The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Reviews
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Beware of the online division of this school. I am a highly educated person that opted to increase my web design knowledge via online education with the Art Institute. If you are an intelligent, warm-blooded human being more than likely you will have much more skill and experience, ethics and professionalism than the zombies AI chooses to employ and entitle "Professional Instructors".
The school is a scam, the instructors are barely mediocre, and the staff doesn't care about the student experience with the instructors or the curriculum. I am still waiting for someone (AI staff) to show some concern regarding a crazed, stalkerly instructor (D Hill) harassing me, and displaying unethical, hurtful behaviors within the classroom environment. I expressed to program directors that I've experienced a great deal of mental anguish, anxiety, and stress due to being consistently harassed by this particular instructor. I paid $1400.00 for this class to experience a big pit of anxiety in my gut??? Seriously?? In addition, once I called out the instructor on her extremely unprofessional behavior she began to grade my projects in a biased and extremely critical way -- vengeance and spite were this instructor's only priorities. Teaching and professionally critiquing was not part of her M.O. I feel ripped off and screwed, on my dime!
Trust me this is NOT a "Higher Education Institution" it's merely a for profit, slaughterhouse, and you're the herd of cattle.
Reconsider your options and do more research before you decide on the scam artists at AI to give your money to. For more reviews check out Yelp.com too.
It took me 4 years to complete an associates degree in Interactive Media Design that is about as useless as the paper it's printed on. I made major sacrifices to finish this degree, working during family vacations holidays all goes of the night while holding a full time job. I ended up on the seans list blah blah but so what after spending all that time and money and busting my hump the job placement center told me that "most of our students are already working in their field of study" then was given nothing nada no help.
I have used some of my skills to acquire my current ADMIN job, making less than 40,000 five years later. Teach yourself this stuff learning how to draw a self portrait is not going to make you the big bucks in web design I haven't done any of my own sites all the programs we used are basically useless more money down the drain...
Do Not believe the recruiters sales pitch they took advantage of a woman with a young family barely scraping by and talked me into what I thought would be a dream job I am not doing anything that has to do with the web and haven't since I graduated. If you want to throw away $40,000 on a two year degree go for it, please don't waste your money and life on this bs school!!!!
Ok, This has got to be the worse place to go! I started in July only because I was "convinced" it was the "best" choice. Which it wasn't, this school hardly takes any breaks for holidays not to mention as soon as I got out of high school I started there. That's school overload for you! Also I become very skeptically of them after away. They never wrote me back over emails they always tried to call me. I guess they didn't want a paper trail, I WARN YOU! get a paper trail, they won't screw you over if you do! I told them my phone was broke when it wasn't and then they were forced to email me.
I was in the Media arts and animation program and it sucked, the credits won't transfer and they were a waste of a class, I passed all my classes with A's or B's but the teaching sucked, I was often getting back handed compliments, while other students that you can clearly tell work was worse than mine and turned their assignments in late got praised. It's not fair at all. All this place wants is your money, all the people in the office have to meet a quota for how many students they need to get a year. That's wrong! How can you manipulate people like that just to earn some money.
Well I told them two months before my last class ended, that I was going to transfer to a college near me because it's too much debt that I can take which was 9,900, for one year! and The financial aid lady asks me very rudely "Well you didn't have to pay for anything out of pocket, so what your problem?" Excuse me, that pure rudeness right there. Well anyways when my last class ended I get an email that says thank you for enrolling in another class! What! I already told them I was transferring after this class not to mention there already took out 5,500 for that class! So of course I got mad like any normal person would, So I wrote the financial aid lady and she wouldn't write me back, come to find out she was ignoring me because she didn't like the tone of my email. So I finally called her and she was rude and saying how dare I use that tone in an email and how rude was I, so of course I got mad again and yelled at her " You know what I have emails that you and the academic counselor acknowledged that I was transferring, so I don't understand why you signed me up for another class and charged me" she told me that everything was automatic there so it's not their fault and well I rebutted with "Well you knew two months in advance so why didn't you just cancel it when I told you too." and all I got from here where some umms.... and frantic breathing, so then I implied " well if that money doesn't get put back, you'll get a law suit on your hands."
Then she got nice and made sure she'll take care of everything. After I hung up five minutes later the money was put back and everything was were it should be. YOU NEED A PAPER TRAIL FROM THEM or they will try to screw you over. That school is not worth your time or effort and the teachings are not good at all, so save yourself and go somewhere else!
My experience, like many former students of AIO is not good. In short I was promised a useful degree and the potential to get a good job if I would just sign on the dotted line. Everything was done quickly and decisions had to be made on the spot . I have assumed multiple student loans and put myself in debt for nothing.
Classes are low quality at best and tuition is ridiculous for a useless educational experience. Art Institute takes advantage of people and has no remorse about abusing the student loan system of our federal government. I am ashamed that I fell prey to their sales pitch and now have student loan debt and no useful degree to show for it. It's all a sham!
I took the Game Art Bachelors degree and was forced to take a whole other Graphic Design degree that I had absolutely no interest in, another 50+ of debt in order to take the Game Art degree in the hopes I could update my skills to a professional level. While there were some good classes and big name instructors from the industry, It pains me to say that in the end, the courses were sub-par.
You are expected to learn from HTML text and books you can buy off the shelf (more on that later) and are expected to 'participate' in class with forum software which seems to be written in 1991. There are almost no video tutorials and the HTML "Online Lectures" actually linked to FREE TUTORIALS ON THE WEB (3d Total Joan of Arc) to "teach" their students.
My experience is that (with one exception) there was hardly any actual real help from the instructors and students were left on their own to basically self-teach the subject while the school conveniently graded them for their exhorbitant fee. I ended up subscribing to other tutorial sites like Digital Tutors that offered vastly superior video instruction for a quantum fraction of the tuition paid at Ai in order to supplement and actually help me learn what was needed to successfully complete modeling assignments.
Getting back to the books, I was actually able to save almost 90 percent of costs by buying used texts from places like Amazon, Half, & eBay. The school nipped this in the bud by making electronic texts mandatory and students are expected to pay 90 dollars PER BOOK with the excuse of saving money and the environment.
In short, this school is a rip-off. Don't let the commercials or recruiters fool you. This is a for-profit school at its worst.
I am now trying to transfer out of AI Minnesota for a cheaper, technical school. My family moved to Georgia, and I feel uncomfortable being so young and living by myself. Especially since if I get sick, there will be no one to help me or even know I'm sick. Why do I rate it so low? Well, it goes a little something like this:
It's a trap.
The credits hardly transfer to other AI schools, if at all. That is a waste of money, way too much money. And the classes? Many times, I was told to "Google" how to use a piece of software....for the WHOLE CLASS. THE WHOLE QUARTER. Each day. Everyday. I might as well paid Google to teach me. Now that I'm trying to move, they make it damn near impossible. AI is great if you don't plan to do any moving around or you like paying that amount of money.
But really, in the end, it is "FOR PROFIT" not "FOR YOUR FUTURE."
Reading these reviews really breaks my heart. The Art Institute Online really set me up for success. Yes, it is a pricey but what school isn't? Its because they employ instructors who have actually worked in the field. Not just got a teaching degree. My instructors NEVER had an issue responding back to me, which says way more than my community college I attended.
As far as job placement, NO SCHOOL CAN GUARANTEE THAT. YOU CANT EXPECT SOMEONE TO FIND A JOB FOR YOU!!!!! Get off your butt and do it yourself. There is online services to help with your resume and mock interviews. Thats what you should be doing anyways. The staff, have you ever been interviewed why you wanted to go to school? At my community college I was just a number. To speak to an Academic councelor took me a wait time of FIVE HOURS! Then she didnt even care what I wanted to do, why I wanted to do it, or even know what she was talking about.
I feel, people expect too much. Expectations are the root of all problems.
I graduated from the Art Institute online in August of this year. I would NEVER recommend this school to anyone under any circumstance. This school is not only unprofessional and their student support is essentially non-existant, but entirely unorganized! You never have the same academic counselors and when you try to discuss classes, credits, etc. they seem to have no clue not only what you are talking about, but who you are. I was scheduled for classes and credits that I had taken at a previous college, but they never transferred, for an "unknown" reason. Fighting the non-transfer of credits was near impossible, and I can assure you that the "appeal process" and "appeal board" must not exist as they seem to never return calls or get ahold of you.
They charge over $200 a semester for online bookstore fees, regardless. If you do not use the service and have not registered for the service, you still pay! They will randomly charge "student cash fees" that are apparently "normal". Financially the school is ridiculous and they will nickel and dome you.
Like I said, I graduated in August, I have yet to receive my diploma in the mail. Having spent days calling my advisor and never having a call returned, this literally went on for week, I had no information as to why I had no degree by October. After two weeks I got a return call, stating I'd have my degree within 8 weeks. It's been 9 weeks and surprise, surprise, my phone calls are going unanswered.
There is no help in regards to finding job placement after graduation either. Defeating the purpose of going to school and landing a job right away.
Overall, the school is just impossible. It's not worth the hassle and the return is non-existant. You can't even get a piece of paper, let alone a return on your investment.
Just purely ridiculous!
These people are MONEY HUNGRY people. They don't care you personally or educationally. Their goals are not your goals. They just want their money and could careless if you ever finished or if you receive a quality education. Both their financial aid and student services personnel aren't concerned about your financial or personal matters. Again, they are only interested in the money part of the deal and they you pay and pay big.
I've read a ton of reviews on here and I really can not relate to anything except for the financial aspect. I have had some amazing instructors with incredible resumes including some who are names in the industry (Toby A. who works for the Food Network is one of my favorite instructors to date).
I am not only learning but also building a portfolio, which is required for graduation. This said some instructors are lack luster but you will find that everywhere. I have also had great experiences getting help with student services. My only complaint is the cost. AIO is a very expensive school and I wish I would have done more research on cost before I decided on attending.
I am only 18 months away from graduation so transferring would be silly, besides I enjoy my classes at AIO. The online classroom is very user friendly and I have not had difficulties getting in touch with any instructors so far. The only other complaint would be that my advisers change too often for my liking.
That can be annoying and create confusion, but its not a big problem. So far so good! We'll see what happens when I graduate!