View Full Version : 2 questions: NASAD important? Good university painting programs?

01-20-2006, 10:31 AM
Hi all,

I'm currently looking into transfering to another institution from my current bachelor's program in painting and sculpture. I've noticed that a number of art schools that are considered to be good according to the U.S. News and World Report (such as Alfred University for ceramics) are not accredited by the NASAD (National Association of Schools in Art and Design). How important is that for my studies? My goal is simply to become the best painter I can. I'm getting my BFA for potential professional purposes only -- may or may not go onto an MFA.

My other question is.... does anyone know of any PUBLIC college/university painting programs? I'm interested primarily in the quality of the programs... places I would consider moving to are North Carolina, Southwest or Northwest.... For instance, I've heard the painting program at University of North Carolina at Greensboro is good, but again, it isn't NASAD. (Oh! I'm asking about public institutions only -- can't afford private tuitions...)...

Any help is greatly appreciated!


01-20-2006, 02:29 PM
I have taken art instruction from the Glassell School in Houston. It is associated with the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and with the University of St. Thomas. You can take courses for credit at UST, or for credit towards the Glassell certificate program. Same courses and instructors, different prices.

I think the facilities and the instructors are first rate, and Houston has a very strong arts community.

01-21-2006, 01:18 PM
Thanks LMCNeel! I appreciate the response. I'll add the school to my slowly emerging list!


02-18-2006, 10:05 PM
Dont give in to the myth that you can't afford a private school. generally speaking it can be more affordable to go to private colleges and universities (the amount of financial aid they have to give is far greater than that of public schools). of course it all depends if you have what it is that they are looking for, but either way, don't get discouraged. I personally recommend the Savannah College of Art and Design, all of their programs are excellent and a diploma from SCAD really means something (it is very very possible to graduate with job offers). it is not dificult to be accepted to SCAD or to recieve financial aid, it is however dificult to stay. If you are a driven student you can go far.
It is not NASAD accredited, however I personally don't think that matters, rather the quality of education is more important.

02-19-2006, 03:00 PM
East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. It's where I am now, and it's amazing. It's also NASAD accredited, has the best faculty I've met (the UNC-G people were mean to me at their open house!), and definitely has the best facilities, including a foundry on campus, in NC. It's one of the largest art programs in the Southeast (something like 550 undergrads and 50 grads I think), but I've never had a studio class larger than 15 people - so you definitely get to know your professors as well as you'd want to, and you'll learn a ton. I'm just in my foundations (freshman) year, but I can already tell that this is a tough program. They push you to be the best.

ECU has a ton of art majors, also. Painting/drawing, sculpture, ceramics wood design, metal design, printmaking, digital stuff . . . just about everything you can think of, I can't even remember them all.

And ECU has a great campus in an okay part of town. UNC-G is an okay campus in a bad part of town. I really didn't like UNC-G when I visited - winding, crazy campus. I have a few friends there, and they complain about the food constantly. I don't know about their art facilities, but UNC-G is very much a performing arts school; visual arts is there, but it's sort of secondary. The only thing that UNC-G really has going for it is that the Greensboro / Winston-Salem area is a very nice part of the state on the good sides of town.

Another option you might look into in NC is Appalachian State University. It's in Boone, which is very pretty but, well, cold and often snowy. It is a very nice campus, but didn't get to see much of their art facilities. And they were nice to me, haha. Their art program has a very solid reputation within the state, though.

02-20-2006, 11:00 AM
Dear Talking Banana and Renae,

Thanks for responding. I just checked into Wetcanvas after a few weeks -- I can't get the program to let me know when a forum I've posted on has a response. I should just check in more often! :)

Anyway, Talking Banana -- I think I will be applying to ECU as a transfer student. I just keep hearing good things. I am an older person and I would like to be transferring to an area in which I would like to live afterwards too, and the Chapel Hill area would be ideal for me, for that, but the art schools that keep coming up are ECU and Appalachian. The thing about the Greensboro program that turns me off is it is only about painting and sculpture. I need more choices and more exposure to other things.

Can you tell me if Greenville has much going on for the older person? A sense of community? Vegetarian restaurants? Any music places? I'll get down there, but I'm just wondering.

And Renae, thank you for getting back. The thing is that this is a second bachelor's for me, so I'm not eligible for grants or scholarships. It's like you better have chosen right the first time (I didn't) or you're out of luck! Ah well. I'm still glad I'm finally doing this.

Thanks soooooooooooooooooooooooo much, both!


02-20-2006, 01:14 PM
Greenville - eh, I've only been here since August and not looking for a lot of that quite yet, but it is a college town. I'm almost positive there's vegetarian restaurants around here somewhere, because all sorts of unusual things like that tend to gravitate towards college campuses. ;)

The downtown - right up next to campus - actually has a lot of neat places once you get past the nightclubs. There's a bookstore/tea/coffee shop that's really neat. And all the shopping anyone would ever need is on one long stretch of road.

There's definitely a sense of community within the School of Art, and I'm pretty sure that once you get involved past trying to fumble through your freshman year, that branches out into the Greenville community at large. ECU is known for its arts and its medicine, and that's what pretty much all of Greenville focuses on.

At any rate, I'm not the best person to answer your question, because I haven't been here long enough and I'm a traditional student, looking for typical college-aged things. You'll have to come visit for yourself. :)

The Chapel Hill area is probably about 2 hours away from Greenville, and the Raleigh/Cary area about 1 1/2 hours. If you end up not liking the city of Greenville even when you absolutely love the school, that's might not be a bad move.

(But even if you love Chapel Hill, I've heard bad things about UNC-Chapel Hill's art program. It's just not very strong.)

02-21-2006, 08:52 AM
Yes, I also have not heard good things about UNC-Chapel Hill's art program. Too bad, since it is a cool place. But right now, the quality of school is very important to me.

Thanks so much for your feedback! I'll visit there probably late spring. Again, thank you.

02-22-2006, 12:39 AM

A NASAD accredited school is a bonus in my opinion. I have worked for two schools that have gone through either accreditation or reaccreditation to NASAD. If you are unsure what NASAD requires from its participants (universities/art institutes), then allow me to share my experiences with you. The two schools I am referring to went through very rigorous inspections which dealt with some of the following items.

*Teacher to student ratios

*Full time Teacher vs Part time teacher ratios

*Facilities inspections which evaluate whether the schools space is adaquate for designated class type. (for example, are the sculpture studios large enough for the class size, and do they have the proper equipment and tools etc)

*Facilities inspections which evaluate the safety and emergency procedures for a space the school has designated for art classes. ( is there enough ventilation in the painting studios, eye rinses and first aide in visible areas etc)

*The programs of study (BFA in painting for example) and their size and course make up. ( they check to see if the degree meets a minimum standard in terms of credit hours and content. Many times they force schools to streamline and reduce classes that are redundant)

*The art department's published materials (They are good at finding descrepencies between things , such as the department's website, vs its printed materials. They are looking for clarity and readablity for the student / consumer)

*Faculty ( they interview faculty members and request that resumes/CV's be accessable to the public.)

These are just a few things that I have noticed . As I mentioned they are very rigurous with their inspections and demanding with their requests of the departments. All of these seem to me, to be in the best interest of the student. That being said, it is not easy for a school to aquire accreditation and if you can find one with the NASAD mark, good for you. Feel a bit more confident in the quality of that instituion. If your prospective school is not in the NASAD group, I wouldnt be completely discouraged. Many good schools are unable to conform to one or more of the organizations requests, and fail to recieve accreditation. This doesnt mean those schools are necessarily horrifying or inadaquate - they just dont fit NASAD's ideal model.

Hope this insider info helps. Please keep in mind I am not an authority on NASAD and its requirements. I am just sharing my experiences with NASAD.