Fast Company magazine has been paying plenty of attention to Savannah this month.
A couple weeks ago, we saw Why You Should Start A Company In… Savannah
It’s a generally upbeat piece focusing on an interview with SEDA president and CEO Steve Weathers, who correctly notes a great deal of untapped potential:
Savannah College of Art and Design ranks among the nation’s leading design universities–impressive for a city of only 130,000 people. Yet Weathers believes the university’s brainpower has only been barely tapped to drive local businesses. “I toured SCAD’s facilities recently,” Weathers says, “and learned about 40 different technologies with potential in the marketplace. We could create 40 brand-new technology companies right there.” Cross-pollinate a SCAD design team in fashion with, say, talent from the material sciences lab at nearby Georgia Southern University or a powerhouse engineering teach from Georgia Tech, and you could make the next smart fabric.
And now, in the wake of some bad press for SCAD about the return on investment (tuition vs. future earnings), Fast Company has a fascinating interview with college co-found and president Paula Wallace: Paula Wallace Is The Reason These Art Kids Today Mean Business.
From the piece:
Q: Students at SCAD are also encouraged to think about the business of art and design while they’re in school, right?
A: We do a lot of collaborative work with businesses. This concept started with sponsored projects in the Gulfstream Center for Design, which houses our industrial design department. Now it’s more wide-ranging and spread across the entire university. Design thinking is critical to business success–businesses want students’ blue-skying, their new ideas. Students don’t know that something can’t happen.
Q: There’s been a lot of discussion in the last several years about the real value of expensive private universities—are SCAD graduates successful at actually finding work after school?
Well, we have a 3.4 percent default rate on student loans according to the federal government; the national average is about 8.8 percent for four-year colleges and universities in general.
I recently posted some data about Student loan debt around the country, with particular emphasis on SCAD and Armstrong. (I also link to the ROI rankings in which most design colleges fare poorly, as do some public universities in Georgia.)