Thinking of applying to a performing art school? Here are some tips on how to determine what constitutes a good performing art school.
Defining what constitutes the best performing art school is not a cookie-cutter experience, because each student has a list of expectations, which may not be the same with what the next student requires from an art institution. Such a list might contain requirements about the location of the school, the constitution of the faculty, the availability of non-academic programs like sports, and of course, the cost of attending that particular art school.
The process of art school accreditation is perceived to be a way of maintaining a high level of academic strength and integrity. The top accrediting agencies for performing art schools are the National Association of Schools of Theater (NAST), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
They are recognized by the United States Department of Education as the agencies charged with the responsibility of accrediting all performing art schools curricula. Some of the criteria used by these accrediting agencies to determine what make good performing art schools include a comprehensive look at the undergraduate, graduate and operational standards of the art school. Other benefits of performing art school accreditation include the fact that it determines the eligibility of the performing art school to participate in federal financial aid programs, and also allows for easy transfer of college credits.
Some of the things which constitute a good performing art school include the location; some art schools are located in tranquil surroundings, which some art students consider vital to their creativity--as opposed to the bustle of a big city. If the setting of the art school is not one you are comfortable with, then it is up to you to make the best decision that will work best for you.
The faculty plays an important part in the quality of a performing art school; after all, these are the people who will be guiding the students as they navigate their way in the school. Their reputation, connections, accessibility and experience are things to consider.
The facilities of the art school help determine the quality of the art school, the size of the lecture halls, the ratio of teacher to students and the availability of off-campus resources matter.
The caliber of students who have graduated from the school and the ones you will be learning with should also factor into the determination of good performing art schools. Things like diversity, and quality of students matter since chances are, you will be learning from your fellow students as well.
Art school internships vary according to the school, and even within departments of the same school. Some internship positions come with a small financial compensation, while the majority of internship positions only come with only the offer of academic credit.
Good performing art schools should be able to help their students transition into the working world by offering workshops and conventions to foster networking between students, faculty, alumni and affiliates. They should have a career services department able offer easy access to job opening announcements.
After you have sorted out which art school you want to attend, the next question will be how to fund such an education. There are several means of funding your performing art school education: there are scholarships, (the availability of which depends on the school) grants, fellowships, assistantships, part or full-time jobs, student loans, personal savings and work study programs.