StudentsReview :: The Ringling College of Art and Design - Extra Detail about the Comment
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The Ringling College of Art and Design

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityB-
Useful SchoolworkB- Excess CompetitionC
Academic SuccessD Creativity/ InnovationB-
Individual ValueC+ University Resource UseB+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB+ FriendlinessB+
Campus MaintenanceB+ Social LifeC-
Surrounding CityD Extra CurricularsC-
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable, Broken Spirit

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Condescending, Unhelpful

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She cares more about Academic Success than the average student.
Date: May 21 2010
Major: Art & Design Department (This Major's Salary over time)
Yes, Ringling is one of the premiere schools for Computer Animation, but they earn that reputation by being absolutely ruthless. The school over-accepts students in this major simply because they know that many of them will drop in the first or second year and they want the extra money. The school is depending on about %40 of the students in CA to drop before senior year. The department has an incredibly asinine and strict attendance policy in which the only exceptions made are for severe medical emergencies with notices from physicians that helps them attain this goal. While some members of the faculty are reasonable, helpful, and genuinely care about students, the unfortunate fact is that the faculty members with the loudest voices seem to only offer criticism and never any advice or helpful suggestions. The CA department is also very boxed in to a mindset where "good design" is anything disney or pixar-esque, and nothing else. You will have a really hard time getting them to accept anything that doesn't follow those design and story telling conventions.

I was among the very first batch of students in their "Game Art and Design" program and I simply cannot recommend it. The major is still under the CA departments jurisdiction and all the thesis pitches are reviewed by the CA faculty, most of which have never seen or played a video game in their life. Because of, this after sophomore year, the major isn't really about games at all, since there is no consideration for the mechanics, systems, and non linear story telling that separate games from other media. Still, they force us to render all our 3d graphics and animations in a game engine, which no one in the faculty has any expertise on. There is also no specialization in the major… While "Game Art and Design" encompasses a wide variety of specialties (2D HUD and Interface design, Character modeling and design, Vehicle design, Lighting, Environment modeling, Story, System/mechanics design and programming…) The school instead has you try it all… and then forces you into environment design which they then make clear is all they really care about and want out of the major.

The Campus is also located right next to the ghetto and there are frequent dorm thefts and other safety incidents. The surrounding area also has very little to offer in terms of recreation. You wont be seeing any movies, going to any nice beaches, or having a nice night out without a car. Though its unlikely that you or any of your fellow students in the CA department will have any free time for such luxuries underneath the overbearing yolk of homework you'll have.

While I can't deny that I did receive valuable skills and knowledge from this school that will qualify me for a job in the industry, I will never be able to tell you if it was really worth the money or the suffering. As for the Game Art and Design program I would advise anyone who really wants to take this program at Ringling to wait a few years until they've graduated some students from it and hired appropriate instructors that know the industry and the programs.

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