Graphic design is not Hofstra’s passion
It’s the sad truth that Hofstra’s design department is an extremely disappointing one.
It is one in which the professors don’t teach, leave the classroom at any given time and give YouTube links for students to learn from, instead of actually exerting their own energy and teaching the classes themselves.
It is one that I have learned nothing from and one that was an utter waste of my time and parents’ money.
It is one that has been frustrating, not only to myself, but to my peers.
It is one that has used authority to diminish the creativity students have.
It is one that I won’t stand for so that other students can have a better experience.
Being a fine arts minor with a focus in graphic design has been a frustrating journey to say the least. Thankfully, I had already taught myself Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop – all of which one would expect to learn, especially in the introductory classes – prior to taking any classes at the University.
For the students who don’t know the programs and are taking the classes to learn them, they arrive and are faced with a rude awakening.
You’re not going to learn anything in these classes unless you teach yourself.
The money that we or our parents put into these classes is taken with nothing given in return. Well, nothing except a headache.
In one class, the professor hands you an assignment sheet and tells you to use whichever program you’re most comfortable with, despite most students having little to no experience with any – these introductory courses are also distributions.
Once the assignment sheet has been given out, the professor frequently leaves and does not offer much help if students ask. Why should I be required to stay in a classroom if you, the professor, aren’t going to?
In another class, the professor posts an assignment with links to YouTube videos for students to learn how to use the programs.
If I wanted to learn through YouTube videos, I wouldn’t be paying $4,500 for a class in which you’re supposed to teach me. I can get that for free. Unfortunately, I’m required to in order to graduate. This professor also restricts creativity, stating that students’ work is “hard to read and understand,” even though anyone who’s literate has been able to do so thus far.
It is only after the assignment is due that the professor will go over how to do certain things, which at that point is useless.
I have learned more about the programs I’m supposed to be taught in these classes on my own time and as an editor for The Hofstra Chronicle than I ever did taking a design class at Hofstra.
I have been able to be more creative and experimental. I have learned more by using these programs for a job and having had to learn on my own than I have in these courses. That should not be the case if I’m paying to take classes here.
As students, we deserve better. We deserve to be taught, to learn and to be creative. We deserve to have better professors – ones that care about helping their students learn, rather than taking the lazy way out.
While I won’t benefit from any changes in the future, my hope is that the department sees these flaws and hears the voices of students who express their issues with how these classes are run.
Do better for the incoming classes. Do better for the students who have to take these classes in the future. Do better for how you are viewed as a department.
Create a place for design and skills to flourish, instead of wasting students’ time.