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Anyone Familiar with Full Sail University?

Anyone Familiar with Full Sail University?

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I'm considering starting the Education Media Design & Technology Masters program at Full Sail University. I looks really interesting and something I would really, REALLY like! I also think it will help me better connect my students with more technology in the education - and get them more engaged! I don't know much about Full Sail - only what I've seen on their website. I was wondering if anyone is familiar with Full Sail or have done this program. I'd really be interested in your experience. Thanks so much!

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

This is what I'm finding about Full Sail - people either have good or bad things to say. Doesn't seem to be much in between!

I am interested in their technology side and how they are pairing it with educational applications. I do agree that they seem to have a cutting edge approach to technology and that this could be really useful in the classroom. Education is headed in toward this and so are more innovative schools.

I already have a Master's Degree in Education so I won't be transferring credits. Although accreditation is a valid concern when it comes to my district and, potential others where I may work, accepting the degree for salary issues.

I have checked out other programs and more reputable schools. Their programs are more academic and don't seem to have the more hands-on/practical application side that Full Sail has. I already have a Master's in Education and don't really need more "theory".

I guess I'm still not clear. If money were no object, I'd probably go with Full Sail.

Keith Rosko's picture
Keith Rosko
Visual Arts teacher from Chenango Forks, NY

I teach Art at the HS level and we have sent several students to Full Sail the last several years.
Its a tough and fast paced program, and the feedback we have received from our students is that you get out of it exactly what you put in, but all of our students who have attended (or are attending) have had great success and enjoy the school and programs.

Keith Rosko's picture
Keith Rosko
Visual Arts teacher from Chenango Forks, NY

You are dead on that the future of education is going to be integrated very heavily with technology - I am one of those that firmly believe we need to educate students for the world they will be graduating into, not the one we grew up in or are even currently teaching in, and that world is going to be heavily integrated with technology in ways most of us who have been teaching for years can hardly imagine.
Exciting and scary at the same time!

Justin's picture

I am a full sail grad and would recommend this school very highly for anyone who wants to work in industry, as the above commenter posted you get out of it exactly what you put in. I've even had the school loan me out hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment just so I could do a private project, no other school has access to or is as liberal with their technology. With that said, I currently work for an educational institution as an instructional technologist, academics have little or no respect for anything Full Sail. I've been told on numerous occasions that I need to get a Bachelors degree . So to reiterate, if your looking to work in industry and get hands on with the most cutting of edge technology Full Sail is for you. However, if your plan is to work in higher ed, you might find them less impressed with your degree.

Bob Calder's picture
Bob Calder
Internet and Society

Thanks for a fair and balanced post that explains the conflict. On one hand, students want the benefit of the very rich curriculum resources. On the other, credential madness requires the signaling effect of a regular university with standard course requirements outside the major.

Linda Engel's picture

I would suggest to you that you help to educate the academics with whom you work. I would have liked my son to get a complete liberal arts education (I am an English major), but I was reassured about Full Sail's handling of things like English - they stress technical communication and business communication, and I have to admit that not everyone enjoys, needs, or will do a good job with Milton, Faulkner, and Shakespeare.

The physics, math, and other traditional type classes are very well represented.

We must realize and appreciate different learning styles and modes. This is a world of specialization. I think many game designers (those who design the storyline) are well-informed about traditional literature (they certainly use it in their plotlines!). However, perhaps the programming geeks (like my son) don't really need that expertise.

As far as the credentialing madness that Bob refers to - it is also very rampant in the online/distance education environment. I am getting a Master's in Instructional Design, and many of my former liberal arts professors are appalled that I have "gone over to the dark side." Traditional collegiate environments are (to them) the only valid means of getting an undergraduate degree.

How will we deal with this?????


Amy Goldenburg's picture

As the IGDA Chapter Coordinator for one of the larger, more active areas in the games industry, one of the biggest challenges we have is the education, sourcing and workforce readiness of potential employees. With this, I get a LOT of feedback regarding all the educational programs that cater to the games development industry.

Full Sail's program is largely designed to train people for the game development industry, which is definitely one of THE most cutting edge industries. As someone said, there are mixed reviews about Full Sail. I would say the biggest thing to look at is the RoI. The program is amazingly expensive.

The employers in the industry have suggested that Full Sail's program was stronger in previous years, but lately they've had a push to increase the number of students who go through the program which, they say, has impacted the quality of their program and graduates. The information I have is anecdotal, but it does come from game developers who are actively looking to hire.

I hear many compliments about SMU Guildhall. Admittedly, the employers I talk to are in Texas as is SMU, so that could be influencing their perspective. However, I do hear that employers will ensure to pull Guildhall grads so they can be interviewed.

I wish I could offer more solid data rather than anecdotal feedback from employers in our area.

Nancy Ford's picture

I enrolled and attended Full Sail for seven months. My experience is with the BS - Film program. I regret attending the school... the quality of education is subpar. Many of the instructors are graduates of the school. I subscribe to the school's job listings and have noticed that there are many instructor vacancies in the newly minted degree programs... makes me wonder how much time and energy has been put into lesson plans and curricula.

Check out this comprehensive blog...

Marshall Barnes's picture
Marshall Barnes
Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

I remember back when Full Sail got started. I almost guest lectured there for music video production, but was distracted by a bigger project. It appears to have changed quite a bit, and not really for the better.

Erika, if you want to learn tech but don't need a degree, save your money to buy the tools you'll be using and learn from online sites and maybe some courses that might be available at some local colleges. I wouldn't waste my money on Full Sail if you have the motivation to learn anyway, and don't require a degree.

Former Full Sail Teacher's picture

As a former teacher at Full Sail, I believe I can speak with some authority on Full Scam, or Fool Sale, as the staff called it.
All this crap I read on message boards about "the whiners are just students who couldn't cut it" and "you get out of it what you put into it" is garbage. A bad school is a bad school no matter how dedicated the student and Full Sail is a BAD school. I've been to real colleges and Full Sail isn't one of them.
First of all, they lie upfront when they tell you that they have industry contacts that will help you get a job after you graduate. NO ONE at Full Sail has industry contacts. Let me repeat that, no one at Full Sail has industry contracts. No one working there knows anyone who works in any of the trades they pretend to teach there.
If anyone at Full Sail had contacts, he would use them to get a real job. Anyone who could leave, has left. Almost all the teachers are there because they can't get a job anywhere else. The ones who remain are long past caring about the students. Only a few new guys care and try to teach students what they need to know and they get burned out pretty quick because they get no support from the corrupt administrators.
Students believe that what they learn at Full Sail will enable them to get a job because that's what the school tells them. No way. Nothing in the curriculum will prepare you to compete in the industry, especially against guys with real degrees and more experience. It's totally superficial. No depth of training at all and in-depth training and experience is exactly what you need to get a good job.
Everything at Full Sail is a front to sucker in new students. Full Sail spends a tremendous amount of money and effort on decorating and flashy equipment to create the impression that it is a high-tech, state-of-the-art facility. It's not. It's just an illusion. If all that energy was spent on teaching, graduates might be able to compete in the job market.
Many are of the Full Sail teachers are Full Sail grads. (I was one of the exceptions. I went to a real university.) A common joke at Full Sail goes like this:
"What's the difference between a Full Sail instructor and a Full Sail grad?"
"Three months."
(The three months between graduation and getting hired.)
The placement program is a joke. They do NOTHING for the graduate. They have NO contacts in the industry. Any industry. IN order to fudge their placement statistics, they do things like this:
"A grad got a job at Blockbuster. Well, that's a job in the film industry, isn't it?"
No. That's a job in retail.
But they list that as a grad getting a job in the film industry. Orlando is full of video stores staffed by Full Sail grads.
Everything at Full Sail is a lie. They tell suckers that Oliver Stone lectured at Full Sail. Wrong! Stone gave a lecture at UCF and, as a courtesy, the dean at UCF extended an invitation to Full Sail students to attend. But they still tell that lie today. I personally heard this lie told by tour guides at the school.
What kind of school has 24 hour a day classes? One of my students told me that he had been scheduled for 28 straight hours of classes. He fell asleep driving home and nearly crashed his car. Does that sound like a good way to study? The administrators don't care about the students. At all. You could die on campus and they wouldn't care as long as your check cleared.
How much do you think you'd learn or remember with that ridiculous schedule? There's a reason Full Sail is the only college in the world to use a 24/7 class schedule with no semester breaks. Full Sail crams as many suckers through as quickly as possible to make money. Because Full Sail is all about the money. And the lies.
Make your own movie? That's what they tell students. Not a chance. The teachers pick the script (not yours) and the director and you get ASSIGNED a job on the crew. Whatever job you get, you don't get to do it long enough to get good at it. I never met a student who was satisfied with the way the film turned out and it was often the teachers who had screwed it up. And Full Sail provides no continuing education for their staff so every day their knowledge becomes more and more outdated. I hope you like paying for obsolete training!
As for show production, save your money and just get a job at a company that does show-pro and learn for free. Lots of people do.
As an alternative to Full Sail, if you want to make movies, here's my advice.
Read books on screenwriting.
Write script.
Buy computer.

Buy and install editing program.
Buy camcorder.
Make movie.
Sell movie to distributor.
It's cheaper than Full Sail, you get to keep the gear, and you get to do what you want.
Don't fooled by their flashy marketing. For the love of God, do NOT go to Full Sail !!
Former Full Sail Teacher

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