Exposure: The College Artists Guide to Growth and Success

Published November 4th, 2016

College doesn’t have to be a pit stop on the way to your career. In fact, it shouldn’t be treated as such. Your college experience should be an opportunity to gain exposure.

If you haven’t yet realized it, exposure is often treated as currency in the arts. Eventually you will need to make a living wage. For now, a college program should give you bang for your buck by preparing you for your future.

For the 11th straight year, Fiske Guide to Colleges has recognized Adelphi University as a “Best Buy.” This ranking is based on the quality of their offerings (Art & Art History, Dance , Music, and Theatre) in relationship to the cost of attendance. So, we took some notes from Adelphi’s “playbook” to show how a program can be designed to push your creativity to the limit without expecting exposure to pay the bills. Here's how Adelphi shares their commitment to artistic growth and success.

Class Size Matters

Many programs claim to have small class sizes. But what does that mean for you?

In the past decade numerous research studies have concluded that overall smaller class size means greater success - success in completion of a degree and future financial success. Smaller class size has also shown to increase creativity, critical thinking, and overall academic achievement. (Here's an entire site dedicated to class size research.) Overall, a smaller class size means an opportunity for growth and success through active involvement in classes and mentorship from faculty.

Graphic Design Class

What is the benchmark for class size? Most research points towards overall success at 20 students per class or lower. That's why Adelphi University’s classes are no larger than 20 students.

Adelphi Theatre Major and Student Ambassador, Jordan Garofalo, shared his experience with Adelphi's small class size in relation to creativity, guidance, and success. "The smaller class size creates an incredibly intimate relationship not only with your fellow classmates, but with your professors and advisers as well." Jordan pointed out that students' ability to receive one-on-one time from faculty and in the theatre department's mentor program shows positive results due to "attention and constructive criticism" and acts as a "guiding force in how to get through the program and [make] the most of it".

Location, Location, Location

Location is a key factor when you’re pursuing a higher-education as an artist. Where do you see yourself? What will you be able to explore? Does the university collaborate with the local arts scene?


Are you looking for a rustic small town feel? A hopping city vibe? Wherever you end up, take advantage of the local arts scene. It’s no surprise that students in large metropolitan areas have more opportunities to explore. Within miles of New York City Adelphi students have access to numerous galleries, museums, theatres, and more. Jordan said, "students are encouraged to make their way into the city as often as possible whether it be for classes, or lessons, or just to see more theatre and get inspired by others' work". Adelphi also offers discounted tickets to various local cultural and artistic events. You can't beat that!


If students don’t take advantage of the art scene on their own, many courses at Adelphi meet at local venues. For example, some art history classes at Adelphi meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you are looking for more training while in school, faculty can play a large part in this experience as well. "If professors have affiliations with companies that offer classes or lessons, they will absolutely help you get into those companies at an affordable price to really get even more training," says Jordan.


You’ll want to think about the location of the school in relationship to future opportunities for internships and job placement. In addition to proximity, the affiliations professors have with companies can help you get your foot in the door.

Dare to Dream Big

Adelphi University Spring 2015

Take it upon yourself to research the opportunities you will receive during and after your education.

  • How many performance opportunities are there for students?
  • How large is the Alumni Network?
  • Where are Alumni located now?
  • What is job placement like following graduation?

According to Jordan, "Adelphi offers so many opportunities to perform on the stages here at the university, that it is impossible for anyone to say that Adelphi isn't committed to an artist's growth and success".

Adelphi University has a growing network of more than 90,000 alumni. Graduates are working as independent artists and in dance and theatre companies.

To learn more about Adelphi University visit them on Acceptd here

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