International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT)
Jul 18, 2004 (Updated Aug 20, 2009)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Relaxed atmosphere, small classes, encouraging staff, excellent computer equipment
Cons:No student housing, Waaaaaaay too expensive.
The Bottom Line: IADT is a great school for students interested in a career using their artistic talents. But I don't recommend it now because it has gotten too expensive.
UPDATE January 2008 - I still think IADT is a good school with great staff....BUT.....they have gotten too greedy. Their tuition now costs more than attending Harvard and there is no need for them to increase the tuition like they have. They are good, but not THAT good. I wouldn't be able to send another child to this school because it is rediculously expensive now. Therefore I have changed my recommendation to NO for anyone to attend this school. There are other art schools such as The Art Institute which is just as good and less expensive.
Recommend this product?
Below is my old review:
International Academy of Design and Technology - Tampa Location
Follow your heart and pursue your talents and dreams. This is what I told my little “Mr. No Up or Down” when he told me that he wanted to try to have a career using his talent as an artist. When he was in the 12th grade in high school, we asked his Advertising Design teacher, Walt Thomas, (quick plug for wonderful teacher) what art schools he recommended. His recommendation immediately was the International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT). So we started researching this college.
Researching on line we discovered that the International Academy of Design and Technology (henceforth I will refer to it as IADT) has several locations scattered around North America. The locations are:
Las Vegas, NV
There is more detailed information about each location at www.Artschools.com/IADT.
Since I wanted to keep my little man as close to home as possible, but far enough away from his current buddies that they couldn’t pop in on him every weekend, I began looking closer at the Tampa, Florida location. Tampa is an 8 to 9 hour drive from Montgomery - too far for his Montgomery buds to drop in. I wanted him to concentrate on his education.
Yes, the beautiful city of Tampa was the perfect spot.
The first thing I wanted to see was what types of curriculum they offered and how much the tuition was going to set me back.
IADT Tampa Curriculum
Not all of the IADT campus’ offer the same courses so I had to make sure there was some type of art major at the Tampa campus that he would be interested in. I wrote the admission’s office and asked for information to be mailed so that we could understand more about their school, the courses, the degree programs, and the cost.
About one week later I received a large packet of information about the college. My son and I went over it together. These were the degreed courses the Tampa campus offered:
Web Design and Development
Fashion Design and Marketing
Update May 28, 2005
They have added the following degreed courses over the past year:
Marketing and Design
Digital Movie Production
My son rather perked up….”Animation? They have a degreed program in Animation?” he asked.
Yes they certainly did. He was very interested in that. As we read about the classes and computer programs that were required in the Animation Degree program, it seemed more and more like it was designed for a young person with artistic talents. Some of the animation concentration courses listed were:
-- Photoshop for Animators
-- Drawing and Composition
-- Introduction to UNIX
-- Drawing for Animators I and II
-- Director for Animators
-- Storyboards and Scripts
-- 3D Animation
-- Studio Techniques
-- Character Animation
-- Game Design
The instructions in the booklet stated that after successful completion of 96 quarter hours (which includes 24 hours of general education courses), a student with a grade point average of at least 2.0 will have earned his Associate of Science Degree in Computer Animation. If they wished, students could continue on after receiving their Associate Degree to earn their full four year degree.
Update May 28, 2005: The Associate Degree is no longer offered for computer animation students. A student enrolling in Computer Animation must be committed to 4 years of study and earn his/her bachelor’s degree.
This information was taken from their brochure I received in the mail. “IADT is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Its accreditation of degree-granting institutions also is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Additional information regarding the accreditation of IADT may be obtained from the Accrediting Council for Ind. Colleges and Schools in Washington, D.C. at (202) 336-6780.”
Application to IADT
Prospective students are instructed to fill out an application and bring it to the school to set up a tour of the facilities. This was not possible for us because I was working and he was still in school, we could not take the time off for the trip. We filled out the application, included the application fee of $150.00 and mailed it to the admissions office.
All applicants must have a personal interview by a school administrator prior to acceptance. Since we lived in Montgomery, we were notified that the interview would be conducted over the phone.
The phone interview lasted a bit over an hour. An administrator, Dan Stern, asked my son about his long term goals, what his talents were, why he was interested in the academy, what his strong points were, etc. Mr. Stern then asked me if I was fully behind my son making this decision to attend the school, would I help him out financially, would I applaud his achievements, would I make sure he doesn’t go hungry, lots of questions to make sure I was supportive of his decision to attend. Mr. Stern was very pleasant and we both enjoyed talking with him. At the end of our conversation, we were immediately told that my son was the kind of student they would like to have. He could start either in July (summer quarter) or in October (fall quarter). We decided that we needed a bit of time to prepare for his move so he would start in October.
We were very happy.
Mr. Stern suggested that we visit the campus prior to fall quarter so that we could complete the financial aid process and tour the campus.
IADT is located at 5104 Eisenhower Blvd. in Tampa. The old campus on Memorial Highway has closed and all classes have been moved to the new, bigger building on Eisenhower Blvd. Even though the mailing address is on Eisenhower Boulevard, it is easier to enter and park by going up George Road. The George Road entrance goes directly into the parking lot/deck. There are many shaded spots in the parking deck to protect your car from Florida's hot summer heat.
There are also several handicapped spaces in the shaded area of the parking deck and a ramp up to the door of the school. The school has 4 floors and several elevators to cart me up to each floor.
The school has an open door policy and I can see why. I had to slowly walk up the hall because I was just enthralled at all of the artwork covering the walls along the hall. Ceiling to floor, one end to the other, were displays of the students work. Some very talented students were here.
I did have an appointment with financial aid so I had to pick up my pace and head to the FA department.
We all know that the only thing constant about tuition is that it changes. Currently the tuition for the animation program is $3,540 per quarter. My son has not taken time off during the summer so the yearly tuition for him has been $14,160. Books run about $220.00 per quarter.
The young lady in financial aid who assisted us was very knowledgeable about all of the financial aid programs. She put my financial information into a computer and knew in a matter of minutes that we were not eligible for a Pell Grant. She gave us several options of how to pay and gave us her best recommendation. Since we were going to need extra money each quarter to help pay his living expenses (rent, food, gas, etc.) we requested it through an alternative loan from Sallie Mae. We were all set for him to begin in October.
Two Weeks Till Take Off
I was so proud of myself (wrong thing to be). I had everything all set up ready for my child to spread his wings and fly off to college. IADT had his space saved (yes there is limited space), I had a place for him to live (see student housing information below), he had a new wardrobe of hot weather clothing (gets HOT in Tampa) and a new suitcase. “We” were all set to go. As I was basking in the glow of how well I had done in planning this, I was shocked back into reality by one little statement from Mr. No-Up-or-Down:
“I changed my mind.”
I wilted. “YOU DID WHAT?”
“I changed my mind. I don’t want to go. It’s too far away and maybe I can just go to AUM or something.”
We talked, and talked, but he was adamant. He did not want to go. My mind started racing …. “He’s not going to go! Can I get my money back? I’ll have to call blah blah and blah blah to cancel this and that. Egads.”
When in a dilemma, where do I always go…..to my dad.
My dad, like me, was extremely proud of my son. (He helped me raise him.) My dad told me “Don’t cancel yet, let me talk with him.”
This was the good advice that my dad gave to a scared young-un:
“I know it is scary to leave all your family and friends to go to a strange place where you know no one. I did the same thing when I was your age. My mom sent me to school in Atlanta when I was 17. It is really scary. BUT I am asking you to go for only one quarter. That is only three months. If you absolutely don’t like it and want to come back home after the first quarter, I will pay for you to move back to Montgomery. That is a promise.”
The response was different than I expected. My son said “OK.” That was it. Merely ….“OK”. He was back on track to go. My dad later told me that he knew my son would get down there and love it. We just had to let him know that the option to come back was always open. My dad, as usual, was right.
There are no dormitories or student housing on campus at IADT. The school, however, contracts with an agency called Collegiate Housing Services Inc. Our advisor stated that students coming from out of state can apply to Collegiate Housing and they will match the students personal information with another student that has the same interests. There were 4 different apartment complexes in Tampa that contract with collegiate housing to provide students with living quarters. All four were in close proximity to IADT. The rent varied, according to how many students shared the apartment. For 2 students sharing an apartment the rent was $610 per month which included all utility expenses.
Our application was accepted and a space was reserved for my son beginning in October. They stated that prior to moving in, we had to pay a large deposit and have the first month’s rent at registration in October.
The IADT bookstore carries all books and supplies needed for the students. When Mr. No-Up-or-Down first visited the bookstore, he was given not only the books he would need for the first quarter, but also a large, really large, portfolio case. He was told to keep all of his finished projects in this case and by the time he graduated he would have a completed portfolio to show to prospective employers.
The bookstore also carried guy and girl t-shirts with the IADT logo, bumper stickers and window decals for proud parents to purchase. (I waited until his junior year to purchase a couple of these……made sure he was seriously going to stick with it.) Now I proudly wear my IADT T-shirt.
The faculty and staff are wonderful. All that I have met are Artsy type folks and always make me feel welcome to visit and explore the facilities. Every time I visit I spend a lot of time viewing the new works of art displayed on their walls. They have encouraged my son and kept his spirits high about his goals. I have not heard my son say a disparaging remark about any of his instructors. I have dealt with several different financial aid staff members over the past 3 years and all have been friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.
Their open-door policy makes for a very relaxed atmosphere. Any student can make an appointment with any staff member, even the president of the school, to discuss issues or concerns they may have. When my son received his associate degree last year, the president’s signature was not on it. When he saw the president in the hall one day, he stopped him and told him that his diploma was not signed. The president said “Bring it on in! I’ll sign it!” Very friendly manner.
IADT has state of the art equipment. Students learn how to use Silicon Graphics Imaging Stations, Macintosh, SGI, and IBM-compatible personal computers. There is a sound-proof recording studio for students to add sounds to their animated films. You can watch the student at work through a window in this studio.
When I visit, I go with my son up to his class to view his current projects. I am amazed at all the different types of computers and equipment they have. The school is always adding new and innovative equipment to their inventory.
I see new equipment each time I visit.
A Few Important Observances
-- One thing about IADT is when a student enrolls, there is no wavering about what his degree will be in. If a student enrolls in one program (like my son’s newly found friend: when she started she enrolled in Fashion Design) and then decides that the curriculum/course isn’t her cup of tea and changes (she changed to Interior Design), it is like starting over. Many of the courses are geared to that particular degree and if one changes his degree program those credits are lost. So I suggest that the prospective student study the courses and curriculum thoroughly before making a final decision.
--Students are given projects to complete which require a lot of time at a computer. My son spent many hours at the school using their computers for his assignments because we hadn’t bought him one. We finally purchased his computer last year. Animation students need to have a computer that is equipped to handle large programs such as Maya and Photoshop. Check before you buy a computer to make sure it can handle these programs.
--Animation supplies can be found at a less expensive cost rather than buying them at the bookstore. I have been buying them from: Cartoon Supplies Online Store".
-- There are Bulletin Boards in the hallway near the administrative offices. It is very important for students to periodically check the bulletin boards for valuable information. Students can find notices advertising everything from used books to job offers posted on these bulletin boards. There will also be notices about extra workshops offered that are not part of the curriculum. My son found a notice about a workshop to learn about motion-capture equipment. He said it was a fascinating session and was surprised that very few animation students showed up for the training. So, keep an eye on the bulletin boards.
-- IADT - Tampa website address is www.academy.edu for more information.
I really like this school. I like the relaxed atmosphere which is evident as soon as you walk through the doors. The classes are small so the students get individual instruction. Students are encouraged to showcase their work. One of my son’s teachers recommended that he submit his animated cartoon to the Independent Film Festival. Which he did, and they liked it, and it was shown on the educational channel in Tampa during the month of September, 2004.
One more good thing about IADT is that they have an open invitation for all graduate students to return, at any time in the future, to sit in and learn about the new technology that affects animation careers. They are allowed to keep up with the times, at no extra expense.
I recommend that high school students visit the IADT campus, talk to other students and teachers, if they are interested in computer or design careers. I like the school and I think my son made an excellent choice in deciding to reach for his dreams through education at IADT.
Update: May 2005 : Last Quarter Senior Year
We are still thrilled with the education he received at this school and also how the animation staff has supported and encouraged my son - especially during his senior year. During my son’s last quarter of school at IADT, upon recommendation from the school, a employer contracted with my son to produce an animated commercial for their business (yes, he was paid for the work, too!). As soon as he finished the commercial, the school staff had recommended another employer to my little buffalo (inside joke) to produce some storyboards for them (another paid job). So he received some valuable on the job experience prior to graduating and leaving the campus.
His graduation exercises are next week (June, 2005). I plan to go visit the school one last time when I travel down there for his graduation. It will be a happy and a sad time to say goodbye to this school.
Thank yall for reading.
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