The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews
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I am attending AI Online for my Degree in Web design & Interactive Media. I have had a great experience. My instructors post on a regular basis and they give me great feedback. My academic advisor has been great too. The only problem I have been having is with my financial aid rep. They have changed my rep and didn't tell me. However, both my reps have returned my messages in a timely manner. I feel as with any class you take, you get out of it what you put into it.
If you are planning to attend the campus based or online courses at A.I. for Media, Arts and Animation.. think again!!
I went to this school for about two years online and walked out of there with little to no experience and a large amount of debt. The online format that they have is very disappointing. There is barely any communication between you and the teacher. Most teachers are not working in the field, so you do NOT get industry insight! Also, expect to get A's and B's in this school, even if you draw like a two year old. Most students didn't know how to draw, had horrible assignments turned in and still were praised by teachers! What the heck went wrong here?
If you are looking to learn animation... shoot low. You will learn how to use 3DS Max, and fast. You won't go into depth about the software, but you will know where to find the tools within the software! What a bunch of crock! Also, animation program here is horrible. I learned how to move an object from point A to B, but didn't learn about ease in and ease out, spacing, overlap, overshoot, secondary action, squash and stretch! If your going to this school, these terms will be foreign to you. I dropped out of this "so-called" school and enrolled at the www.Animationmentor.com school. The difference between the school is enormous. Within a year I went from animating a bouncing ball (that look quite pathetic) to a full fledged dialogue shot that was lip synced.
Just wanted to do my part and warn those of you who want to join this school for the Animation program. It was a waste of money, time, and resources on a flawed system. DON'T GO TO THIS SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!
Compltee lack of communication among staff. Changed advisors 2 times, financial aid reps 3 times....never told me. I signed up for web design, never got there.....got bogged down with pre-requisites. When I withdrew for end of session they took me out before my session ended and still expect me to pay???
Advisors changed my 'major' 2 times to satisfy prerequisites, and did not communicate with financial aid.....they think I DID THIS, and that I willy-nilly was changing my mind. That is some way justifies the rip off I suppose. VERY DISAPPOINTED, still unemployed and NOW in debt. RUN, RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!!
I attended for Animation and was not getting any instruction that I couldn't learn on my own. In fact, I learned more on my own. Rather than keep forking over vast sums of money, I dropped 3/4 into a quarter.
Well...Federal funds were returned and I found out that they want me on the hook for the rest of the quarter, which I didn't take. I had 3 classes to a quarter, one after the other at 5.5 wks each. So I dropped with a zero balance on my account after the second class was finished. I get a call a week later saying I owe them $1990.00 for the rest of the quarter that they had to return to the Federal Government. I've filled a complaint with the BBB and will be contacting the Attorney General. I will not pay for classes I DID NOT TAKE! Avoid AI at all costs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone writing positive reviews here has yet to encounter the billing and good luck getting a job with an AI Online Degree to repay the vast sum you've racked up!
I have been taking classes at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online for about a year now. I live near Pittsburgh and wanted to attend the Campus there but could not because of a full-time job and 4 children. The classes have been great and I am learning a ton. I am in the Web Design and Interactive Media program and it is exactly what I have hoped. I have the flexiblity that I need to juggle my work life, family and school. I think with the online classes you get back what you put in and a lot of these people that complain do so because they don't try. Their the same people that would fail out of Harvard and then blame it on the University and say it's a bad school. The class do move rapidly but you have to put in the right effort or you'll get mothing for them and proably fail. so far everything has been great for me and I can't wait to finish and get started on my new career.
I have seen what some of you are speaking of about the workload and time expectations, which I have had somewhat less trouble with because I go part time instead of full. I think I would wonder if I learned anything otherwise, five and a half weeks is a short amount of time to pack all that information into. It made math very difficult but on the flip side it was over much quicker. I have found a lot of help when I needed it each time. Even in elementary school through high school and in on ground college there were some teachers that were awful and didn't really care and some that you remember for their diligence in your learning experience but I have to say that 8 times out of ten I have had wonderful professors who genuinely take an interest in helping students to understand and are exceptional in their participation and will adjust if you feel they aren't quite there or giving you the time or feedback that you need.
I also had the same experience with the calls from my first academic advisor and then being switched to a second and then a third but my first academic advisor explained to me that this would happen and that she was there to help me get the hang of things and then I would be passed to some one else once a year or so had passed. This happened with my financial aid advisor as well. I'm surprised that your first advisor didn't make you aware of that; I knew it was coming. My current advisor isn't as diligent and at times I don't always get a call back right when I need it but I was also informed that if for some reason I need someone asap I can call student support and have them connect me with another advisor to help me immediately, which I had to do last semester to fix a scheduling problem.
I would say that this college can be a wonderful opportunity for some but it's important to be diligent in finding out everything, I was all over everyone when I was in the admission process, I wanted to know everything and I annoyed them shamelessly to find out all that I could. I advise anyone who may be thinking of going to school anywhere to adopt the same method, it’s your education and ultimately it is business even at your local community college and at Harvard and just about anywhere you go where you pay for your education.
I love the Art institute online and feel that it is a great school; I am constantly impressed by the set up, the professors, the information and skills I take from each class and the overall experience. I may be one of the lucky ones though; I know that "stuff" happens and I sympathize with all of you who had a bad experience there it is expensive and not worth it for the side of the coin that all of you had with it, I hope that your future college experience goes much better and that you find a school that is right for you.
I took most of my classes for my graphic design degree at the brick and mortar school in Denver. There, I never felt more like a number in my life. The administration never wanted to deal with issues, the teachers were disengaged and had moral issues (there were some exceptions) and the staff from the registrar to financial aide were pleasant but disorganized. I was thrilled to get an opportunity to take some classes online. However, the online experience was worse.
I had one instructor who rarely signed on. Another instructor taught a packaging class with no real packaging experience or knowledge except for what was taught in the text book. It was as if she was taking and teaching the class at the same time. I contacted the administration and didn't get any real response until the courses were almost over. I would never take another class at the Art Institute, online or on ground. Shop around!
As I write this, I have just finished my first 4 classes online at the art institute. Prior to this I completed an online program for business at the university of phoenix online. The AI program is far and away a better environment, but there are still exceptions. My experience at phoenix is regrettable. The 'facilitators' tend to have zero clue about teaching and from the things they would post it was truly as if they were there only to collect the paycheck, simply cutting and pasting comments and changing names.
Of the 4 classes I had so far, one of them was similar to my previous experience. I thought it was maybe just me, but her conduct truly was unacceptable and my suspicions were later confirmed by others in the class. Aside from her, the other classes have been well organized and feedback has been good. The teachers respond generally quickly and are informative. I also get the feeling that they are motivated to share their understanding of art and drawing etc.
The curriculum is demanding. usually more than the required 4 of 7 days (participation requirement) is needed to complete projects for one or the other class (2 classes at a time). Though strenuous, I find the assignments interesting- though this could be because I am much more interested in design than I am management. The curriculum is well thought out though and the best in my opinion for this program
My other thoughts- I thought long and hard before choosing another online school and I did my research before choosing this one. It was close between here and SCAD... IADT was also in the run for a bit, but their customer service was less than what I was willing to put up with. They are all expensive, so be prepared for that- and make sure you keep an open line of communication with your finance and academic counselors... don't forget that in the end this is all just business.
My experience was lukewarm and not as I imagined it would completely be. I expected the learning experienced to be enriching and intensely creative. While sometimes I was fortunant to be in a class where the instructor was just that and then some, I also was stuck in classes where the instructor was not much involved with the students or the learning process. This was very frustrating because I was not the only one feeling this way, but yet could do nothing to improve the situation. I even confronted one of the teachers through email and inquired why the lack of participatiion and interaction. She became very offended and snapped back with a "Happy Thanksgiving to you too!" So, yes, it might have been a bit cold-hearted to confront her at the end of a holiday, but WE still had assignment to turn in and were NOT given a break so that we too could enjoy Thanksgiving Day.
Class does not stop for holidays. You are still held responsible for submitting assignments, even when there is a lack of instruction or reasonable time to do the work due to holiday events your family expects you to be at. An online class is basically this: pre-written jumbo-mumbo (lectures) and asssignment that are not authored by the instructor assigned to you. Sometimes even the instructor has trouble deciphering what the lecture or assignment is asking of the students. Most of the time to have to buy a couple books for each class, and the books are usually over $50 each. The class lectures are sometimes very general and do not really share insights to real-time knowledge or anything that is revolutionary. You spend most of your time reading through your books rather than getting insider knowledge from the instructor, who all are some kind of graphic arts professionals in real life... some aren't real teachers, though.
All the knowledge you get a glimpse through these classes can easily be found online or at your local bookstore/library. The instructor sometimes can be a genuine inspiration, but most times seems more like the babysitter paid to watch you and may sometimes change a diaper, if her boyfrined isn't over. I honestly wish I had been able to go to an on-campus school. You actually don't give up more of your time than you would attending an online school. On-line schooling still has attendance requirements (4 out of 7 days of the week, in my case) and you spend a great deal of time working on assignments. On-campus would have been a better deal because at least you would be able to talk to a real person and not feel like you are alone in this process. My goal was to learn more about my trade and become proficient. While I do know a few more tricks, it wasn't what I really was expecting, especially for how expensive it was.
My advice would be to all who are interested in online schooling is to SHOP, SHOP around ALOT. Find the school who is willing to provide quality instruction and hold their instructors accountable for delivering quality instruction. When I was having issues with instructor quality, I did make my inquiries and complains to the administrative staff but was basically told to go figure it out with the instructor. It was hopeless. So, in the end, I have come to discover that having a face-to-face interaction really is the best deal, at least for me. It does not allow people to hide behind the cloak of digits and wires. It is more conducive to a more honest approach and online schools have that as a challenge to overcome. Big thanks, however, to the three online instructors that were truly teachers in every sense. They gave me hope that not every class instructor is a total flop. Maybe I just need to find the right online school in the future. Shop, shop, shop...