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ScreenName
06-01-2009, 02:30 PM
I know I should ask admissions department some of these questions but I am not that far along yet...

First, it seems they have a good reputation, am I wrong in my understanding of this? I know some people say avoid for-profit schools but is this an exception? the fact they offer the program online also seems contradictory to everything I have been thinking prior to researching... Initially I was very against "online" schooling, after really seeing not a lot out there locally I think AAU is my "plan B" if my local program does not pan out. I'd even be open to eventually moving to San Fran if I could find a job out there, so then maybe I could transfer from online to classroom (?).

It looks like it will cost between 50-60k for the MFA, does this seem correct?

Basically, whats the general opinion of AAU San Fran Online? I bust my ass and I am certain my work will be good, I just don't want a degree that carries little or no recognition or respect. What's the general opinion of this institution?

taxguy
06-01-2009, 07:19 PM
I was one of the folks that cautioned against for profit schools. HOWEVER, I never said avoid them. My attitude and my posts just recommended doing some stronger due dilligence if they are "for profit" because non- profits give a lot of benefits that "for profits" dont' give, except that "for profits" can pay the owners more money! However, there are a number of repudable "for profit" schools such as SVA, Gnomon etc. I can't speak for AAU,but, based on forum reviews , most folks there liked AAU's animation program. However, I don't know who was posting on those forums. They could be AAU faculty for all I know.

I think you should meet some of the students and ask them directly about their program and about the quality of the instructors. Check out www.ratemyprofessor.com (http://www.ratemyprofessor.com) for those that teach animation. There are a number of posts here about evaluating a college. Check the the "best college"thread for ideas that were presented in order to evaluate an institution.

ScreenName
06-01-2009, 08:37 PM
I should probably mention, I have heard the for profit caution prior to you mentioning it, few years ago in fact, please don't think I am picking on you or anything, your posts have been a great help thus far... I browsed through the ratemyprofessor rankings but overall I am just trying to find out is AAU looked at as equivalent to U of Phoenix or Westwood? I don't want to dump 60k out on something that has a bad reputation. I am going to take my time with this either way, but this is the first step of my research... Of course the convenience of the online aspect seems great, but personally I don't think I have fully embraced the idea of an online degree. I'd love to hear just general thoughts on this, I think now is the time for me to do it (the "when"), but the confusing part is where and how.

Rebeccak
06-02-2009, 06:59 AM
Basically, whats the general opinion of AAU San Fran Online? I bust my ass and I am certain my work will be good, I just don't want a degree that carries little or no recognition or respect. What's the general opinion of this institution?I know someone who is in the online program - I think his opinion is that it's not really a good substitute for the real life, brick and mortar experience. Plus, the networking that happens in a live classroom and the stimulation you'll receive therein just wouldn't exist online. Online has its pros and cons, but for an entire degree, *especially* for that amount of money, I wouldn't even consider something online myself.

taxguy
06-02-2009, 12:28 PM
Having a lot of interaction with other students can be crucial in a lot of ways. Thus,I agree with Rebeccak. I think she has a lot of good points that you should consider.

My main problem with AAU has nothing to do with what she said, however. I am a former college professor. I have learned that a teacher can only teach to the level of the class.If there are a lot of kids that are of a "Low quality"level, the class has to be somewhat "dumbed down." Likewise. if the class consists of high performers, the professor can demand a higher quality of work, which is why many professors want to teach at the better schools.

Likewise, highly motivated and prepared kids synergize each other,which is why schools with tougher admission standards are in demand by both professors and students.

AAU to my knowledge has few if any admission standards. All you need is a pulse and money. In fact, you might not even need a pulse. I find this very troubling. Maybe it shouldn't bother me, but I do find it troubling from a teacher's prospective.

Rebeccak
06-02-2009, 10:43 PM
The thing I find somewhat weird, though, is that despite AAU's lack of admission standards, I've consistently seen good work coming out of their (full time, non-online) programs. So without firsthand experience of the school, I can't make a solid recommendation pro or con. My advice is to contact a student (check out conceptart.org's art schools and education board as well) and get their opinion directly from the source.

taxguy
06-02-2009, 11:27 PM
The thing I find somewhat weird, though, is that despite AAU's lack of admission standards, I've consistently seen good work coming out of their (full time, non-online) programs. So without firsthand experience of the school, I can't make a solid recommendation pro or con. My advice is to contact a student (check out conceptart.org's art schools and education board as well) and get their opinion directly from the source.

Actually, admission standards can be somewhat imprecise since it really doesn't take into account drive, time management, determination etc. No matter what school I am sure some good work comes out of the school. Even a mediocre teacher can produce good work in the class room. It just might not be that much good work!The key is what does the average work look like, or what does the work from the top 25% of the class look like?

Rebeccak
06-02-2009, 11:31 PM
Which is why I think the original poster should contact students directly. :) I've seen a lot of work on conceptart.org and here from AAU and it looks pretty solid to me - both the traditional and digital work. How it measures up against other schools is purely up to taste. Also I've visited their student gallery for traditional work in SF and it's pretty solid stuff. But it's always concerned me that they don't want a portfolio for admissions. My understanding (again, very secondhand) is that they let anyone in, but weed people out.

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