California College of the Arts Reviews

Updated August 31, 2015
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3.9
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California College of the Arts President Stephen Beal
Stephen Beal
19 Ratings

41 Employee Reviews

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  1. CCA is pretty great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at California College of the Arts (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, wonderful mission, exciting events.

    Cons

    Limited professional development, not a lot of room for growth or promotion


  2. staff jobs are few even though the need is great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Academic Coach in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Academic Coach in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great student body, and truly rewarding job. Staff colleagues are always respectful of each others job responsibilities, challenges and achievements. We really strive to help each other when needed, whether it is scheduling, advice or troubleshooting problems. Supervisors and administrative staff are always open to feedback, too.

    Cons

    As with many institutions and especially the arts, the fair and equitable distribution of funds to pay staff salaries are always lacking. The pay rate that many people receive is an entry level range, and not indicative of the kind of competitive wages compared to the same job in other fields.

    Advice to Management

    People stay because they love the arts and believe in the school, but that is no excuse to squeeze them of a chance for a better livelihood. It is hard to commit long-term to an employer that cannot award its staff with merit and monetary incentives. Hence the high turn over.


  3. Good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Student Affairs Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Student Affairs Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I was a student in there, so took a part time job, good pay.

    Cons

    not competitive and slow, but it is a part time job, so I guess it is ok

    Advice to Management

    nothing major, I guess just keep it up.


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  5. Good Teachers Get Shown the Door

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Dedicated instructors. Two campuses (Oakland and SF) which makes for some easier commutes if you live in the East Bay or San Francisco. (But be aware, word on the street is that the school will eventually be closing its Oakland campus in the not-so-distant future.) Also health insurance for part-time adjuncts kicks in after you've taught at the college for eight (!) years.

    Cons

    Little job stability. When there was a movement last year by adjunct faculty to form a union, the administration discouraged such formation. And yes, an anti-union art school that claims social responsibility as part of its mission statement, it doesn't make sense. And neither does this school, I've seen colleagues who worked at the college for many years dismissed for no legitimate reason, administration lying in order to find ways to let absolutely great teachers go so they could bring in new, lesser experienced adjuncts for significantly less pay. Needless to say, this makes for low faculty morale at best. Meanwhile, the school takes on a huge expansion project (i.e. building a new campus wing behind its current location on 11th Street), that will cost in the millions of dollars. Yes, another art school with questionable motives, but in this case it's doubly sad when the school that purports to stand up for these values of the working artist (and teacher who is a working artist), treats their faculty in the manner they do in order to advance their own profit-driven agenda.

    Advice to Management

    From the college's mission statement: "... the college (cultivates) innovation, community engagement, and social ... responsibility." What becomes quickly apparent as one gets to know the workings of this school is that its mission statement is just that, a statement. That when it comes to actually putting this statement into practice, it simply doesn't happen. Social responsibility? Simply look at how the college's adjuncts are treated (as discussed above) and draw your own conclusions. Obviously, students pay a huge price with this dynamic in place, with dedicated instructors being let go for reasons that suit the purposes of administration, and good work in the classroom going unrecognized. This school is really bad news, serious artists and teachers (and innovators!) please be advised to look elsewhere. Regarding advice for the management: take a step back and see how the school's stated mission has been wholly corrupted, that the disconnect between administration and its faculty is a wide gulf.


  6. Helpful (1)

    What you might expect from an art college

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The organization treats the employees very well. Benefits are on the better end of normal (health, dental, vision, generous vacation, free tuition) and at least in some departments, management was respectful and hands-off. Everyone is very creative and smart. They're good about promoting from within.

    Cons

    The college is not for profit, and they give generous grants and loans to students, which is great but means that they don't pay well at all. Also, being extremely liberal and high-minded, they don't run the tightest ship. For example, it takes them a very long time to fire people who are terrible at their jobs. This can put a strain on the rest of the team who must pick up the slack.


  7. Helpful (2)

    working culture at CCA

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at California College of the Arts full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to work in an educational environment filled with creative staff, students, and faculty and constant dialogue centered around critical thinking. Access to facilites and take am undergraduate course or two. Most students and faculty are a joy to interact with.

    Cons

    The upper level administration and management team is disconnected from the times & economy in which we live and the needs of the staff, faculty and students. Staff are not paid a living wage for one of the more expensive areas to live in the U.S. Job creep is a HUGE problem at this school. Rather than hire the necessary staff needed to fulfill the needs of the student & faculty, CCA chooses to stuff job positions with responsibilities that would logically and practically need at least one other person to fulfill. Admin policies directly curb and and adversely effect faculty abilities to teach. Faculty are not paid well and their concerns are not considered when upper management & admin execute new policies. The school is marketed as being for the students but the again the higher ups do not heed student concerns and each new remodel of the school each year takes more space from students and classes. The upper management and administration no longer practice transparency when making decisions that effect to workflow or environment of staff, faculty, and students.

    Advice to Management

    Update your HR philosophy. This is not the 1990's. Spend time educating yourselves on how to foster healthy work environments for staff and faculty. It will go along way to improving the overall educational opportunities CCA proclaims to offer.


  8. Awesome Place to Work At

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Work Study in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Work Study in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at California College of the Arts part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to know more connections, students and faculties from different programs and departments. Learning news things and explore using skills that you already knows. You can plan and manage your working schedule base on your own needs.

    Cons

    The communication in between offices is always a con because CCA has two campuses and every department has two offices. So they all say different things.

    Advice to Management

    The emotions from students and faculties during midterm and finals is a pain. Remain calm is the key. They will either thank you or walk away. If you act on it, it's just going to make things worse.


  9. Great job!

    Current Employee - Instructional Design Assistant in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Instructional Design Assistant in Oakland, CA

    Pros

    The chance to improve digital literacy and technology opportunities for students and staff, the ability to build design experience, as well as experience with working with others.

    Cons

    Can't really name a con, the work is flexible and easy to manage with school work and portfolio building and provides good working experience.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Counselor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    People, students, atmosphere etc etc

    Cons

    Pay, supervisors, growth opportunities. etc etc


  11. Helpful (3)

    Mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at California College of the Arts full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you're an artist, this can give you a steady job that is close to the arts community. Many of the employees (regardless of department) are working artists after hours. You also get half tuition remission for you or your spouse... and if you've been there long enough, you get full tuition remission. HR is pretty good about pre-tax flexible spending and commuter reimbursement. Staff also get between Christmas and New Year's off without having to use vacation days.

    Cons

    Some of the managers are toxic or micro managers. The pay is extremely low. Extremely, extremely low.

    Advice to Management

    You can still pay under market rate even if you pay your employees a little bit more.



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