Sending your child to study art at college can be difficult and exhilarating at the same time. On the one hand, you must accept the fact that they will reside near the university and may have to be away from home for some years. On the other, you give your child the opportunity to learn things that will help them in the future, especially after graduation when they begin to live their adult lives.
As a parent, it is your duty to make sure that your child attends a college art program that provides the tools to help them cope with the real world. Equally as important, the school you choose for your child should be one that they also want to attend.
Below are the things you need to look for in a college art program.
Things to look out for the perfect college art program
A balanced environment
Is the faculty composed of instructors with good credentials well known in their field? Does the faculty have a balance of ages, cultures and genders? A predominantly mature faculty may expose the student to the classics but not to digital and modern art; a young faculty may gravitate towards the latest thing and neglect to give an historical grounding. Male professors teach differently from females. Also, look into the ratio of girls and boys on campus – gender equality leads to a better learning experience for your children.
Also known as cooperative education, this combines classroom-based discussions with hands-on activity. This method encourages students to apply what they learn from their professors in a practical work setting. Having a program like this can help graduates transition to the workplace after they leave college. In general, bigger communities will offer more programs of this type.
The campus must have an inspiring environment to help your child create. College art programs in big cities often have the most creative environment, fostered by good design and ample resources.
In addition to being a place that inspires its students, the campus must also allow your child to balance their design studies with extra-curricular activities. Again, bigger communities normally provide more opportunities.
As well as looking for the perfect art program for your child, you also may have to help them with their art portfolio. This is a collection of artworks that best represents their current skills. The art portfolio will be presented during their college interview to help the school gauge whether or not your child is ready for their program.
To make sure that they get accepted by the art program of their choice, let Karen Kesteloot (pictured above) teach your children how to make an art portfolio for college! If you would like to try her FREE portfolio assessment, click on the banner below.
Now that I know what to look for in a college art school, what should I do next?
- Find out which college art courses your child is interested in. Are they interested in commercial or residential design? Are they skillful at freehand drawing or do they prefer digital art and design?
- Visit the campus with your child and ask the professors and students about their experiences there. Are they enthusiastic or stressed out? Do they appear to be highly involved and motivated? Is it a competitive or an interactive social environment? Is the program highly creative or more technical?
- Call up large design firms who hire regularly in the specialization you are interested in and ask their opinion of current grads from the various schools. Call some smaller design shops as well and compare their recommendations.
- The distance of the school from your home is something that you should discuss with your child. If the campus is far away from home, make sure that they can easily keep in touch with you and that health care providers are accessible nearby. When you know that there is help for your child if something goes wrong you will feel much more secure.
- When all is said and done, the decision as to the perfect college art program belongs to your child. What do they feel suits them best? Never force them into the program that you want – let them decide for themselves which college they want to attend. If they ask for your opinion, let them know what you think but always give them the opportunity to make a choice.
As an added bonus, below is a video of Karen Kesteloot talking to success coach and author of “Double Your Income Doing What You Love” Raymond Aaron on how to help your child find the perfect art school for them.
What do you think are the best ways to help your child choose their college art school? Let us know by commenting below!