Into + School direction for veteran with few options?

Hello everyone. I wanted to give you a little introduction and explanation of my goals in hopes of getting a little guidance.

I’m determined to pursue a career in design but I’m not quite sure where to go. I attended high school in England and shortly after that enlisted in the US Army. Throughout school the only subjects I was good at were Art and Design Technology. In the past 5 years I’ve really lost touch with those abilities but feel I betrayed myself abandoning that world.

So, here I am now, out if the Army with no SATs (we don’t do them in England) and looking at schools.

For a while I assumed I would go to Community College and transfer to a university with an ID program. However, looking at the course structures, it seems I would be behind the curve in terms of foundation design classes which I desperately need. I then looked at the Art Institute here in Seattle and while it seemed to offer what I want, it appears to have a horrible reputation and a lack of flexibility in that essentially nowhere else accepts their credits.

Now I was trying to stay in Seattle or at least the northwest, but this week I’ve been looking into the Academy of Arts University in SF as it seems to have an up and coming ID course and having no SATs, obviously the open enrollment appeals.

Summery: Out if Army, 25, want to study ID, Art Institute, CC then ID at University, or AAU in SF.

I’m sure I could dig and search and find other similar discussions but I wanted to have one for my personal situation. I hope this isn’t bad form and I really appreciate any feedback or guidance.

I wasn’t sure about what you were saying about the Community College transfer, but I’ll input with my experience.

I went to CC to get a Fine Arts portfolio, and then transfer to a school of my liking. While at CC it also too care of some Gen Eds I needed. I started my BA at the age of 24, starting with foundation art freshmen year at the transfer college (ID stuff didn’t start till sophomore year). I had a nice portfolio from CC Fine Art classes and gave me some nice scholarships to transfer. CC didn’t cost me anything, financial aid took care of that for me. If you want to transfer into a program (2nd year student), I’d keep searching around for something that will work out with your existing academics (if you plan on going to CC).

Thanks for the quick insight. I’ll clear up what I meant about CC. I would have liked to go to University of Washington to study ID but because I didn’t take the SATs, I can’t be admitted. I understand that some people go to Community College for 2 years and then finish the last 2 years of a 4 year degree at university.

Honestly I’m a little confused about how the US college system works but it seems like people get the general education requirements for a degree finished at a CC, and then do core courses at university. But it seems like ID has classes related to the study for the whole 4 years. So if I went to CC, wouldn’t I be trying to do the first two years of foundation design courses and the last 2 all at the same time?

Most likely your CC won’t have an ID track, but you can find art foundation courses that will help transfer. And you won’t be transferring into the 3rd year. 2nd year is more likely, but every college is different with different curriculums. The best way to figure this out is to call/meet up with the college of choice and create a plan.

Just to clear up some stuff. A typical Bachelor degree involves 4 years of college. Most community colleges are 2 year programs giving them an Associates Degree. You don’t have to take 2 complete years. Take whatever you need to transfer. Depending on the transfer credits, and courses you take, that will determine what year you will transfer into. Like I said earlier, the only way to figure this out is to call counselors at the schools and plan out a curriculum. Everyone has their own route. As far as your SAT thing goes, I’m not sure how that works, maybe someone else can chime in on that.

From my experience, ID is a “3 year” program (1yr foundation art/design, 3yrs core). All the schools I applied to were art schools for a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), you can also obtain other ID degrees that might contain more engineering classes. Freshman year, ID work is minimal (if any), and concentrate on the foundations of art and design, drawing, color, art history etc. Even though I went to CC and had gen eds and fine art classes, I still transferred into freshman year. This seemed annoying at the time, but when I look back at it, I’m glad I did. It really helps connect with peers, and made college that much more fun and easy to get by.

I went to CC for 1 and a half years for Fine Art classes. This got me scholarships, and I think out of the 6 schools I applied to, only 1 of them offered a transfer into 2nd year. I’m sure if I talked to certain schools, I could’ve gotten into 2nd year, but it really just depends on the school. Whatever road you choose to take, I’d make sure you get the proper classes, for transfer and/or graduation. Double and triple check this with both schools, so you don’t have to take superfluous classes or taking the same ones, twice.

Most “4 year” ID programs are as described below, really 1 year of foundations art classes which you take with students who will go into other Fine Arts majors like Sculpture, Painting, Graphic Design, etc. then 3 years of your major after that. I, along with several of the people I went to school with, spent 2-3 years earning an Associates degree at a Community College (also getting several General Education requirements out of the way for much cheaper than at the University). This also meant I had more time to explore foundations / fine art, and that made it easier for me to build a strong portfolio to apply/ transfer to the University.

In my case, the Community College and the University had a pretty good relationship, and the counselors at the CC were able to make sure that most if not all of my classes would transfer with full credit. If you know where you plan to transfer, or have a few places in mind, the CC should be able to help ensure the classes you are taking will be accepted by that school.