IADT – Rest in Pieces

i heard a wonderful rumour this past week that infamous scam school International Academy of Design and Technology, which gets a lot of play on sites like Ripoff Report, is closing its doors in March 2009. A quick look around my trusty Internets confirms it. i hope you will join me next March in dancing on whatever grave it winds up in.


You’d think that after fleecing students for multiple millions, they could afford a nicer headstone?

This is like finding out that your cats can talk, or that vegetables are made of chocolate. i am so happy to see that this con is finally ending, but a little upset that it took so long, and that it ended without newsreel footage of white men in suits getting their heads pushed into the back of a squad car. It’s also a letdown that so many kids fell prey to the school’s technological wiles over the year. i was not one of them. i’ve never had that much money to squander foolishly, thank God.

So what are we left with? As for Toronto, we have a growing number of colleges and now Universities who are trying to ensnare high school grads with their “Game Design” courses. i’m actually on the advisory board for a few of these. In at least one program, the students’ final project is a walk-through of a first-person shooter level using Unreal Engine 3. That’s game design? Really? i’d thought that a game design program might end in something that has the feel of more of a um … like a game, really. You know? Something interactive, like games tend to be?

If you are unlucky enough to have been lured by this latest “Game Design Program” bait by the for-profit college sector, let me recount to you a conversation i had with one of the program heads of a Southern Ontario college that shall remain nameless:

Me: Unreal Engine is sexy and everything, but if you want these kids to be able to feed themselves after they graduate, why don’t you teach them some more Flash courses? This city (and the planet Earth, as i later found out at GDC last week) is desperate for people who can use Flash. It’s easier to break into, it’s easier to make a quick buck doing freelance, it’s easier to find full time employment at a reputable firm …

Program Head: Oh, no. No no no. No – we’re not here to help these kids find jobs.

Me: You’re uh … you’re not?

Program Head: No! Hahahha. No. They’re here to explore themselves and really … really feel a sense of their own creativity and artistic awakening.

Ahem. i ask you, College Students of Today: are you paying thousands of dollars in tuition and living on beans and toast so that you can “feel a sense of your own creativity and artistic awakening” ? Or do you want to learn some marketable skillz and get PAID, yo? Get your “bling” and your “rims” and your “bitches n ho’s”, and all that other stuff you young people are into.

Thought so. The next time you think your college is in the business of advancing your career or teaching you what you need to know, give yourself a reality check: it’s a business like any other. Take your education into your own hands and make sure you learn something that will pay the bills.

Freebie: “Bitches n’ Ho’s” would make an excellent snack food name. Take it – it’s all yours.

14 thoughts on “IADT – Rest in Pieces

  1. outraiged student


  2. IADT Graduate

    You poor unfortunate fools….One can only IMAGINE how sad your pathetic life truly is. I decided to take a brief moment and address your rant regarding the establishment I decided to aquire my skills from only because I feel passionate about my choose career. I could begin by spewing facts regarding many scholars who attended and completed their education in prestigous institutions only to realize that never intended to utilize it for gainful employment. I could present data that indicated that many of the most successful entrepreneurs acquired their fortune after attending trade schools and worked diligently at refining their craft. I could also simply pose this question: what have you done to attain an education that will guarantee your financial security and how are you drawing on your talents for ascertaining success? If $30,000 seems a horrible waste….I challenge you to collect the reciepts of your frivilous purchase of alcohol, cigarrettes, video games, ipods, iphones, cover charges, starbucks double lattes, chili’s appetizers…(you get the idea)…now factor in the time wasted blogging, texting, idoling chit chatting, playing, twittering…your time must be worth quite a bit, naturally. I’m sure you’d agree the total could easy reach $30,000 if not surpass it. Now, I ask you, what miraculously wonderful benefit have you recieved from such a substantial investment? I’m sure your “my space” buddies acceptance and your need for conformity would be an adequate endowment, allowing you to feel accomplished and fulfilled. And as you conclude your interview at your third prospective employer, I’m sure they will find “Highest Score at Guitar Hero” an accomplishment thier company cannot do without. A wise person once said…school is just a building…knowledge is all around you, if you only allow yourself to recieve it and share it with others. May God bless you and allow you to succeed in your endeavors. I only hope you listen to the advice your mother so repeatedly told you — “If you don’t have anything nice to say…don’t say anything at all”…..

    1. Ryan

      Not quite sure who you’re addressing here, “IADT Graduate”. i gather that after your academy education, you landed a job in your “choose career”?

      Take a quick glance at my profile page – most of my story’s there. i went to what an American would call a “trade college” or a “community college.” i dropped out of the first after four months, and stayed on another similar school until i graduated from their two-year fast-tracked diploma program in digital illustration. From there, i bandied around for a few years; the college hadn’t done a thing to help me prepare my portfolio, and in fact ejected me from the facility when i tried to cut my reel a week after my placement ended.

      i got a job working as a tech consultant in a few public schools. i worked at a video game store and a video rental store. i took a semester at a university in cultural studies. While looking for a summer job, i found a game design position at a Canadian broadcaster. i worked there for over seven years making kids’ online casual games and advergames before leaving to start my own company, Untold Entertainment Inc. i don’t smoke or drink, i don’t drink coffee or lattes, and we don’t have any Chili’s chains in Canada, which is good, because their food gives me the poops. i *have* been known to buy the occasional iPod or video game – guilty as charged, i guess?

      i’m not knocking trade schools. This is not a “university vs college” argument i’m making here, but i don’t suppose the Academy’s course roster included a study in media literacy or contextual reading. This is a specific complaint i have against unaccredited schools like the Academy that masquerade as legitimate colleges. They churn out useless grads and flood the marketplace with people who aren’t prepared to work in the industry, and saddle them with tens of thousands of dollars of debt to boot. In my experience, the students haven’t been happy with the school, the teachers haven’t been happy with the students, and it’s just been one big money-sucking fiasco in this town from the get-go.

      i’m not at all happy with the education my college provided, but at least i only spent about a sixth of the cost of the Academy’s tuition on it. If you buy a dinner plate for a dollar and it breaks when you put a hot meal on it, no biggie. But if you spent hundreds of dollars on the same inferior plate, someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

      Let me make it crystal clear: i have a policy against hiring IADT graduates and teachers. To my mind, the IADT brand is a hallmark of mediocrity and poor quality, and i wouldn’t touch the place with a ten foot pole. And i know i’m not alone.

      But i’m glad you’re happy with it. Best of luck to you!

      – Ryan

    2. Joshua sullivan

      That’s funny, because that’s exactly what the recruiters told me. They went on to talk about how you could spend all kinds of money on unnecessary stuff, and it could add up to the price of a tuition. Well, that alone tells me that your full of shit, and you work for the scam company.

  3. no job placement

    Why don’t the credits transfer to universities? Why are they still in business? How can they accredit themselves?

    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      The deal with accreditation is that only schools who are accredited by (ultimately) the Ministry of Education can be approved for OSAP, the Ontario student loan program. Any un-subsidized school that charges outrageous fees like the IADT and others do is dead in the water if students can’t apply for OSAP to attend its programs.

  4. ScamVictim

    Going to IADT Pittsburgh was the biggest mistake of my life (I went there in 2006-2007). The school was nothing but a scam. They don’t bother even teaching on some days if a few of the students are absent. Most of the time they don’t teach much anyway. The faculty for this “school” were some of the rudest jerks around. They got 30,000 dollars from me for an associates degree. I still don’t know anything about graphic design and my drawing didn’t improve at all. It was such a waste of money. All I got from it was frustration, debt, and nowhere closer to a career. This scam of school closed up at the end of 2008, but it shouldn’t have opened in the first place. All IADT schools should close up and give back the money they stole.

  5. gabriella

    the worst investment of my life! went back to get my BFA in web development. what a waste!! rude and unhelpful staff. not worth a penny!! 90% of ‘professors’ suck!!! if you complain they say ‘you have other options’. calling to check whether i want to enroll (while i am enrolled!!!) told them to check student status before make SALES phone calls and they hang up on me. within school if you want to change from BFA and BS in web design and development not all credit would be transferred!!! i’m pissed and disgusted.

  6. Sana

    I went to IADT-Chicago for only 6 months to learn that this “school” was a waste.What’s sad is that many people don’t realize this until they graduate and are in so much dept.Save your money & go to a community colelge and then transfer to a 4 year university.Just beware no matter how hard you worked at IADT none of your classes will transfer over.These corporations are only after your money.

  7. Knowzit

    I worked for a while for IADT, and I can 100% assure you that they could not care less about education. It is one of the worst “for profit” scam schools, and their going out of business cannot happen soon enough. I quit after teaching there only a short time because I was so incredibly appalled by the way students were suckered into shelling out multiple thousands for a useless degree.

    Bottom line: if you want a real degree, go to real college. An IADT degree is worthless, and the “school” itself is a joke.

  8. Gwen st.clair

    I went to IADT in Chicago for 2010 to 2011. Was suspicious of the fact I was helping fellow students in sewing 101 because teacher was not all there. Then I knew more about pattern drafting than the next teacher. I went checking with community college. They told me IADT is not nationally accredited but regionally which means they played the govt to recognize them as a school as long as they accept federal loans.

    So as long as you got enough dough you can legally rip off students. I’d like to see a president of United states tackle that which they won’t. Because if you learn one little thing like threading an industrial sewing machine their off the hook.

    FiDM and parsons said non accredited schools like that legally can’t use their books to teach but clearly IADT did. I still have some.

  9. john clifford

    Hello former classmates of any C.E.C. (Career Education Corporation) school including:
    *IADT – International Academy of Design
    * AIU – American InterContinental University
    * Sanford Brown
    * Le Cordon Bleu
    * Briarcliff
    * CTU – Colorado Technical University
    We are filing a class action lawsuit against C.E.C for lies, unethical business practices, worthless credits and degrees, etc with Morgan & Morgan. If you would like to join the suit Go to http://www.forthepeople.com/ and fill out information under contact to join. Put IADT in the header. Tell all former students you know. :)
    We also have a Facebook group going to stay in contacts and keep up to date. Search College Class Action and request an add to join the fight! Much love and good luck to you all!


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