Thank guys for all the quick advice and responses,
Now I have looked into how the whole program is set up and who is in charge of everything, like an board of trustees etc. and there is an advisory board made up of local print shop managers and my boss who runs the in-plant facility that I work at. They are in charge of making sure the program is getting students ready for the industry. So I was thinking to go talk to him first and maybe see when there meeting and write a letter to them to present or better yet see if they will let me go to their meeting and talk.
I know transferring is always an option but for me it is not really a choice because of funds, and me being at a state school is the only real option to go. The other school that I was going to go to shut there program down the year I was supposed to go so I ended up here which was the only other school in the state with a program plus it is a 4 year program.
Hopefully this will work, I will see him next week since I am going to Indianapolis this weekend for a annual dinner that I was invited to by PII (Printing industries of Indiana and Illinois) so next week we will see what they say.
Thanks for all the advice and any more would be appreciated,
Here's a question for you. Do you what to be a University degreed bindery worker, pressman, design artist, or do you want to have a education designed for Management, Sales, or Ownership? I too had several years of press, bindery, commercial production, and must confess, gallery camera experience when I entered a 4 year Print Management degree program. I had been an Engineering student prior to Print management. I too knew more about the operation of nearly all the equipment in the school shop of ALL my professors and so did most of my fellow students. Faculty members frequently ask for my help and it did bother me for a while. But, no one person, no one, knows EVERYTHING about printing. If you find someone that thinks they DO, RUN. Don't expect the faculty to know all there is about printing either. RIT has a GREAT School of Printing but NO one faculty member knows ALL about printing. RIT had, or still has, a Harris M1000B web press and I am pretty sure that the entire faculty could not print ONE job on it, nor will the teach any student. They have an excellent press crew for the production and labs. One thing that I see is that you say you are a sophomore which might shed some light on what you are going through. You came into the program with working knowledge but you are not to the advanced level in the program. The profs may be guiding you through the program by what level you are on in there program and not what you actually know. Is this good, or bad. The programs real value depends on the success of the grads. Talk to alumni of the program. Find out what they are doing and what they think. That should be easy. Just ask around. Call or email them to find out. You may be in a good program but you are not understanding the focus of the entire 4 year plan. Don't expect any shop to have a lot of use for a 4 color ABDick. I am not knocking the press or ABDICK because all printing equipment has a niche, even flat bed letterpresses, but the CUSTOMER DEMAND, type of, and economics of the output pretty much make changes in the type of equipment in use today. You need to know letterpress, offset, and digital imaging. The printing program is probably doing what they think is a 4 year foundation of knowledge and hands on practice as they can provide. Get in touch with the printing grads before you make a change, or hang yourself with the profs, and talk with a counselor. In printing they are usually from within the department. Tell them your concerns, focusing on how you can use the education in the future, and do not tell them what's broken with the program.
You have a paradigm and they have a paradigm about the program. They are both different and a paradigm shift needs to occur with one or the other, or both. Hope you find a good fix! Nuff Said.
I completely see where your coming from wscmyk and I completely agree with you. What I am is getting at is I know it is a call a Printing Management degree but if I am going to be in a management position I feel I should know as much as I can about the production process. With my current education which is what I learned running presses in high school I feel as if I know a good amount but there is so much more to learn.
I feel there is more to learn and the equipment they have they are not utilizing. I know not every professor will know how to work every piece of equipment, but if they purchased a new press wouldn't you expect one professor to be able to teach the students how to use it over the students teaching the professor?
I also am going to be talking to my adviser which is the head of the printing dept as well and explain to him the situation and how I feel. I am not going to take the approach of just bashing the program because that would not do me any good, I am rather going to give examples of how I feel it should be taught.
I'm not arguing what you said just giving it a different view and I agree with everything you stated above.
Good man. Wish I had had more like you when I was teaching. Would have been great. If you can, find out if your University has a Management 2nd major or minor outside the Printing program and look into adding that to your degree plan. I would think that at least one prof should have the skill sets or motivation to learn enough to teach it but I do not know the situation. If it is lack of either one I find that poor on the schools leadership. If it was installed and whoever was trained has not had time to master the beast then that is something else too. Hey, I think you will be fine with your path forward. Maybe next semester the prof will be ready to teach and turn you loose with more technical aspects of the equipment. You probably have at least 4 more semesters in your college career so you have some time for a change to occur. You are drawn to the technincal aspects, which is a good thing, to a point. The higher you climb in management the less technical knowledge you will need (Basic Management 101) but if you are like me I just don't understand the guys who can't, or won't, change a lightbulb, or will not get ink on them. I find a good balance of managerial and academic to hands-on and technical is most pleasing, at least to me. I think you'll be just fine.
Not to be discouraging, but I would change majors completely. The printing industry is in a coma, on life support and it won't be long before they pull the plug.........of course there will be some packaging and some inkjet operations that continue to roll but most everything is going digital.
You should be aiming to prepare yourself for a long-term career, not a short-term technical training.
Don't go to college to relearn what you already know or can learn by doing elsewhere ...
I second what has been said above about reconsidering your major, but I'm going to suggest that you talk to your academic advisor, dean or department head about creating a CUSTOM major specifically tailored to your goals. If you are serious about wanting to go into print management, yes, you should be looking at incorporating business and management classes into your program. You also might want to look at graphic design, interpersonal communication, finance, marketing, and whatever else you consider a weakness in your knowledge.
University politics are predictable: if you bring them a plan, they will not look at you as a troublemaker, they will look at you as a creative student who will make them look good. Departments LOOOOOVE to have stuff like that to brag about in their various newsletters, marketing pieces, etc.
PS - find yourself the best internship you can with the print management professional that you admire the most.
I am not collage educated and I cannot advise you on how to deal with your current situation. It took me years to work my way into management by learning and helping in every department. To skip the years of work to get there, I would advise, take classes in computer science, database management, business communications and courses that prepare you in the art of dealing with people as well as the printing classes.
Outside of school, try to get a job in a commercial print shop and not an in-plant. Offer your services at as low a wage as you can afford; maybe even as an unpaid intern. In return for the free or low wages, try to work a deal where you move from pre-press to bindrey spending time in all areas so you can learn how it is done in the real world. Learning the skills in the real world will give you more knowledge than what you say you are getting in school.
Get the Printing degree. It will open doors and once a door is open, your experience in the real world along with the classes I suggested will have prepared you for a management position.
Just my 2 cents.
Take your time and plan a meeting with other student with the same feelings. Lots of good advice here.
spgovert is my cousin. "Me print good"
I think you should approach the dept. sticking to the curriculum is not an excuse not to learn how to use the equipment. I work for a college, I am in charge of the college publications and graphics, but I also took the time to learn about our ABDick presses and RIP system. If your professors are lacking the experience...it will reflect on your learning.
When I started the graphics program at a two-year university in Columbus, OH back in 1993, They had just sold a brand new large Heidelberg printer and used the proceeds to buy Macintosh computers and Quark, Photoshop and Freehand. The reason being is that it would take two years (or more) of full time instruction to train someone how to run the press and they couldn't justify it, so they sold it and bought the computers. Lucky me because I went into prepress, but you're seeing fewer and fewer trade schools offering graphics programs (and ever fewer high schools)
By the time I walk out of here, I'm going to be a lean, mean, prepress machine...