Is the Art Institute of Philadelphia a Scam? Seems Like It

Discussion in 'Parenting and Education' started by ArcticSplash, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    Well, from the article, it doesn't seem like a "degree" will get you much anyway. If you want a "degree" in the arts, spend your money on a liberal arts school (nearly all of which now* offer the same kinds of courses as are offered at "arts" colleges) and also become educated in things like literature, history, economics, and business. Then your "degree" might also be worth something.

    *Until the 40's, very few colleges offered courses, much less degrees, in the arts. However, that's no longer the case, and almost all liberal arts colleges offer degrees in the fine and performing arts.
     
  2. loveisnoise

    loveisnoise Well-Known Member

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    I went to both-and I'll plainly say that I got more from my AI schooling.

    The Art Institute teachers were from the real world, not some bubble where they spent most of their life getting umpteen degrees and sniffing farts of smugness.

    I remember the first day I was in class, the teacher came in and said, "I've designed everything from Pepsi to United Airlines, and I'll tell you the best thing you can learn is what I teach you today" He then says, "You have a hang over, 6 cups of coffee before 7am, and you have to paint straight lines all day-here's how you do it"...hahahaha

    I learned more about color and proper technical traits about printing that absolutely no 'university' person ever learns. Most students I meet can't even tell me the difference between coated and uncoated pantones, nor the basic font families(most will google and say serif and sanseriff which is nowhere near close).

    While many of these kids will make whimsical campaigns with unlimited colors and ridiculous costs in the real world, many art institute kids will know how to cut costs while maintaining quality on printing products. When 8 colors are cut down to 3 but still look like a four color process on billboards? The effects are far better while saving a client money that, in turn, will show in profits and quick promotions when part of a reputable firm.
     
  3. phillycat

    phillycat Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think their focus on real world skills and having instructors whose industry experience was considered more valuable than if they had published some pointless article or got some useless higher degree were very valuable back in the day. Unfortunately that is not what they focus on now.
     
  4. loveisnoise

    loveisnoise Well-Known Member

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    The other day I had a UofA student come to me with a jpg. I told them that the image would work better as a vector, and they asked me what that was. I had to explain to a sophomore art student what the f' a vector file was?! That's the equivalent of teaching a 2nd year electrician student what pliers are for.

    I'm not knocking UofA. I think it is a good school. In the art market, for the most part, it is what you do with your time in college. Few schools can teach talent-but the technical tools learned can harness the talent to progress in a professional manner .
     
  5. Sycamore

    Sycamore Sure Shot

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    Trade schools? Like law school?
     
  6. loveisnoise

    loveisnoise Well-Known Member

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    hehehe... yeah, I missed that one.

    Trade schools are great for people who already know what they want to do. When I went to AI it was a trade school. A high school friend of mine went to votech for graphic arts and now owns most of the billboards in West PA, Virginia, and Maryland. Adversely, I know Ivy League graduates that wait tables at Buddhakan-which is actually pretty good money-hehehe. It is all about what the person wants from their schooling.
     
  7. Sycamore

    Sycamore Sure Shot

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    I work for an AmLaw 130 firm, and I have heard more than one partner refer to law school as trade school (and lament their choice).

    I graduated with an associates degree from Peirce College, most definitely a trade school, and my salary bumps up against six figures before I'm 40 (after changing careers once midpath for 7 year--tech can suck it). Maybe that's peanuts to some people, but not to me. My student loans are very modest. I hate to see liberal arts snobs refer to "trade school degrees" as somehow less than. My professors were experienced not only in the industry, but in the local industry, and I was well served by my degree. Hell, my firm requires an associates degree in my particular trade, or a bachelors degree in anything PLUS a certificate in the trade. I feel like I'm getting over on those that have tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. And, I still had to study Shakespeare, statistics, biology, etc.

    I'm not exactly knocking liberal arts degrees, but for the cost of college today, unless you have mommy and daddy paying for it, you have to do a cost-benefit ratio on education, in my not at all humble opinion.
     
  8. supersupper

    supersupper Appetizer

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    It seems to me all these arguments were summed up by Steve Jobs' college experience anecdote...

    ...Wherein he quit pursuing a practical degree by dropping out, then opting-in for classes he wanted to take which weren't allowed as points towards any uselful degree. The most infamous one, of course, being Calligraphy. Which we all know now educated him in ways that made the Mac product line a huge success far outstripping the technical innovations... technical innovations (albeit stolen... or borrowed at best) applied in a creative way that gave users an rush-on.

    We all have our leanings.

    One type of school is no better than the other, unless you happen to choose the wrong one not in tune with who you are.
     
  9. toxigal

    toxigal Well-Known Member

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    i have a liberal arts education and i admit, i was pretty bitter about the non-major classes i had to take. I could have graduated a lot faster and with a lot less debt if i could have just taken my chemistry/biology classes. i wanted to be a forensic scientist when i started school. i declared a chemistry major, graduated in 4 years with a chemistry degree. i don't think the social science and humanities courses i took in college made me more "well rounded". i am well rounded because i have interests outside of my job.

    then again, i also am not someone who claims i wish i could just take classes for the sake of learning and i openly admit i'd rather watch tv than read.
     
  10. supersupper

    supersupper Appetizer

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    Most studies are a progressive thing. You can't take algebra and calculus at the same time. If you load up too much and too quickly on heavy classes- unless you are brilliant, you will certainly crash and most likely drop out.

    Well-rounded may not be the best term for classes that give you a break, bend your mind in a differnet direction for a bit, or cause you to interact with others not of your ilk. The big rage now amongst institutional architects is designing spaces that force interactions between those who would not normally interact in order to encourage multidisciplinary thinking leading to out-of-the-box thinking.
     
  11. BarryG

    BarryG Well-Known Member

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    Incidentally, among recent graduates, those with architecture degrees are the mostly likely to be unemployed.
     
  12. loveisnoise

    loveisnoise Well-Known Member

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    My architect friends are hurting right now, other than off the books spot work here and there.
     
  13. toxigal

    toxigal Well-Known Member

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    well, of course I couldn't have taken organic chemistry before i had general chemistry and biology, but i'm also quite positive that North American Indian Cultures and the Philosophy of Religion did not prepare me for any future courses.

    there are plenty of opportunities in college to interact with those outside your main area of study. Opportunities that don't cost $500/credit.
     
  14. DCnPhilly

    DCnPhilly Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the biggest opportunities to do that just cost room and board. As much as I appreciate what I was taught in class, I got my most influential learning experiences from living in the dorms.
     
  15. supersupper

    supersupper Appetizer

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    I never said the purpose of ancillary classes were to prepare you for any future class. I said you can't just take only classes in your area of expertise- all work and no play makes jack intellectually wise a dull boy. And Colleges, since the dawn of colleges, state they want to send out intellectually well rounded individuals- thats their mission.

    College is to provide you with a place to learn about a specific area or two, and then some. You get a degree on the assumption you were provided a wider range range of knowledge, knowledge that doesn't necessarily mean you will use it in your job but makes you a least a little more knowledgeable, and hopefully interesting person in general. Sure, it's book knowledge, not street smarts. College doesn't pretend to give you street smarts.

    This whole thing plays both ways. You may run into a person educated in or interested in North American Indian Cultures, and he may have had a chemistry course or two. It is quite often a shared interests leads to bigger and better things, wether its a friendship or a job. I know many times I have been glad I learned at least a cursory knowledge of "x" (even if i wasn't 100% interested in it) in college because i was able to be at least mildly interested and informed about someone else speaking of their interests. And likewise I've been glad someone had even a compulsory knowledge of who Manet was (distinguished from Monet).

    Another way to look at it: You probably can't have a teacher teach only American Indian Cultures if the only person who sat in on the class was taking it as a major. So yes, maybe you do support that class with your dollars against your desire. It's sort of like the argument that drives me crazy related to Federal Income Tax: I don't use "x" so why should I pay taxes to pay for "x". You attended an institution of higher learning, not a school for job training.
     
  16. toxigal

    toxigal Well-Known Member

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    i'm not sure that plays out at many schools. there were far more people in my North American Indian Cultures class than any of the chemistry courses I took. In fact, after i got through Gen Chem, my classes generally had 5-10 people in them, max. Most of the classes I took to fulfill my non-major electives had 30+ people in them. Maybe more people should have to take analytical chemistry so it has enough financial support :)
     
  17. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree with you. I'm sure you learned a lot about being an artist in the real world. And, I would say, what you described having learnt has value. But, I would still say that it was a trade school, not a college, education.
     
  18. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    Yup, law school is a form of trade school. I will never argue otherwise.
     
  19. loveisnoise

    loveisnoise Well-Known Member

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    I agree about 80%...hehehehe

    It is a trade school, no doubt. They did, however, make us take some classes that most 'artists' didn't wish to take-and they really help me today.

     
  20. supersupper

    supersupper Appetizer

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    Except

    More than likely few if any of those kids in North American Indian Cultures were majoring in that field, most were passing thru like you and took just that one class, and it's doubtful there was a procession of NAIC level 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. And that teacher probably only had that and maybe a couple other classes to teach, if even mildly related to that field. and if it got much funding it was via a general liberal arts department kind of thing.

    Whereas the Chemistry Department probably had good funding via successful alumni and corporations, with a staff of tenured professors employing many TA's doing much research if they offered a PHD track.

    Unless you went to a primarily liberal arts school that just happened to teach chemistry on the side....

    Classes like NAIC don't require a high intelligence level and many prerequisites like Analytical Chemistry, so you can't really say people should take that class, though I think every student college-bound has to take basic chemistry in High School, and I'm sure there were electives in chemistry at your college open to any student if they were of that ilk. In fact, I think the big thing now is Biological Chemistry, what used to be two separate fields.
     
    #140 supersupper, Jan 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  21. toxigal

    toxigal Well-Known Member

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    um, no. not at all. ther was no corporate funding. There were four professors in the department, no TA's, no research.

    huh? Biochemistry is hardly a new area of study.
     
  22. painter33

    painter33 New Member

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    The measure of an education is not training but learning. In a private non-profit or public institution, students can select form and elect to take liberal arts courses that provide them with an opportunity to gain knowledge about the broader world. "Training", like that done to monkeys and apes, is a repetitive exercise of engendering a specific response from a specific stimulus. "Educating" is not teaching, per se, but engaging students in their learning processes and offering them a series of courses that have stood the test of time and are augmented by innovative and current approaches. The Institutes are career oriented, and as such attempt to direct students toward skill building in a fast and sometimes superficial way. The mission is not to prepare students for transfer to bachelor's degree programs as some independent and public two-year art college might. In the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, for-profits are not looked upon with any warmth or, truly, respect. The educational missions of member schools and colleges are clearly those which endeavor to provide students with an in-depth but expansive course of study. Generally, for-profits do not make much of liberal arts study as integral to the studio, which is an important goal of non-profits. Students who are preparing for direct entry into a field often do not have the luxury of investigating the humanities or sciences in a consistent and continual way; whereas an artist/designer must have a ever advancing understanding of the events and history of worldwide socio-economic developments. Is a non-profit a scam? Not if students know what they are to get before they enroll and understand the nature of career-oriented institutions versus more traditional educational institutions. If they don't know the difference or haven't looked deeply enough, they have only themselves to blame unless, of course, they were purposely misled.
     
  23. supersupper

    supersupper Appetizer

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    I confused it wit biophysics.

    Doesn't sound like you were very ambitious . Which is ok, but also why you probably weren't interested in an in depth larger picture education.
     
  24. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very oldĀ®

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    #144 Jayfar, Jul 2, 2018
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