As U.S. college enrollment drops, Georgia school leans into creativity
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The pandemic, soaring costs and questions over relevance had led to a 5% drop in enrollment at U.S. colleges over the last two years. But one Georgia school is bucking the trend thanks to a different approach.
For a class in sneaker design, or to shoot a virtual commercial in the Arctic, head to the Savannah College of Art and Design — also known as SCAD — where design meets technology. The school even gives most freshmen a VR headset.
Enrollment is up 9% from the previous year.
“We’re very oriented toward invention, more so than tradition,” school president Paula Wallace told CBS News. “Whereas other colleges might be more emphasizing tradition over invention.”
Wallace said the curriculum is critiqued and updated multiple times a year.
The most popular majors are animation, filmmaking and fashion. Sneaker design is now a minor in a curriculum that’s evolving nimbly and practically. It has an entire school dedicated to business innovation.
“Not a lot of people, when they’re applying for a beauty marketing job, can say they majored in beauty and fragrance in college,” Hannah Harris, a 2022 graduate, told CBS News.
Harris said she’s learned how to launch a product and bring her ideas to life.
“Creativity is really about invention that’s relevant,” Wallace said. “We don’t teach anything that you can’t get a good job in.”
SCAD claims students have a 99% employment rate within 10 months of graduation — “no starving artists,” Wallace quipped.
“Our students want to work at Disney, Google, L’Oreal, and those businesses want to hire and they do hire from SCAD,” Wallace said.