Three Things To Look For In An Art School

If you are planning to enter an art school, you should be aware there are a number of options from which to choose. Sit down and consider several important personal characteristics. These will help you in the process. First, list what your goals are. Do you wish to teach art? What medium do you wish to work in? Are you planning to become a graphic artist, a portrait painter or a commercial artist?

After you have decided what you want from an art school, consider the following three significant questions. Apply the appropriate criteria to each school. Examine the answers and compare the data. After doing so, you will be able to choose the right school for you.

Curriculum

The curriculum, and who teaches it, is a vital component in your consideration of any school, not just an art school. Obtain the various schools’ calendars and brochures. Examine the content of the curriculum, noting the professors and their qualifications. Does the coursework offered by the school help you reach your own specific goal? Does it challenge you or merely repeat what you already know? Does the material address the fields or areas of study you wish to explore? Also, take into account the fields of expertise. What are the major fields of interest on which the school focuses?

As part of the analysis of the curriculum, consider the professors or teachers. Is the material taught by qualified instructors? Are the instructors current or dated? Are they industry veterans or ingnues? Do they have a reputation for their skill at teaching and/or their ability in the art world?

Keep track of the record or score of each art school. Plot a chart or create a table to contain the relevant data. If the answers to the questions are “no,” place an “X” beside the names of the applicable schools. Do this for each section moving from curriculum to the next area for consideration: reputation.

Reputation

The reputation of an art school is important. It indicates the influence it has in the greater art world. Schools proudly list the past and present accomplishments of both their current and previous faculty and their present and former students. What kind of reputation does the school have in its field of expertise? Check, in regards to this, each art school’s accreditation.

Accreditation indicates a school’s confidence in itself and its reputation. It means, simply, that the art school has willingly agreed to and successfully passed an industry-based peer appraisal of its educational principles. Art school accreditation falls under the government of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design

(NASAD).

Again, tally up the positive and negatives for each school. Add them to your chart or table. This provides further data, narrowing down your choice. Now move to the final factor, placement.

Placement

What you probably want when you emerge from art school is employment. Do the remaining art schools offer you job placement. Admittedly, guarantees are almost impossible. A creditable record of accomplishment, however, is indicative the art school can be useful in obtaining employment post graduation.

Discover whether the school has an active employment office and a working relationship with possible employers. Does the school offer job-search help while you are in school? Does it have an apprentice-type or a job-placement or co-op term? In other words, does the school take an active role in helping its students find work during, as part of the curriculum and/or after school is finished?

If you have three out of three positive answers to these three major questions, you have a winner. With any luck, you will have more than one school from which to make a selection. If that is the case (and even if it is not) go visit the campus of your choice. Walk around and talk to the instructors and other students. Get to know the aspects from more than a brochure. Ask questions in person and then, you can truly select the right art school for you.

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