gone to SCAD for two quarers now. Having transfered
from a different school - I can't say there's much
to commend SCAD.
For what I'm paying - I feel
like the whole deal is a rip-off. I'm majoring
in photography. At my old school, which cost a
whole lot less to go to - any photo student
could use the darkrooms and lab for free. Here
- you have to pay a $35 fee per quarter
to use the lab. Even worse, for digital photographers,
you're not even allowed to use the inkjet printers until
you're taken the inkjet class.
For how much money being
charged, SCAD is marked by incredible miserliness. One building
(Wallin Hall) does not even have clocks in all of
the class rooms!
Another great money making scheme they have
is their bizarre and patently absurd attendance policy. According
to this policy, if you miss four classes, you're automatically
flunked for the quarter. Being late to class by
15 minutes equals an absence (and classes are two and
half hours long). We're told that this policy is
in place because of the short quarters SCAD has (charge
lots of money for short quarters... seeing a theme here?)
and that if you miss four classes, it's as though
you've missed 20% of your education that quarter. Never
mind the fact that most teachers require students to spend
many hours each week studying on their own time outside
of class - so that roughly 50% of your learning
time happens outside of class... Many other students, and even
some of the professors have remarked that they find this
policy somewhat ridiculous, if not downright asinine. Regardless of
what they say, it's a good way for the school
to flunk people and charge them to take a class
over (seeing a theme here?).
The teachers are a mixed
bag, as could be expected with any school. My
own have been pretty mediocre (I have had better teachers
in community college) but friends I have have apparently encountered
pretty good professors, that actually give out interesting and educational
assignments. So all I can gather from this is
that it's a mixed lot, and there some real lemons
in the mix. The lesson of course is to
research your professors and choose them carefully. Which can
also be difficult... because SCAD hires teachers on one year
contracts - so the person who might have been your
friend's favorite last year - may no longer be employed
by the school this YEAR. And SCAD has had
a not too heart warming history of firing staff here
and there for differences of opinion with the school's owners.
The campus is spread out, roughly over 3 miles of
Savannah. You'd like to use a car to
go to class - but there's rarely enough parking at
any of the halls to make this practical in real
life. You can bike during the fall and winter,
but the rest of the year is really too hot
and humid (for all but the heartiest, or most masochistic
of souls). Luckily they have an adequate shuttle system.
You can get around, if you're lucky and watch your
watch (and you'll have to if you happen to go
to one of SCAD's clockless buildings).
Last, and probably least:
Savannah. What can I say, Savannah is about as
exciting as an old man talking about how he wished
the U.S. Mint would bring back the wheat penny.
This town is a tourist stop for old people on
their way to Florida. This is no college town.
Savannah forbids anyone under the age of 21 from
going to music shows. This city is a second
rate old fogey fart course. Unless you like historic
architecture, or sightseeing tours on hideous faux-streetcars, this city doesn't
have much going for it. Everything downtown closes between
5pm and 6pm. So far as cities go, this
city is like a red giant imploding (for comparison say
St. Louis is a black hole, and N.Y. or Seattle
is comparable to something like our own Sun).
more can I say. SCAD is an overpriced school
in an incredibly boring city. Some courses are better
than others. Some teachers are worse than others.
You could probably find a better school for cheaper, or
an equal school in a far better city.