Opinion of Continuing Ed Photo classes at NYC Fashion Institute (FIT)
January 12, 2013 7:19 PM   Subscribe

I am interested in taking a few continuing ed classes at FIT related to photography, and I was wondering if anyone had experience with this (or with continuing ed at FIT in general).

I had one photo class way back in college (~15 yrs ago), and have been a "hobby" photographer ever since. I'm good with the basics / fundamentals, and would just like to supplement my education. I would like to take several photo classes with FIT's continuing ed program. I'm primarily interested in portrait photography, digital darkroom (learning Photoshop & Lightroom), and especially lighting.

*Note* - Ask MeFi has several similar questions, but they seem to fall into the ICP v FIT v SVA v Learning yourself category. I'm looking for FIT specific opinions, as it's the only one in my price range.
posted by NYC-BB to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have any suggestions for you, but thank you for bringing to my attention how relatively affordable those courses are (assuming in-state tuition). I've got several people I can recommend them to.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:43 PM on January 12, 2013

Blaneyphoto: From the previous AskMeFi threads I've read, people seem to view ICP as the best, but they charge roughly $900 per class while FIT charges ~1/3rd of that.

Now, on to the opinions...
posted by NYC-BB at 8:05 PM on January 12, 2013

Yes. Awesome. Do it!
posted by jbenben at 8:43 PM on January 12, 2013

You have checked the Yelp reviews of FIT, right?

Also: are you sure you want to do formal CE courses? Targeted specific-skill workshops (example) are usually cheaper and more immediately helpful. And, my personal experience with a Photoshop class taught me that Photoshop is a particularly terrible thing to learn how to use in a classroom setting.
posted by SMPA at 8:53 PM on January 12, 2013

I've taken several continuing education courses at FIT, and they've been really hit-or-miss. One big question mark over every class is whether they're going to teach what you as a hobbyist want to know, or whether they're just training people for an industry. Add in unpredictable instructor quality and I just can't recommend that you take anything at FIT.

If you're willing to cast your net a little wider, CourseHorse collects course offerings from all across NYC. Their photography listings look pretty extensive.

Poking around for a minute and a half I came across the Bronx River Art Center, which offers 8-session classes for $100. BKC in Dumbo looks to offer plenty at really solid prices. As someone who runs a school for hobbyists, I'm gonna say you should be looking for classes that are charging around ~$20/hr.
posted by soma lkzx at 5:58 AM on January 13, 2013

I had a terrible experience *attempting* to take a RHINO course at FIT as a continuing ed student. I know that the classes are cheap and so I won't say that you shouldn't try but my experience was awful. Most of the staff seem incompetent, demoralized, or sadistic. I was never able to take my course despite jumping through all of the hoops to register, paying for it, etc. One tip- if you sign up for a class, check your new student email immediately before classes start. If your course is cancelled that is the only way you will find out. The add/drop lasts only a few days. You will get other school communication, especially from the bursar's office, in your regular email account that you use to sign up for classes, so you won't even think about needing to check that new student account but be warned!

The bureaucracy at FIT rivals the DMV. In my case, I had a Saturday class that was cancelled, and did not know until showing up the first day because I had !!!cluelessly!!! not checked my new student email account before classes started for me. Add/drop was over before my first class was even scheduled to meet and despite getting the instructor's permission the registrar denied me the option to just take the same class in a different time slot without going to the department chair. The charming man who is the department chair could have given permission but decided that I needed to be taught a lesson about not checking my student email - I am serious! To make matters worse, after applying for my refund I was told that I would have to wait over a month for my money. I've been to many schools, have a degree already, and work now as professional in my field. I've never been treated so badly at any school that I have ever attended.
posted by catrae at 6:02 AM on January 13, 2013

Thank you, everyone!

I think I will be removing FIT from my shortlist (and adding soma ikzx's listings).
posted by NYC-BB at 11:51 AM on January 13, 2013

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