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Old 25-03-2003, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default Collins college

Well... im in 11th grade right now, so its its time to start thinking about colleges and other options...

So far collins colege seems to be the best be a really amazing place for learning all about 3d! Im just wondering if anybody here has been there or has any views on that place?

Also i have some questions about it.. ill just list them out.

How smart do you have to be to go there? ... like do they pay alot of attention on school grades and sat grades.. or would they accept somebody with a better portfolio and attitude?

Is this place in a secluted area far away from everything, or is there always alot going on around it?

How would you rate the 3d program?

How are the teachers?

(if you went) Did you have a good time there? How old are most of the people that go for the 3d program?

Do they concentrate mostly on animation?



well.. those are the questions i can think of right now... so if anybody can answer any of them.... it would be greatly appreciated by me
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Old 25-03-2003, 03:22 AM   #2
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I went to Collins.

I also co-taught there for a about a year after I graduated.

Ok, here goes: I had a bad experience. But I made the most of it, and I got a decent education out of it.

When I signed on, I went into the only animation course available at the time: Visual Communication w/ EMPHASIS on animation.

Do not take this course! lol

Make sure you understand exactly what kind of courses you will be taking, and BE SURE to find out what the other kinds of courses are available. There may be new ones by now. I graduated from Collins in Dec 2000, and taught there until Oct. 2001.

In my situation, as it turned out, a NEW course had become available that I was never told about. It was an Associates in Animation (also called AA).

OK, so here's how it is:

For an Associate's Degree (which is what I got) it's an 18-month span of time. You do not get a summer break. You get 1 week for Christmas, 1 week for Spring Break (in May), and a extra day for other holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter. You have class 5 hours per day, Mon-Thursday, with the labs open on Friday and usually Saturday as well. The have 3 class "blocks" per day, 8am-1pm, 1pm-6pm, 6pm-11pm. I had the 1pm-6pm class block, which, while an awesome break from getting up early in high school, is difficult when it comes to a job, because of the large break in the day. When I taught, I co-taught 2 classes a day, 1pm-11pm.

I will tell you now, that if you do NOT go on Friday and Saturday, you will NOT succeed! I know that's a strong statement, but each class is 20 days (5 weeks, Mon-Thurs) and that is just NOT enough time to really teach you everything. If you really want to stand out, you NEED to put in as much extra time as you can, either before/after class and on weekends. There are always Teacher Assistants there who (if they were anything like me) would be glad to tutor you.

For the VisCom course that I took, the first 15 months was stuff like: Illustration, Photoshop, Visual Communication, Typography, Printing, etc.... were these classes terrible? No. But were they 3D animation? NO! Only the last 3 months really got into computer graphics and Maya. Now, the AA course also has time away from Maya, but you've got classes like Traditional Animation, Life Drawing, etc... which are classes that can really benefit directly for computer animation.

I remember when I went, I really noticed the seperation between VisCom and AA... my Maya 1 class had about 30 students. That was cool. Maya 2? TWO students (and that's INCLUDING me). Maya 3? ME! Alone. Now, you would think: AWESOME! A whole class to myself! Nope. I was put in a Maya 1 class with... 30 other students. The teacher had no time to teach me the advanced stuff, because he was too busy teaching Maya 1 students the basics that I already knew.

However, I made the most of it: I complained about the situation to the Director, and got free classes as well as a job as a TA.

Two teachers that I know of that are still there are Ryan Heuett and Jeff Hall. Ryan is cool and good at teaching. Jeff is quite awesome, although very strict. He's had 10 years game experience and he's starting the new Game Program at Collins in the next month or so (should be great if you're interested in games).

So, let's get to your questions:

How smart do you have to be to go there? ... like do they pay alot of attention on school grades and sat grades.. or would they accept somebody with a better portfolio and attitude?

They do not pay attention to grades really. I had an exceptional ACT score of 30 that would have gotten me a good scholarship anywhere else, but they pretty much ignored it. They did have a CD-Design contest that I placed 5th (out of 180) and got a $1000 scholarship, though. Ask about such opportunities! They make it seem as if it's tough to get in, but, after seeing some of the people that made it... lol I didn't have to show a portfolio to get in, but I've heard some did.

Is this place in a secluted area far away from everything, or is there always alot going on around it?

It's located in Tempe, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Tempe is a COLLEGE town. ASU is only half a mile from Collins, and there's plenty of nightlife locales. Let me tell you though... like any good parent ... you don't need to hang around them. The school is literally open to you from 8am-11pm. If you know what's good for you, you be in the labs whenever you can. I'm not joking! But, no, it's not secluded.

How would you rate the 3d program?

While I was a student, I would have rated it pretty low. However, after I got a job there, Jeff and I, along with a few other teachers, really revamped it, and I'd rate it quite good now. But again, I'll say, if you only go to class during your M-Th, 5 hr time slot... you won't excell. Out of each class of 30 I co-taught, only 1 or 2 really caught my eye as being achievers, and you WANT to be one of those two!

How are the teachers?

90% of the teachers are excellent, although some can be cocky. That's the way it is at any art school, though.

(if you went) Did you have a good time there? How old are most of the people that go for the 3d program?

To be honest, before I knew of the AA program (which was about 13 months into my 18 month tenure), I had a blast. I was taking courses in drawing, Photoshop, etc which beat the hell out of Grammar and Calculus! The vast majority of the students are pretty young... 19-25. Every now and then, you'd find an older person looking to improve themselves. I remember one student in particular who was about 58 years old. He was cool.

Do they concentrate mostly on animation?

Not in the Associate's program. It's all just learning the basics. If you really want to get into more complex instruction, you'd want to see about going for their Bachellor's course, as well.

Hope that helped. Feel free to email or whatever if you have any more questions.
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Old 25-03-2003, 03:51 PM   #3
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Wow that was a wealth of Knowledge mtmckinley! I think I might look into their degree plans. That sounds like the kind of further education I'm looking for.

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Old 25-03-2003, 07:02 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, I wanted to mention, that I've kept in touch with Jeff and they've added 3D Studio Max to the curriculum... Now, they teach both Maya and Max. Very cool. Wish I had that when I went.

BTW: here's a link to the school for those interested: www.collinscollege.edu
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Old 25-03-2003, 08:17 PM   #5
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WOW! thanks alot mike! im very impressed on how much information you gave out. im very glad i could get so much information from somebody that isnt just trying to advertise the college.

I guess that place seems to be the best bet for me! the only thing that i dont like about it seems to be the lack of free time! ... that and the fact that it just costs so much!

When i got the dvd for that place, it seemed like the work that the students did was just amazing! so, hopefully ill be able to take a trip out there to check it out this this year.

I just have one more question... how do you go about getting housing there? did you have to get an apartment or something? and was it expensive?

thanks again!!!!!!
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Old 25-03-2003, 08:36 PM   #6
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Sure, dbirider, I'm glad to help.

One thing you might want to be aware of, is some of the work I've seen along with Collins advertisements have been done by the teachers. Not sure if that's still the case or not.

As for the costs, it's actually cheaper than a lot of other schools I've looked at. It's been a couple years, though, so costs might be higher, but when I went, it was about $23k for the 18 months. I know many other schools charge upwards of $30-40k for the same amount of time.

Man, I'm glad you asked about housing... DO NOT GO THROUGH THE SCHOOL'S HOUSING! I can't emphasize that enough. NO ONE I've every spoken to who has gone through the housing department for a place to live has EVER been happy with it. I would HIGHLY recomend getting an apartment yourself. The area does have a high cost of living, so apartments can be expensive, but picture this:

You and a friend go togther on a 1 bedroom apartment. You both pay +/- $300/mo. not including electricity and phone. But, if you go through housing, not only do you get stuck with a bunch of people (and they don't pay attention to your "roommate preferences!") you STILL pay +/- $300/mo and you have monthly inspections.

So, let's just say, I was happy to get my own place. Might have been more expensive, but I was happier. I had a studio apartment. It was $460/mo. Kind of a ripoff, so shop around. I live 1500 miles away from Tempe, so I wasn't really able to go visit or anything. I pretty much joined and called ahead for an apartment, sight-unseen.

I'll say this: you're not getting into this field for free time and play time... if you really want to stand out, you're going to really have to live, eat, and breathe this stuff! And remember, this stuff is supposed to be fun!

Feel free to ask anything else. I know that school pretty well. Tell 'em Mike sent ya! lol

EDIT:

Oh, by the way, remember the CD design scholarship I mentioned? They do have categories for 11th graders, so maybe you could try that out! It'd be awesome to get a few $k worth of scholarships by winning in both 11th and 12th.
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