Help with HUGE decision

Ok, first, let me say that this is not easy to write; as I am basically admitting failure. But I feel I truly need some 3rd party guidance at this point, so here I am.

I have been in the Industrial Design program at Arizona State University for the past 3 years. Last year, (after my 2nd year in the program) I was not accepted into the “upper division” of the program (basically the last 2 years of the program). I realized that I may not have been ready at that time to be in the upper division, learned from my mistakes, and went on with my studies. This past spring, I reapplied to the upper division. Again, I was not accepted outright; but was placed as an “alternate”. I guess a few students were accepted on the provision that they complete some deficiencies over the summer. If they don’t, I’m in. (I don’t see this happening, but stranger things have happened.) Through discussions with my peers, instructors, and members of the acceptance committee, I have come to the conclusion that I was turned down, not for my design work, but for my low GPA. (I won’t get started on that topic…)

So what I need to do now, is lay out a plan for myself. I will show my options, give my thoughts on them, and then ask you guys for your input…

  • 1 - Transfer from the ID program into the Design Management program (BA in Design Management). With the classes I have completed, I would be able to graduate with this degree in 2 semesters (Spring 07). Then go on to work as a Design Manager.

  • 2 - Transfer to another school. I would only consider this if I could start up in a program with only 2 years to complete in it. I say this for reasons I explain at the bottom of this post.

  • 3 - This is more of an extension of ‘Option 1’. Take the Design Management route, work for a few years, then go back to school for a Masters in Industrial/Product Design (or maybe a Bachelors in Design).

I know you guys may be wondering why I don’t just try a third time (“Third time’s a charm they say!..”). Well, without even talking about the pride issue, I am not able to pay 3 more years of out-of-state tuition.

At this point, I truly see my only option as graduating with the degree in Design Management and beginning a career in the industry. I can always go back in a few years to complete a degree strictly in Industrial after I am able to pay tuition again. This is not the path I wanted to take, but who knows, it may all work out better in the end.

So what do you guys think? I really need some positive, knowledgeable input here. I truly appreciate it!

I think if you want to be a designer, be a designer. I would finish the 2 semesters as a BA Design Manager but start looking for feelance design work, internships etc. You typically need professional design experience in order to become a design manager. A design manager is a boss, and I’ve never heard of an entry level boss. My 2 cents

ditto, I really don’t understand these BA’s in design management some schools are offering. Most places require 8-10 years of experience to be a design manager. It just doesn’t make much sense to me, but I could be missing something.

Does your GPA blow that bad? Are you sure that is the only reason? It just seems odd to have a student sit in limbo, is there more to this story?

I was thinking the exact same thing myself… But I just can’t sit here in college for the next (who knows how many years) paying out-of-state tuition trying to get this degree.

I am just below a 3.0, which I’m sure hurts me, but I have been told that students have gotten in without having the 3.

I’ll be honest, I know I’m not the greatest designer around, but when you have a person from THE committee sit down in front of you and can’t find anything but litte nitpicks… that’s saying something. Not to mention students from the upper division wondering why the heck I’m not up there. At this point, I’m just completely fed up with the people and program here that I need to get out and move on.

That’s a great idea and all, but how am I suppose to get freelance work or internships without having the ID degree; or even being in the program anymore for that matter?!

If you are so fed up why don’t you go somewhere else. Just because you don’t have an ID degree dosen’t mean you can’t do freelance work. Your portfolio speaks louder than words. I do graphic design freelance work and I do Packaging for aliving, I have an ID degree not a graphic design or a packaging degree.

I agree with YO, there seems to be more to this story. So my 2 cents is to go somewhere else and start in a new program.

sounds like a really rough and awkward position to be in.

After my second semester in ID it was recommended by the department that my professors give me “friendly F’s” (not joking) and ask me to transfer to another school. I was put on academic probation and told I was not a good fit for the school. I thought about it for awhile, flew out to Art Center, saw how many more years it would take me to graduate and formulated a new plan.

I set up a meeting with the provost (kind of like a dean or VP of the school), showed him my portfolio and asked him what grades he thought I should get, then I showed him my grade sheet… we set up a meeting with the head of the department and ironed things out. I t all worked out for the best.

So before you let someone shake you from your path, make sure you exhaust every option.

Great to see that you are trying to set up a plan and backup approach.

I think you would be happiest setting your goals toward the degree that you want.

If you take the second best option and follow a path toward the alternative, you will have regret years later that you wasted your time.

I had a good opportunity one time, but it still was the second best option. Looking back I should have held out for my break. I would have wasted less time in the long run.

Tuition is daunting, but time is your enemy not bills.

The GPA issue is so far out of your control I would not lose a wink of sleep worrying " could I have done better" Plenty of schools have the 3.0 mark and do not let students with a 3.4 get into the intended program of study. Students at the B.S. or B.A. level rarely can change years of department politics. Sure it might be the reason, but it might not.

If you want a management degree than get a full blown management degree from a good school of management.

Most likely a baby boomer will not understand the design management degree title. There have been a ton of these chocolate-vanilla swirl type degrees offered and employers are not hiring a thinly educated thinly experienced person out of school. That is the reason why the MBA is so popular right now.

I truly appreciate the insight guys!

I should probably tell you guys about the selection process here at ASU’s ID program. Some 80 or more students come into the ID program freshman year. By the end of the 2nd year, that number is down to about 45-50. They only take 24 students into the upper division each year. Now it is common knowledge around here that one of the main reasons for this, is due to lack of studio space. But they will also be quick to turn down any ideas of rearranging rooms to allow for more students. (Industrial has the smallest upper division by far compared to the other programs: graphic, architecture, planning, interior)

On the topic of “there being more to the story”, I really don’t know what else there could be. I layed out everything that I know of to you guys here. And no, I’m not trying to make this sound like a “the world’s against me” thing. I can’t stand when people always find someone or something else to blame their troubles on. I do see where I may have screwed up in the past, but I will not take the full blame for this 2nd time around.

I would like nothing more than to start up fresh at a new school; but there really is no way for me to continue paying tuition. (I guess I should start playin’ the friggin lottery or something!)

EDIT: I wanted to throw in a quick note on the GPA. When it comes to my design core classes, my GPA is above that 3.0 line. (I believe something like a 3.25 or so) It’s my CUMMULATIVE GPA that is just below a 3.0.

Just out of curiousity, if I were to transfer to another school, what are the better options out there? Preferably on the west coast; or possibly the midwest.

i am all up for changing uni’s

okay it may be different in aust but if you change universities here you dont have to go back to the start of the degree

they take into account what you subjects you have done elsewhere and put you into the right timeframe for you

e.g. if you finish two years in a Bach of ID at one uni then you will most likely be put into the third year at a different uni

is this the same there or not? might be worth checkin out

did you have to show a portfolio to get into your ID program freshman year?

UC (though if your GPA is low this will be a problem)
CIA (Cleveland)
CCAD (Columbus)
AAU (san Fran)

yo, I was researching the schools you listed there, and came across the online programs that AAU offers. I was surprised to see that they seem to offer a full-blown Industrial program totally online, and is accredited!

I’m sure it would take a lot of self-motivation on my part, but I don’t see that being an issue for me.

My only question is whether it would be a smart idea to complete my degree in this way… I understand the importance of having interaction with instructors and fellow students, but it seems that they have a well set up system that allows for this online.

Any thoughts? or maybe someone actually has some experience with an online program at AAU…

You definitely have already received some good responses. I don’t know what you’re looking for? You just got to make your own decision. Go with your gut.

You got to understand that it’s got to come from you, many of us have had discouraging events and there just tests to see if you have got it in you to push on.

I had a teacher tell me that I was not good at the game of school and it might be best if I drop out and you know what I shrugged it off. That next year, that very teacher saw my work in a show and asked to buy a piece. And I negotiated the cost above his asking price, ha. Just an example you got to believe in your abilities and push on. Plus life kind of gives you little clues if you’re in the right place or not.

I just met someone two weeks ago on an airport shuttle that works for an ID firm in NY and has bachelors in psychology. She just built her skills on her own and put herself out there.

Time and time again you here it on this board that your portfolio and skill sets are what matters in getting a job. So if your design skills are tight and you persevere than you have got nothing to worry about, just be honest with yourself.

I totally agree with you TerraCotta.
It doesn’t matter what sort of advice you get elsewhere, it always does come back to you and what makes you happy. However, it is always a good idea to build up as much knowledge from others as possible.

I know I will come out of this a stronger person (and a better designer)!

Southpaw, just out of curiousity, what state are you a resident of? If money is an issue, you could always see if there’s a state school so you could pay in state tuition (eg, UC and MassArt are pretty cheap for OH/MA residents, respectively.).

And I’m guessing you have alot of core work done, right? If you transfer, I’m guessing you’ll probably be able knock out alot of the core classes. I’m guessing though that a fully online degree program for ID, an field where there’s interaction with people and alot of critiques is a good idea…plus actually being around people striving for the same goals will make you work better/harder/smarter.

Oh yeah, and I think someone suggested on this thread to give up on your dream and just get whatever bachelors and then figure out what you want to do. DON’T DO THAT. If it’s really your dream to be a designer, then work your ass off and be the best you can. I’ve been a working professional for a few years now (NOT in ID), just because I got a BS in whatever and thought I’d be alright…now I’m trying to get into ID somehow, and it just gets harder as you get older…so go for what you want when you’re young and have the freedom to go for it.

Best of Luck.

My parents live up in North Dakota right now, so that makes me a resident up there. And I can guarantee that there isn’t an ID program up there!

I’m assuming you meant ISN’T a good idea here…

You’re right, I do have a lot of core work done, and that is actually one of the reasons that I contemplated the idea of finishing up with an online program. It shouldn’t take me longer than a year, maybe 2, depending on how many courses they transfer.

But that is why I would like to get some input from someone who may have experience in such a program; particularly the one at AAU.

I hate to dig this back up, but I still am curious if anyone has any experience with AAU’s online programs. Or any thoughts on the idea of completing a degree online.

Have you no professor you have a relationship with? Can you ask for a meeting that is confidential and get sincere helpful feedback on the reasons why they have decided twice to keep you out of the advanced program?

Not to throw cold water on your hopes and dreams, but there could be factors in your ability or skills that prevent them from accepting you, yet out of fear of hurting you, prevent them from telling you so?

Would it not be better to know at this stage than to spend your life struggling?

I hear where you’re coming from, and have already done so. Over the past year, I have met with 3 seperate faculity members about my work and my chances of getting in. Each time, I asked them to be totally honest (for the same reason that you state at the end of your post), and each time, I was given good news. They had the typical small gripes, but nothing I didn’t fix up before submitting the final portfolio. What they didn’t see at the time I went in, was my transcript. Which, as I stated earlier in this thread, shows my low cumulative GPA (approx. 2.8 ); My speculative downfall.