it up and use it at this point.

My other beginner courses consisted of algebra (expected), English (expected), color theory, and the basic understanding of design class. Not only did I end up purchasing all the books for these classes as well and in the end only using one of them (the english one)...the majority of the classes were spent without any teaching going on whatsoever. My english professor was a genius and was all invested in her work and how it affected us. She did one on one time with each other given the chance. She made us think outside the box. (sadly this woman retired after I left the school) The algebra class would start with my teaching writing two problems on the board, asking us if we understood and passed out worksheets for us to do. If we had questions for her, the majority of the time she was not actually in the classroom to answer them and when she was she talked to each student in a condescending way.

Color theory was a disaster in more ways than one. I am 100% colorblind and my teacher was kind enough to ask on the first day if anyone was indeed colorblind. When I answered that I was, not only did the teacher proceed to mock me in front of the entire class and say to everyone how I was probably going to fail the course...he asked for the reason why I was. I found this rude and inappropriate. He said he would work with me to pass the class...but he never once acknowledged me when I asked for his assistance. He spent most of the class period talking about the interior design students in his other class and how he hated animation and graphic design. He would blatantly discuss how they were failures of careers. When I went to his office during his hours he stated on his contact handout, he would tell me to ask someone else. I was not the only one experiencing this as three other students in the class quit two weeks in and the others commented on how discouraged they felt by him. I failed the course without much control on the result.

Basics of design was not the basics at all. I was expected to know how to paint, papercraft, work with various art products I had never even heard of, know the difference between these art products and their affects on different materials, know several art terms, have an understanding of art history, and know how to work a MAC computer. I use windows. None of these things were explained in the class.

When moving onto the next semester, my recommended courses would steer me in a direction I did not wish to go. My goal was to achieve my associates degree and after a year hiatus go into the work field. The major problem with this school is that if you don't have your entire future planned out you are doomed in every teacher/staff's eyes. There are no if, ands, or buts in this school.

Most classes were a repeat of my first semester. The teachers acted as though we had all come from art schools to begin with and disregarded teaching us the basics. Often they would verbally mock us. Most of the homework and classwork was indeed busywork and did not challenge us in any way shape or form. Filler. It was to pass the time until the teacher decided to teach again. Creativity was not encouraged in most classes. If you thought outside the box you were often ridiculed or told to have done it like a previous student or famous artist, even if the mimicry was not required in the explained assignment.

Class breaks were too short and often cut off by the teachers impatience even if the teacher would not begin teaching again. Many students would simply walk out of class to get fresh air or a drink due to a teacher not allowing a break. Classes are four hours long and often teachers would not give breaks till the last thirty minutes.

Classmates were verbally negative. Some would bring in weapons such as knives or small pistols to defend themselves with in case of a fight breaking out. Security in the school is very weak. One guard and they were often MIA from their desk. Anyone can walk into the school and wander about without suspicion. Students who drop out or graduate are given a one year grievance to use the facilities.

Teachers would complain often about students from their other classes or admit to having no knowledge of the field they are teaching. I had a professor who had a degree in astrophysics teaching traditional art. Not worth the money put in.

The condos are terrible. Four person housing often with 2 people sharing one large room and it would appear that students are not given any sort of background check before being allowed housing. Druggies, alcoholics, fights breaking out...I had a classmate who decided to commute three hours back and forth then spend another day in housing.Anyone is allowed to traverse through the area.

I realized quickly how much money I was wasting on this school when smaller, cheaper, safer schools were offering the same course and I decided to transfer. Credits cannot be transferred unless to another art institute. Not my basic gen eds, not my art credits. Nothing.

The only good thing I can vouch for in this school was the amazing english teacher who retired...and the hands-on fashion degree. I sat in a few classes for the fashion course. Not once did I see anyone staring at pictures or reading out of a book. It was completely hands on, in depth work.Money wasted. I would never recommend this school to anyone. I will never go back or choose another art institute school.

1st Year Male -- Class 2017
Campus Aesthetics: B, Education Quality: F
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I had a great experience at Bradley.Quite BrightDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
I had a great experience at Bradley. I was sorry to see it was acquired by the Art Institutes because I thought it had such a uniqueness to it, and I didn't want to see its personality taken by a corporation...not sure how things are like now, I graduated in 2001.

The students were the best part of my experience. Because it was small, EVERYONE was friends. It was really a group experience. People were unique, open-minded and definitely not cookie-cutter! Great people I will never forget.

Also the teachers when I attended for the most part were amazing and inspiring. I felt like the coursework was very challenging, and I'm a straight A student (except at Bradley!)

There was no student housing when I attended, but who wants to live in dorms anyways, I lived downtown in an old apartment.One thing I should mention is that since Bradley only offers Associate Degrees, be warned. I had difficulty finding a job that didn't want a Bachelor's. It's 8 years after graduation and I'm back at school getting a Bachelor's because I want to find a better job and make more money. I have been working in graphic design, but not in a very well paying position. Bradley is a good start, but if you really want to succeed, just getting a degree might not get you a cushy dream job - you have to work your way up.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2001
Individual Value: A, Extracurricular Activities: D-
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I came to Bradley and entered the animationQuite BrightOther
I came to Bradley and entered the animation program in October of 2006. Currently Bradley only offers an Associates degree but I felt that it would be a good basis for further education afterwards. Let me tell you I was far from right.

Bradley is a very very small school. Housing consists of expensive condos that are shared with students attending the neighboring school of YTI. Thankfully I never had to live in this school's poor excuse for housing. One of my fellow classmates has and the horror stories from some of his roommates were terrible. So don't expect much from the housing, not to mention half the people that live there do drugs and hold parties often so there is never much peace.

Due to the size of the school class sizes are smaller and sometimes you can get that one on one with your teacher. That is if you're willing to go to their office hours on their time. My first two terms here were great. I had Will Guntrum as an instructor for my Drawing and Figure Drawing classes. He's one of maybe four teachers that I had in my course here that I was completely satisfied with. Will knew what he was talking about and I got my full worth out of those classes.

This school requires a portfolio to get into the animation program. However Bradley will do anything to ensure that the proper quota is filled, including letting in students with NO talent that is required in the demanding field of animation. I have shared classes with students in the program that had no concept of basic drawing skills. Now I will give that some of them were more technically adept and once sat in front of a computer could do great things in 3d. However I have come across students that can do neither and it seems that Bradley will let anyone in the animation department, they really have no standards at all.

When I finally got around to actually starting to work in 3d everything that we learned was very basic and our teacher did a good job ensuring that we had that strong basis to move on to the intermediate class fourth term. Fourth term for my class was a horror story made in hell. The administration at Bradley hired a new instructor to teach the 3d animation classes. Let's just say it was hell from day one. She was trying to teach us how to model in a completely different program than the one that we were learning. We did not animate in animation class. Anything and everything of the little that we learned in fourth term was self taught. There was never any actual instruction in the entirety of the class. In the end, let's just say that teacher no longer works here at Bradley. My entire class revolted and made sure that our voice was heard by the administration, however it took them eight weeks before they finally fixed the problem. So in the end we hardly learned anything that term.

Fifth term we finally did have a teacher that knew the program that we were working in. However I was still severely disappointed with the teaching. Let's just say the way that we were shown how to model the human figure made things so much more complicated than they needed to be. In the end I completely remodeled my character and it turned out so much better than what it would have been if I had done it using the teacher's method. Also in animation class we were basically given busywork. "I want you to do this kind of animation." Etc etc. Never did we study and learn any of the 12 principles of animation that were laid down by Disney himself. We were told what to do and in the end it was just guess and check.

Same goes for our class on texturing. Never were we shown any good techniques to use to create textures in photoshop. It was always, here's what I want you to texture so do it.

Overall I am so pissed off at this school that it is inhibiting my creative output. If I don't have the motivation to do something, I'll just BS my way through it and get a passing grade. Because as of right now all I care about is passing this last term and getting out of this joke of a college that they think is so great. And if any of the other AI schools are as bad as this one I would steer clear. At least that's what I plan on doing. If you want a degree in computer animation that will actually be helpful to you don't go wasting your time here. Go to a school like Ringling or SCAD. At least there you'll get the proper teaching to get a good job in this field. I really wish that I had done the research before I came here. Waste of money that I could have been spending at a GOOD school getting a REAL education. If you have any questions about Bradley at all fell free to email me.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2008
Perceived Campus Safety: A, Education Quality: F
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