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Review of SCAD by parent

taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
I found this review by a person whose goes by "Parent of an artist." It is NOT written by me; thus, please don't flame me for this post. It was found in the Wet Canvas formums.

I am curious,however, to see if the information posted by this person is correct:

SCAD - Good and Bad

I am the parent of a high school artist who is considering art colleges. Below is my impression of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). I would welcome feedback (positive or negative) particularly of a factual nature....

The historically charming and renovated buildings of SCAD are spread out amidst a number of poverty-stricken crime-prone neighbors; www.****.com, chat rooms, and school newspaper indicate that crime is a concern of some Savannah, Georgia students. Getting from class to class on the SCAD buses can result in late attendance; parking is limited. One math class is required. SCAD has many talented (and not so talented) students and state of the art equipment/facilities. SCAD’s public relations and marketing propaganda is the best of any art college. Their program has many courses and majors; SCAD has many students and is growing fast. Some SCAD departments (e.g. animation, interior design) are well respected. Their size and innovative approach makes SCAD both popular and notorious.

SCAD is run like a business by smart people including its president (and co-founder) Paula Wallace whose seven figure annual compensation is extraordinary. With classes running from 9:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., building utilization is high. The school is neither NASAD accredited nor a member of AICAD nor National Portfolio Day. Most SCAD classes are capped at 20 students. Art history classes have a cap of 35 students. SCAD’s student/faculty ratio (18:1) is high for a top notch art school. How do they have decent class sizes with such a high student/faculty ratio? Their faculty teaches more than normal and their students attend art classes considerably less than what is normal at a strong art school. For example, Montserrat College of Art students spend about the same time as SCAD in liberal arts classes (in much smaller classes) and 60% more time in art classes. It is difficult for SCAD to become NASAD certified with numbers like these…

Classes Art professor teaches per week | Art class duration
SCAD 4 | 2.5 hours (twice per week)
Montserrat 3 | 2.67 hours (twice per week)

#Art classes a student will take per week | Student Hours in an Art class
SCAD 2 classes per week (2.5 hrs each) | 10 hours per week
Montserrat 3 classes per week (2.67 hrs each) | 16 hours per week

Sorry i could not get the formatting of the above tables correct. Intend three columns.

Post edited by taxguy on

Replies to: Review of SCAD by parent

  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    Can only comment on what I experienced directly:

    I think the buses did a very good job.
    Facilities were great.
    Many good students/a good number not so good.
    I had 12 to 16 students in each class I would guess.
    If the student/teacher numbers are correct, and relevant to NASAD, maybe that is the reason why it is not NASAD accredited? Sounds like a good reaon, potentially at least.
    I did take 2 design courses plus 1 AH class per quarter.

    There ya go!
  • DGBDGB Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    thanks for the informative post, taxguy.

    I was curious about student reviews so I navigated over to the site that was highlighted in your post, www.****.com, and WOW was that ever a depressing experience. With the exception of the 5 students who took the time to rave about RISD, generally speaking art students appear to be a miserable lot.

    But on further thought, it occurs to me, that it kind of goes with the territory. I think the majority of people that respond on these types of college review forums tend to be the squeaky wheels and perpetual malcontents. Carnegie Mellon pretty much got ripped to shreds as did RIT, MICA, and....... come to think of it........... every other school to which my son applied.

    Even RISD's collective response is disturbing. A grand total of 3 students wrote specific comments (all very positive, but hardly a reliable sample set).

    The apparent credo to live by when it comes to student reviews:

    "If you do have anything good to say, then don't say it."
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    DGB, If I were you, I wouldn't cite any url for a college site again. It violates TOS, as stupid as it may sound. I simply copied the post without realizing that it contained a url for a college site.

    Yes, the comments, for the most part, are not very warm and fuzzy, especially for RIT. You just have to take these comments and look for trends. For example, most of the negative comments about RIT are from guys who complain about the male/female ratio. Since my daughter is interested in RIT, these comments are inapplicable to her. In fact, it has heightened her interest.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    But what reason does TaxGuy have to care about SCAD? He never even visited the college. His daughter has made up her mind and is going to RIT, and not RISD. Based on the reviews posted at that site, RISD would have been a much better choice. But when you micromanage a young person's life, at some point they rebel to show they can make their own decisions independent of an adult.

    Since TaxGuy is in the mud-slinging business. Here is a review of RIT from that site. Granted the academics are fine, but what about the environment? Does it sound like a place for a creative person? This person sounds homesick more than anything else. 18 year olds are not adults yet, and once removed from their cocoons, reality isn't as comfy as it used to be at home. Yes Savannah has some crime and SCAD is based in a city with a clear division between economic classes and there is a clash. Some kids get so angry they blame SCAD for this. But I can tell you that the school actively informs and educates the students about safety and crime. Friends who still work there tell me the students are immediately notified if another student is victimized, and the details about location, etc. There are perhaps 1 or 2 incidents per quarter, but quite frankly with 7000 kids in an urban environment, statistically, there's nothing unususal about it.

    I guess every school has malcontents one way or another, and reasons to choose it or not to choose it.

    The data that was C/P'd is probably the first valid point TG has made (Oops, someone else made. How did it escape his scrutiny?) about SCAD. It is worth considering. Contact hours are important.


    About RIT

    Even after we were there enrolled as students, they still tried to “sell” the school to us. The students were ok for the most part - just a bunch 'o freaks and geeks in a common predicament. But I only know of 2 people who started there and finished their degree there. (Years after the allotted 4 years for an undergrad degree). Everyone else transferred out or in, or dropped out altogether, completely defeated and with a bad taste in their mouth. You were treated like a number, nobody would even talk to you unless you could prove your bills were paid up to date, and faculty was hard to get ahold of. At the community college I went to after this horrid experience (much better), the professors would tell you to call them up at home if you needed some help. I even went to a picnic at my academic advisor's house! At RIT, however, we were told, “If you call me at home, I WILL fail you right then and there."
    Nobody gave a rat's ass whether you understood anything, wanted help, or were struggling with living away from mom & dad. All you could do is cling to the brick walls for warmth in the middle of the night while you waited for the fire trucks to come and tell you it was safe to go back in to sleep. (Nightly fire-alarm-pulling in the dorms)

    And having worked for campus safety at one point, I can tell you I most certainly felt WORSE about my safety once I got to know the arrogant pricks who were more concerned with towing cars 15 minutes before the lots closed than people getting raped in the bathrooms right outside the campus safety office!

    I can't stress enough how much this school sucks! And don't get me started on the weather... I used to tell people, “if I wanted warmth, I would've gone to Florida.” Yeah, well... trust me, even if you LIKE snow, you will learn to hate it more than anything imagineable. And the snow is the least of your worries - then there's the -60F wind-chill. And did I mention I packed up everything I owned and moved 317 miles East because there's no class or culture to speak of in Western NY?

    The people who live there are totally defeated. They've given up on life, and they've got to be the most lazy, self-defeating people I've ever met. It engulfs you and sucks you in. Run away! Don't even consider it!
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    (Sigh), RainingAgain, I am NOT mudslinging against SCAD nor am I stating that the student reviews web site should be taken as is. I simply posted a recent post by SOMEONE ELSE who has some questions about SCAD and wanted some feedback.

    Thus, back off! Again, I am not "raining on your parade" RainingAgain, nor am I slamming SCAD in any way.

    As for my daughter, she hasn't made any decisions yet since she is awaiting admission notification from several more schools. She will make her determination after all the information, including financial information, is available.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    My d is a GD major at RIT and she has had a very different experience. She loves the school, is as social at time permits. The foundation yr workload is time-consuming and she still has papers to write. She works in housing (student ambassador) and she volunteers on and off campus (required of arthouse kids). She would like to have more time to simply hang out but she's in class 9-5 most days. One thing about being around all these art/photo majors. She's been asked to model for numerous projects - one involving liguid latex (not fun).

    She has lucked out, weather wise. This yr has been on the warm side. She bought a down coat at Thanksgiving but told me she hasn't needed it. Recently she hasn't even worn a jacket to class - we've had the same crazy weather here in NJ. I believe it's finally getting cold again. They've had some snow this week but nothing crazy. The upperclassman have told her how cold it can get. The wind is the worst culprit and getting across campus is difficult. She has a locker in the art bld so that would help, I guess. Once back to their dorms, students don't even need jackets coz there are tunnels to the cafeteria, student center, etc so no need to go outside.

    My d's learning community has been to the house of her dept head (or another administrator) to look at an art collection. Her class has also been invited to a professor's house for a picnic or something. She says her teachers are very accessible and flexible. There is an attendance policy (affects grade) but one day, a bunch of kids went late to class coz President Clinton was on campus and the teacher was fine with it. Her First Year Experience teacher helped her when she had a medical problem. Another teacher helped the class with a scheduling issue. The coop dept is currently trying to help my d with a summer internship in NYC. Her dept policy is to NOT give credit until after junior yr but my d is being considered for a summer position (interview in a couple weeks) The coop dept offered to help her prepare a resume. My d says everyone is very helpful and friendly (one of the things that attracted her to RIT was the staff's attitude on 4 visits prior to enrolling).

    She agrees with RIT's reputation - there are many socially inept kids but her attitude is so what? Some of the kids that live nearby go home often. She thinks that prevents them from really embracing the school and the social life (going back to their HS friends). Or some kids just hate living in a dorm, sharing a room and a bathroom. Those kids seem the least happy at RIT but I'd bet they'd be unhappy anywhere. Everyone on her floor (arthouse) is very friendly and she's also friends with kids outside of the design school. She doesn't care about football but she likes the school spirit normally associated with a football team. She goes to all the RIT Hockey games and says it's packed to capacity. She even went to the RIT/Cornell game in Ithaca. She has attended some girls games also, but they have less spectators. She would probably like more to do on campus, but she has mentioned some impressive dance groups she's seen. She wanted to join one until she discovered that all the members are deaf (and she's not). I know there have been concerts/comedians/plays/movies on campus. She regularly goes off campus to restaurants, movies, shopping centers and I think the occasional bar/club downtown. The arthouse is going to Toronto for a weekend to see the art museum. Some kids have taken trips to Niagara Falls. Socially she seems to be having a good time but it's not the same crazy fun environment as her non-art friends at more traditional colleges. Her friends go to class much less and have much less homework (spread out over a 15 week semester) so they have weeks or free time/party time. They don't understand the demands of a design student. My d thinks she'll do better at RIT because everyone she knows works as hard as she does. They play but work comes first. Seeing everyone else working hard keeps her on track.

    As for RISD, she was pretty impressed with the school but she wasn't sure she wanted to be in an art school. She had always been in an academic track in school with few traditional art classes and was a bit intimidated by the art students. She's also conservative/preppy and didn't think she'd fit in. Her first roommate at RIT has more tattoos and piercings than we can count, haha. My d also came to realize she wanted an enclosed campus. RISD is in a small city with streets going through the campus. My s, on the other hand, spent 2 summers at Brown and would love to go there. He can't imagine the isolation of RIT. He's only looking at city schools.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    Jerzgrlmom, your statements regarding RIT echo what I have observed during my visits to RIT and from what I have gleaned asking questions of students. Many more feel as you and your daughter does than what was posted by that one student,which was noted by RainingAgain.

    I personall liked RIT a lot and so did my daughter,but we didn't like the two years of art history and high liberal arts reqirements of RIT. I guess my daughter is "overdosed on liberal arts" after attending a humanities magnet program and taking a bunch of liberal arts in conjunction with our local community college,which has a special program instituted in conjunction with our high school. She would be quite happy never seeing another history or english literature course again. I guess this is what happens when we expect too much from our high schools kids.

    In addition, there are a lot of other schools she is considering, notably University of Cincinnati DAAP program et. al. We shall see.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    taxguy, did your d look into having her community-college credits transferred to RIT or any other colleges she's considering? RIT granted my d credits for her art class (community-college). My d's roommate has gotten a lot of credit for college courses and APs. Same thing for some of the hockey players who brought credits from their post HS schooling (canada)... my d is not happy with all the required art-history either.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    //taxguy, did your d look into having her community-college credits transferred to RIT or any other colleges she's considering?//

    I guarantee you taxguy did that. He so obviously micromanaged the entire process for his daughter; obviously he is a caring and supportive parent—I don't blame him regardless, but I'd bet the house he did. Besides it is a standard part of the admissions process. You are required to submit academic transcripts for review. Its almost automatic and handled by the admissions depts. But I guess someone could "fail" to admit they attended a college previously if their grades were horrible.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    RainingAgain notes,"//taxguy, did your d look into having her community-college credits transferred to RIT or any other colleges she's considering?//
    I guarantee you taxguy did that. He so obviously micromanaged the entire process for his daughter; obviously he is a caring and supportive parent—I don't blame him regardless, but I'd bet the house he did."

    Response: LOL, RainingAgain, you are close. We did call the schools to see what courses would have the best chance of transferring. However, they couldn't guarantee any one course would transfer without seeing the course description and transcript. We did, however, take their advice about taking mostly liberal arts courses that might both transfer and meet gen ed requirements.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    RainingAgain, I did not micromanage the process for my daughter. well, maybe I did for part of the process.
    All I did was conduct a lot of research and wrote a "pros and cons "sheet in order to help her make her own decision. I can assure you that I don't want the responsibility of "pressuring" my daughter into a college that she will hate and then she will blame me! She will make her own decision.

    In addition, I try to be as objective about schools that I can be. Knowing my daughter, she would not attend a school if she felt that I was too enthusiastic about it. I, thus, have to be vary careful both about what I praise and what I pan.
  • ktwofishktwofish Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Has your daughter really decided against RISD? From all your posts, I thought RISD was at the top of the list.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    Ktwofish,she just got into RIT. RISD isn't at the top of her list,but if she gets in there, we will visit the school again. RIT and Cincinnati are currently at the top of the list depending on acceptances and scholarships offered and on which part of the dart board the dart hits..
  • ktwofishktwofish Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Because of your daughter's interests (digital/electronic media), RISD may not be the best option. It has been a wonderful choice for our daughter who is taking more of a fine arts direction. I appreciate how you have studied the many possibilities, but as you said...it is ultimately your daughter's decision. I'm sure it will be a good one!
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,641 Senior Member
    Taxguy, congrats to your daughter on her admission to RIT. Good luck to her on her other applications. Whatever happens, 17-18 year-olds don't always settle on what turns out to be their college major while still in high school, so she should keep an eye on the range of plausible choices that she might make after another year or so.
This discussion has been closed.