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Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt)

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (visited 9/13/17)

MassArt lobby and city

Part of the Fenway as seen from the new lobby

Mass Art (as it’s commonly referred to) is the only art school and the only public school in the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium. In fact, it’s the only public art school in the country.

Housing is offered in 3 dorm buildings, and there are several options including Gender Inclusive housing, LBGTQQIA themed living, and Substance-Free areas. While I was on campus, I grabbed lunch in the central dining hall which is shared with MCPHS and WIT. I wasn’t impressed with the food quality, the selection, the ease of getting food once inside, or the amount of seating available. However, it was centrally located in campus, but many students had to (or maybe wanted to) take food to go since there just wasn’t much seating in relation to the number of students moving through the area. They

MassArt artwork

Some of the wok from Fiber majors

The first year of study is the Studio Foundations year. Most classes are capped at 25, but for Art History (taken both semesters), everyone piles into the auditorium. One of the tour guide’s favorite classes was the 4D/time class in 2nd semester of freshman year. Students are expected to complete 9 liberal arts classes in addition to their major. Two of these are required in the freshman year: Freshman Year Seminar and Thinking, Making, Writing: Using Words with Clarity and Flair. After that, they have more flexibility in fulfilling the remaining 7 classes.

MassArt gallery 2

One of the galleries showcasing student work

There are 9 student galleries in addition to several other display areas. Students are taught early how to present their art and are expected to do so regularly. Twice a year (usually December and May), students have the opportunity to sell their work in week-long sales open to the public. Students receive 60% of the selling price with the remainder going to the college to fund student events and other programs. They also do a lot of outreach with the community, including a program called Spark the Art. They’re also a member of the ProArts Consortium that brings together both performing and visual arts institutions in Boston.

MassArt glass studio

One of the glass blowing studios

They offer all the typical majors you’d expect from an art school and have some amazing, more unusual programs such as Glass, Animation, Industrial Design, Architectural Design (also offering an M.Arch.), Art Education, Fibers, Fashion Design, and Studio for Interrelated Media.

© 2017

Cazenovia College

Cazenovia College (visited 7/24/15)

~Caz quad 2I was surprised at how compact campus was. The main part of campus is encompassed by the equivalent of a large city block with several buildings across the streets along the perimeter. The main street of Cazenovia is literally a block away from the main campus, and Cazenovia Lake is a short 4-block walk away.

~Caz bell“If you want to know a lot of people and been known by a lot of people, this is the place for you,” said the admissions representative.

~Caz studentEven in the summer, students were populating the main quad on campus, sunbathing, talking in groups, and sitting at picnic tables. Almost 90% of students live on campus. Most students stay on campus until senior year, at which point, they do have the option of moving off “but moving off could affect scholarships and Financial Aid, so most elect to stay,” said the rep. There are some scholarship that come with residential requirements, but some students will elect to take a lower-level scholarship that will enable them to move off.

~Caz 4Cazenovia is located about 20 miles from downtown Syracuse in the small town of Cazenovia. They’re squarely in the middle of “Equine Alley,” as one of the students put it. There are lots of horse (and other types of) farms, and students can major in Equine Business Management. Other business tracks include Accounting, Fashion Merchandising, Health Care Management, Management, and Sports Management. The students in the Sports track worked at the Super Bowl last year doing event management!

~Caz 2Other strong and popular programs are:

~Caz flowersStudents who thrive here are those who want a solid Liberal Arts education with hands-on, practical experience. “B students are going to be fine here. If you’re a B-/C student . . . dazzle me with your essay,” said the admissions rep.

© 2015

Philadelphia University

Philadelphia University (visited 1/27/12)

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from this college. I knew nothing about it other than it existed. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Other than a bit of difficulty finding a parking spot (there is limited parking at the admissions building, and after a couple of false starts and driving around the block on 1-way streets, I found the over-flow parking across the street), the visit was great! The admissions people were friendly and accommodating, and they had arranged for a tour guide (who was knowledgeable and easy to talk to) to give me a personal tour.

The university has about 2,500 students and is located in a residential part of Northwest Philadelphia. It feels very suburban, but there are 2 SEPTA train stops within a 10-minute walk as well as lots of city buses that go by campus. The college has a traditional campus with a couple main quad-type areas. There was a lot of green space, and the mostly-brick buildings, although a bit older, were well maintained, neat, and clean. The campus is very walkable with students able to get from one side to the other in about 10 minutes. The dorms range from traditional hall-style dorms to townhouses for upperclassmen. There is some new building going on, and clearly the school is concerned with providing the facilities needed for the students to do well.

I was most impressed with some of the more unusual majors such as architecture, textile design, and fashion design. Kinesthetic and visual learners would thrive in these programs. The facilities for these majors were extensive and well stocked. The textiles department had everything from old traditional looms (which all students in the major are required to learn to use) to modern machinery. The architecture building has beautiful open spaces with natural lighting and student projects displayed everywhere. This is one of the few 4-year accredited programs in the area, and students definitely get a lot of hands-on experience.

(c) 2012

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