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The Pros and Cons of Online Art Schools

Online art schools are a very recent phenomenon, and as such, not very many people have gone through the full experience of attaining an entire degree outside of a physical campus.  The final judgment on this nontraditional classroom will come with time; for now, we can give you a summary of both the good and the bad.  Keep in mind that the online art school system is still currently being refined, and as changes are made to accommodate its flaws, things will look different in a few years.

THE PROS OF ONLINE ART COLLEGES

  • Flexibility: perfect for the roll-out-of-bed-at-3-in-the-afternoon, play-til-ten, paint-til-sunrise type of artist.  You'll still have to go through the requisite number of lectures and complete the homework assignments on time, but for the most part, you can schedule school around your life, not your life around school.  This is particularly beneficial if you have children to take care of at home or have to juggle a full-time job.

  • Ease of access: Computers are literally everywhere now.  You probably have your own laptop, cable, and router tucked conveniently away at home, so you can log on and attend class right in bed.  If not, computer-equipped libraries and internet cafes are in almost every town.

  • No traveling: Whether it's taking the subway across town to arrive on campus or running down three flights in your dorm building, traveling can still be a pain.  No longer.

  • "Somewhere in the world is the world's worst doctor. And someone has an appointment with him tomorrow." - George Carlin
    If you are looking for degree photography classes, we have the list (many photography classes online are not accredited). We know the difference between good and bad, we when it comes to education, we'll help you find the good with interior design schools, fashion design classes, and the even more difficult challenge of determing quality when it comes to film classes. We know that too often, education does not prepare you for the real world, that you might take graphic design classes and never be taught how to prepare a document for print or FTP it to a printer. This will never happen at one of the New York graphic design schools. We know that good performing arts classes have to have great instructors, that in a down economy, there is a misconception that architecture schools are particularly hard hit, and that good game design schools are not as constrained by geography as other entertainment industry niches.

    Interactions with other students: The truth is that many typical college courses, introductory ones in particular, are huge.  In a class with 500 or 600 fellow students, how many of them are you getting to really know?  At best, you'll chat with one or two sitting right next to you and never introduce yourself to the other 498.  With online forums, that problem is solved and the level of student interaction goes through the roof.

  • Size of the class: We can't emphasize this enough.  Have you ever walked in late to a gigantic lecture, been forced to sit in the very last row of the auditorium, and found yourself unable to hear a single word coming from the mouth of your shy, quiet teaching assistant?  You'll never have to with online art colleges.

THE CONS OF ONLINE ART COLLEGES

  • No campus: It's undeniable that a living, breathing college campus community is a huge part of the experience.  No matter how many new AIM buddies you make through your online art course, there's still no substitute for the life in a college dorm, the food in a college dining hall (don't mourn this particular loss), the smell of a college library, or the unique atmosphere of a college main green.

  • No in-person interaction: Sometimes you just want to see the student or professor you're talking to.  How else can you really gauge whether their "lol" translates into a genuine smile, or if their critique of your piece is as harsh as it seems over email?

  • Self-discipline: The freedom offered by an online art college can be a double-edged blade.  Though most courses require a minimum of log-ins and lectures watched, it's easy to procrastinate when you don't have a scheduled hour and meeting place.  An great amount of self-discipline is required to successfully navigate an online class.

  • Technology needed: This is an issue that isn't equally shared among all students, but for some, it can be problematic.  Depending on where you live and the level of technology accessible to you, going online to send an email or watch a lecture can be a difficult chore.

  • Feedback: While emails are quick and convenient, there is a time lag between the moment you press send and the eventual response.  Sometimes, the wait can drag out until you're unsure of whether the message was ignored, or the professor was busy, or it simply got lost in the depths of cyberspace.  In a physical classroom, you can hunt the professor down and get instantaneous answers to your questions.

As you can see, the pros and cons of attending an online art college just about balance each other out.  And don't forget that not all of the points made here are necessarily true for every single online course.  These are good starting points to keep in mind as you consider the option of online art colleges, but ultimately, you will have to examine the specific ins and outs to determine if the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa.  Begin your search right on this site!





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Utica College Advertising Four-year school Utica, NY 3273 City Private
Mitchell Technical Institute Film, Video, TV Two-year school Mitchell, SD 1004 Town/Rural Public
Dakota State University Animation | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Madison, SD 2827 Town/Rural Public
Seattle Community College - Central Campus Advertising | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Photography | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Seattle, WA 7774 City Public
College of Southern Idaho Advertising | CAD, Drafting | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Twin Falls, ID 8133 Town/Rural Public
Sweet Briar College Performing Arts Four-year school Sweet Briar, VA 756 Town/Rural Private
Minnesota School of Business - Waite Park Advertising Four-year school Waite Park, MN 1001 Suburb Private
Northeastern University Advertising | Architecture | Arts Management | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Boston, MA 27537 City Private
Bethel University Performing Arts Four-year school McKenzie, TN 2975 Town/Rural Private
Kaplan University - Davenport Campus Advertising | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Davenport, IA 71011 City Private
Farmingdale State College Architecture Four-year school Farmingdale, NY 6988 Suburb Public
Niagara University Performing Arts Four-year school Niagara University, NY 4202 Suburb Private
Onondaga Cortland Madison BOCES CAD, Drafting | Web Design & New Media Less than two years Liverpool, NY 912 Town/Rural Public
ITT Technical Institute - San Dimas Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school San Dimas, CA 1030 Suburb Private
Platt College - Aurora Graphic Design Four-year school Aurora, CO 180 City Private
Wellesley College Architecture | Film, Video, TV | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school Wellesley, MA 2324 Suburb Private
East Central University Performing Arts Four-year school Ada, OK 4612 Town/Rural Public
Naropa University Performing Arts Four-year school Boulder, CO 1073 City Private
Huntingdon College Performing Arts Four-year school Montgomery, AL 1075 City Private
Concordia University - Chicago Advertising | Performing Arts Four-year school River Forest, IL 5049 Suburb Private
South Piedmont Community College Advertising Two-year school Polkton, NC 2736 Town/Rural Public
Mesa State College Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Grand Junction, CO 7042 City Public
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Performing Arts Four-year school Oshkosh, WI 13192 City Public
Radford University Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Radford, VA 8878 Town/Rural Public
Saint Bonaventure University Performing Arts Four-year school Saint Bonaventure, NY 2465 Town/Rural Private
Iowa Wesleyan College Advertising | Graphic Design Four-year school Mount Pleasant, IA 858 Town/Rural Private
Delgado Community College Architecture | Arts Management | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Two-year school New Orleans, LA 16758 City Public
Eureka College Performing Arts Four-year school Eureka, IL 766 Town/Rural Private
Northern Michigan University Advertising | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Marquette, MI 9428 Town/Rural Public
Middle Tennessee State University Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Interior Design | Performing Arts Four-year school Murfreesboro, TN 25188 City Public
Holyoke Community College Advertising | Film, Video, TV | Photography Two-year school Holyoke, MA 7473 Town/Rural Public
Central Technology Center Advertising | Web Design & New Media Less than two years Drumright, OK 1014 Town/Rural Public
Washington State University Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Pullman, WA 26101 Town/Rural Public
Palm Beach Atlantic University - West Palm Beach Advertising | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Performing Arts Four-year school West Palm Beach, FL 3260 City Private
Maranatha Baptist Bible College Performing Arts Four-year school Watertown, WI 849 Town/Rural Private
Geneva College Arts Management | Performing Arts Four-year school Beaver Falls, PA 1960 Suburb Private
Union College Performing Arts Four-year school Barbourville, KY 1435 Town/Rural Private
ITT Technical Institute - Murray Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Murray, UT 748 Suburb Private
The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media Four-year school Santa Monica, CA 2159 City Private
Colorado Technical University - Greenwood Village Graphic Design Four-year school Greenwood Village, CO 1079 Suburb Private
Chabot College Architecture | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography Two-year school Hayward, CA 15375 City Public
University of Delaware Arts Management | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts Four-year school Newark, DE 21138 Suburb Public
Cardinal Stritch University Advertising | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography Four-year school Milwaukee, WI 6276 Suburb Private
Wheaton College Performing Arts Four-year school Wheaton, IL 2920 Suburb Private
Baltimore City Community College Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media Two-year school Baltimore, MD 6953 City Public
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Advertising | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Performing Arts Four-year school Little Rock, AR 13132 City Public
Oberlin College Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Performing Arts Four-year school Oberlin, OH 2939 Suburb Private
Normandale Community College Performing Arts Two-year school Bloomington, MN 10046 City Public
McHenry County College Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Visual Effects Two-year school Crystal Lake, IL 6811 Town/Rural Public
CET - Sobrato Graphic Design Less than two years San Jose, CA 649 City Private



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