College Campus Life–Why Is It Important?
In selecting the best fashion college, one important consideration is the campus life, culture, and diversity.
Campus Life: College is more than just an institute of higher learning. Your life on campus includes more than just your classroom attendance, library research, career counseling, financial aid office visits, etc. Campus life includes the intellectural stimulation outside the classroom, the cultural aspects that stimulate your creativity, and the social life that brings you new friendships and pleasant activities.
Campus life includes the college clubs that support you and your fellow students with like interests. It’s about the college’s commitment to provide its student body with extra-curricular activities such as special events, projects, programs, and other activities geared toward enhancing the student experience. It includes the college’s atmosphere and social tone. The faculty-student relationships are part of campus life, as well as the involvement of the alumni in the campus community.
Having a rich campus experience can help you prepare for the work world because it provides you with brand new experiences outside your current comfort zone. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore aspects of your own personality when you seize the opportunity to be with people who think like your best creative self–as well as with other creative types.
College campus life involves many components that will prove important to you if you’re going to spend from 2-6 years in that environment. It’s more than how it looks, how it feels, and where the campus is located. Its true importance is are you going to feel safe, happy, and motivated to fulfill your creative and intellectual potential.
Indeed, college campus life is important.
How to Pick a Top Fashion College
You’ve decided you want to study fashion. Great! Now you want to pick a college that’s worth the investment and earn an education that will put you on a path to success.
Here’s a checklist to help you pick the right fashion school just for you:
- Major and Degree Options: Do you know which major is best for your fashion skills, abilities, talents, and interests? How do you even find out what might be available as a career choice? Begin by making an appointment with your high school career or college counselor. If you don’t have one, then take an online Career Quiz or Career Aptitude Test to help you determine what career path is most suitable for you.
- Accreditation: Don’t assume that a college is accredited. Accreditation indicates quality. Accreditation is an endorsement given to educational institutions or academic degree programs by an organization that reviews the qualifications of that particular college. Ask the question about accreditation. Also, ask which accrediting agencies accredit that fashion school.
- Alumni Outcomes: Who are some of the most successful fashion alumni? Are they industry professionals that you have heard of? Are they currently involved with the fashion school? Are they active in the Alumni Association?
- Placement Rate and Career Services: Inquire about the Career Counseling Center. Ask about the services it provides and with what frequency. The hours that the Center is open are just as important. Is it open evenings? Weekends? Does it provide telephone and online services? How many career days a year does the Center host?
- Internships: Internships often lead to career-expanding jobs with top notch fashion companies. Invaluable, on-the-job experience in your industry of choice will expand your knowledge of the work world and maximize your job opportunities.
- Location: Where is the fashion school campus located? Is it in a city that has an important industry component for your career choice? Are there fashion jobs available nearby so that you can work during your college experience?
- Industry Partnerships: Find out what fashion industry partnerships the college participates in.This type of relationship enhances the college’s commitment to remain relevant and strengthen its capacity to assist in pertinent educational training, career placement, and internships.
- Reputation: What is the reputation of the college you’re considering? How do you find out what it is? One way is to look at college rankings nationwide. Conduct an internet search in the “Best of…” fashion school category. When you locate a website to review its reputation, remember to be mindful of the source of that particular review.
- Faculty: The caliber of fashion college professors is integral to your success as a student. Ask if the faculty is made up of professionals who are currently working in the industry. Ask if the faculty includes a large number of graduate students and/or teaching assistants. Ask how many are nationally/internationally known.
- Campus Life: College is more than just an establishment of higher learning. It should include extra-curricular activities. Find out what kinds of clubs the college supports so that you can meet other students with like interests. Learn what special events occur on campus so that you can network.
- Student Support Services: Find out which support services your fashion college of choice offers. The right college will have (1) an active career center with specialized counselors in your major; (2) a specialized library with resources pertinent to your major; (3) computer labs with both PCs and Macs; (4) personal counselors; (5) a housing department; (6) a financial aid department; and (7) online classes with extensive support services.
- Academic Programs: Are there a variety of degree, certificate, and professional designation programs available at this college? Some fashion colleges provide two-, three-, and four-year degree levels of study. Some are based on the semester calendar; others on the quarter system with classes beginning every three months.
- Cost: College education costs vary widely. Be certain to remember that the cost is not the tuition only. Out-of-state student fees, housing, parking, and food costs should be included in your budget. Even though in some cases, the price seems expensive, most colleges offer many kinds of grants, scholarships, and financial aid packages.
- Safety and Security: It’s true that random crime can occur anywhere; however, you want to feel safe on campus, as well as en route to and from the college. Every college is required to publish crime statistics annually, including aggravated assaults, robberies, car thefts, etc. Ask about that statistical report to put your mind at ease.
- Personality Fit: Is this fashion college a place where you feel like you could easily get connected to the faculty and the industry. Do you feel like you will be supported?
Information literacy is defined as “…the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.”
Use this invaluable checklist to begin your search on How to Pick a Top Fashion College.