Art design

‘No starving artists’: Savannah College of Art and Design leans into creativity as US college enrollment declines

The pandemic, soaring costs and questions about relevance had led to a decrease of 5% enrollment in American colleges over the past two years. But one Georgian school is bucking the trend with a different approach.

For a sneaker design class or to shoot a virtual ad in the Arctic, head to Savannah College of Art and Design — also known as SCAD — where design meets technology. The school even gives most freshmen a VR headset.

Registrations are up 9% over the previous year.

“We’re very inventive, more than tradition-oriented,” school president Paula Wallace told CBS News. “Whereas other colleges might emphasize tradition more than invention.”

Wallace said the program is reviewed and updated several times a year.

The most popular majors are Animation, Film, and Fashion. Sneaker design is now a minor in a rapidly and practically evolving program. It has an entire school dedicated to business innovation.

“Not many people, when applying for a job in beauty marketing, can say they majored in beauty and fragrance in college,” 2022 graduate Hannah Harris told CBS. News.

Harris said she learned how to pitch a product and bring her ideas to life.

“Creativity is really about invention that’s relevant,” Wallace said. “We don’t teach anything you can’t get a good job at.”

SCAD says students have a 99% employment rate within 10 months of graduation — “no starving artists,” Wallace joked.

“Our students want to work at Disney, Google, L’Oreal, and those companies want to hire and they’re hiring at SCAD,” Wallace said.

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