Full Sail University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Full Sail University
Full sail university sign.JPG
TypeFor-profit university
PresidentGarry Jones
LocationWinter Park, Florida, U.S.
28°35′41″N 81°18′11″W / 28.59472°N 81.30306°W / 28.59472; -81.30306Coordinates: 28°35′41″N 81°18′11″W / 28.59472°N 81.30306°W / 28.59472; -81.30306
MascotDC-3 airplane
Full Sail University.svg

Full Sail University is a private, for-profit university in Winter Park, Florida.[1][2] It was formerly a recording studio in Ohio named Full Sail Productions[3] and Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts.[4] Full Sail moved to Florida in 1980,[5] running video and film production courses. It began offering online degrees in 2007.[6] The school is partly owned by TA Associates, a private equity firm.[7][8]

Full Sail is not regionally accredited, but is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges to award associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in audio, design, computer animation and business.[9][10] In 2018 it had approximately 8900 undergraduate[11] and 170 postgraduate students.[12] In 2012, the tuition fee for a twenty-one-month course of study was approximately US$80,000.[7]


Full Sail University was founded by Jon Phelps in Dayton, Ohio, in 1979.[13] Its curriculum was centered on recording arts and offered courses in audio engineering.[14] The school relocated to Orlando, Florida, in 1980 and added new courses to its core recording arts program. In 1989, Full Sail moved to its current location at Winter Park, Florida;[14] the following year, it was accredited to grant specialized associate degrees.[15]

Enrollment doubled between 1989 and 1991 at a time of increased interest in film and media studies.[16] The university underwent financial difficulties in 1992 and its growth slowed.[17] Between 1995 and 1999, it began offering specialized associate degrees and associate degrees in computer animation, digital media, game design and development, and show production and touring; these courses were later expanded into full bachelor's degree programs.[15]

In 2005, the school offered its first bachelor's degree program, a Bachelor of Science degree in entertainment business.[18] In 2007, the first master's degree program—also in the entertainment industry—was offered.[19] Online degree programs began in 2007, the first of which was an online adaptation of the existing Entertainment Business Master of Science.[19]

The additions of the master's degree programs, among other factors, led to the school being recognized as a university by the state of Florida. In 2008 it changed its name from Full Sail Real World Education to Full Sail University after attaining university status from the Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education.[20] The campus expanded with the addition of a 1,780-foot (540 m)-long backlot with 18 city facades designed to replicate the sets used in production of Hollywood films and television shows, which later expanded to 2,078 feet (633 m).[20]

As the university grew between 2006 and 2011, the curriculum and degree programs were broadened,[21] adding programs such as a bachelor of science in sports marketing and media,[22] and a master of science degree in game design.[23]

On April 20, 2009, Full Sail marked its 30th anniversary with the opening of the Full Sail University Hall of Fame.[24]

In 2012, presidential candidate Mitt Romney cited Full Sail as an example of the way rising costs of education could be solved. Romney did not mention that its chief executive Bill Heavener was a major campaign donor and fundraiser.[7]

In 2012 WWE began filming episodes of its internet television show WWE NXT at Full Sail University.[25] In June 2015, Full Sail began hosting the WWE Tough Enough series.[26] As part of the partnership between Full Sail and WWE, students have the opportunity to produce WWE NXT tapings, during which merchandise and tickets sales contribute to a scholarship fund for students enrolled at the university.[27][28] As of January 2018, the partnership had resulted in $385,000 in scholarships.[29][30]


Full Sail University's approximately 200-acre (81 ha) campus is located 8.6 miles (13.8 km) northeast of downtown Orlando. The campus contains the administrative offices, library and academic buildings, including classrooms, an auditorium, a film backlot, and 110 studios.[31] The university moved to Winter Park in 1989. Renovation and expansion into surrounding buildings began in 1995, adding three additional buildings by 2004. In 2009, the university expanded into a 49,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) space near campus to accommodate its teaching staff for the online degree program.[32]

A 2.2 acre (0.89 ha) facility named Full Sail Studios consisting of a 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) multi-purpose venue and a two-story 10,600-square-foot (980 m2) recording studio and game production studio named Blackmoor after the late Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons and instructor from 1999 to 2009, opened in 2010. This addition completed the film backlot covering 2,078 feet (633 m) and 19 outdoor scenic environments.[33][34]

In November 2010, a facility for research and development of new studio and remote technologies called Sports Lab Powered by ESPN was built. The lab worked in association with the ESPN Innovation Lab located at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World and was the only sports technology lab at a Florida college or university.[35] Two months later, approximately 200 Full Sail Online employees moved into the Gateway Center in Downtown Orlando.[36][37] Also in 2011, the university announced plans to construct an 86,000-square-foot (8,000 m2) educational building to house 475 faculty and staff, additional film and television soundstages and classrooms; it was scheduled for completion in early 2012.[38] In July 2011, Full Sail acquired Lakeview Office Park in Orlando, with 225,550 square feet of office space across nine buildings.[39]


Full Sail's academic degree programs are primarily focused on audio, film and media production,[40] video game design,[41] animation[42] and other studies related to the media and entertainment industries.[43]

Full Sail custom-built a learning management system for use with their online courses; the LMS is Macintosh-based, and utilizes content created by an in-house curriculum development team in conjunction with campus-based instructors.[6][44]

Full Sail has a 55% overall graduation rate and a 21.1% student loan default rate,[45] higher than the national student loan default rate of 11.3%.[46] It is also listed on the Century Foundation's website as a university which includes restrictive clauses in the enrollment contracts, which are intended to minimize the legal recourse available to students in the event of disputes.[47]

Full Sail University's Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting was established in 2017, with a new sportscasting degree program and instruction provided by sportscaster, radio personality, and actor Dan Patrick, among other industry leaders.[48]

According to The New York Times, Full Sail has many of the same problems as other institutions in the for-profit college industry.[7] They reported that some of the university's academic programs have high loan burdens and low graduation rates. The $81,000 video game art program graduated 38 percent of its students, who carried a median debt load of nearly $59,000 in federal and private loans in 2008.[7] The New York Times cited other Full Sail degree programs as having higher graduation rates, noting that the masters in entertainment business, "a yearlong program with a $36,245 tuition, graduated 80 percent of its students, nearly 63 percent of them on time".[7] According to Inside Higher Ed, "a closer look at the numbers reveals that graduation rates are not a major problem at Full Sail: the overall graduation rate is a fairly high 78 percent, according to federal data".[9] In the same article, however, The New York Times noted that Full Sail's students have posted criticisms of the school, including some that call Full Sail a "scam" because of its high costs, low placement, and difficulties with credit transfer.[7]

The university is not regionally accredited, though it is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).[9][49] The college has been subject to criticism regarding transferability of credits, as credits from nationally accredited schools often do not transfer to regionally accredited schools.[50][51][52]


In 1989, 1990, and 1991, the Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts won the Mix magazine's outstanding institutional achievement award for recording schools.[53]

In 2005 Rolling Stone called Full Sail “one of the five best music programs in the country”.[54]

The college was named FAPSC School/College of the Year (an award for which only career colleges in Florida were eligible) by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC) in 2008 and 2011,[55] 21st-century best practices in distance learning by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) in 2011,[56] and was the recipient of a 2011 New Media Consortium Center for Excellence award.[57]

Notable people[edit]

Instructors at Full Sail have included Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson, who taught game design,[58] and Stedman Graham.[59][60]

The school created the Full Sail University Hall of Fame to recognize accomplished alumni in 2009.[61]

Notable alumni include:


  1. ^ "Carnegie Classification". National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Full Sail receives university status". Orlando Business Journal. March 24, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Full Sail Recording. Billboard Magazine. July 14, 1979.
  4. ^ "Full Sail Weathers Stormy Year". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Garcia, Jason (May 25, 2016). "Garry Jones' journey from student to teacher". Florida Trend. Times Publishing Company. ISSN 0015-4326. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Full Sail Program Booming". Orlando Business Journal. September 21, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Lichtblau, Eric (January 14, 2012). "Romney Offers Praise for a Donor's Business". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Schouten, Fredreka; Locker, Ray (March 29, 2012). "Donors to Romney super PAC have ties to for-profit colleges". Des Moines Register. USA Today. Retrieved June 14, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b c Fain, Paul (January 24, 2012). "Full Sail in the Spotlight". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  10. ^ "Directory – Full Sail University". Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
  11. ^ Full Sail University (four-year college). Peterson's. Accessed November 2017.
  12. ^ Full Sail University (graduate school). Peterson's. Accessed November 2017.
  13. ^ Shanklin, Mary (August 1, 2010). "Full steam ahead at Full Sail, one of Orlando's few viable real-estate engines". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  14. ^ a b CombatJack (September 15, 2011). "Why You Should Consider Full Sail University". The Source. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Krantz, Matt (December 3, 2002). "Video game college is 'boot camp' for designers". USA Today. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  16. ^ Welkos, Robert (January 18, 2001). "Film School Daze". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Strother, Susan (March 9, 1992). "Full Sail Weathers Stormy Year". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  18. ^ Crabbe, Nathan (December 7, 2011). "UF and Full Sail partnering in production programs". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  19. ^ a b Beck, Tiffany (April 9, 2007). "Full Sail offers first master's in entertainment business". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  20. ^ a b Horowitz, Etan (March 25, 2008). "Full Sail digital media school achieves university status". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  21. ^ Carstensen, Melinda (August 30, 2010). "Full Sail to launch 10 new degree programs". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  22. ^ "Full Sail, Wide World of Sports ink deal". Orlando Business Journal. March 30, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  23. ^ "Full Sail University to offer new master's degree in game design". Orlando Business Journal. September 10, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  24. ^ "Full Sail University to Unveil Hall of Fame". Mix Online.
  25. ^ "WWE Planning Major Changes with NXT". May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  26. ^ Boedeker, Hal (June 19, 2015). "'WWE Tough Enough' calls Full Sail home". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  27. ^ Sullivan, Erin (May 14, 2012). "Full Sail partners with WWE". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  28. ^ "Full Sail student gets $10K from WWE". Orange Observer. October 3, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  29. ^ Reddick, Jay (January 17, 2018). "WWE surprises Full Sail student with $25,000 scholarship". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  30. ^ Varsallone, Jim (January 21, 2018). "How WWE surprised scholarship winner in honor of Raw 25". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  31. ^ Calhoun, Ada (February 11, 2011). "The No-Name School That Mints Grammy Winners". Time. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Azam, Melanie (September 21, 2009). "Full Sail program booming". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  33. ^ Abbott, Jim (March 11, 2009). "Full Sail to add 500-seat performance space..." Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  34. ^ McLean, Thomas (October 29, 2010). "Full Sail Dedicates Facility to D&D Creator". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  35. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (November 18, 2010). "ESPN Teaming With University for Research, Development Lab". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  36. ^ Hammel, Frank (July 28, 2011). "Full Sail University Launches $10+ Million Design-Build Project". Projection, Lights and Staging News. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  37. ^ "Parkway Announces Leasing and Occupancy Update". The Wall Street Journal. January 13, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  38. ^ "Full Sail Groundbreaking". September 2011. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  39. ^ Shanklin, Mary (July 24, 2011). "Full Sail buys office park for expansion". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  40. ^ Crabbe, Nathan (December 1, 2011). "Trustees vote to extend Machen's contract a year". Ocala.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  41. ^ Pedersen, Roger E. (2009). Game design foundations (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Wordware Pub. pp. 356–357. ISBN 978-1-59822-034-6.
  42. ^ Chong, Derrick (2010). Arts Management (second edition) (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-415-42391-5.
  43. ^ Steer, Daymond (December 26, 2011). "Gifts, chocolate milk and tough questions for Romney during Conway town hall meeting". Conway Daily Sun. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  44. ^ "Full Sail Launches New Online Degrees". Pro Sound News.
  45. ^ "College Navigator – Full Sail University". Nces.ed.gov. June 29, 1986. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  46. ^ Douglas, Danielle (September 28, 2016). "Student loan default rate dips, but 'considerable work remains,' education secretary says". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  47. ^ "How College Enrollment Contracts Limit Students' Rights". April 28, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  48. ^ Ourand, John (October 26, 2017). "Dan Patrick behind new sportscasting program at Full Sail University". New York Business Journal. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  49. ^ "Full Sail University Accreditation Listing". Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  50. ^ Calhoun, Ada (February 11, 2011). "The No-Name School That Mints Grammy Winners". Time Magazine. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  51. ^ Crabbe, Nathan (December 7, 2011). "UF and Full Sail partnering in production programs". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  52. ^ Tussling Over Transfer of Credit, Inside Higher Ed, February 26, 2007 by Doug Lederman
  53. ^ "Former TEC Awards Winners". Mix Online.
  54. ^ "'Rolling Stone' names Full Sail one of five best music programs". Orlando Business Journal. August 1, 2005. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  55. ^ "FAPSC Honors the Best Among Career Colleges in Florida During 2011". Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  56. ^ "Full Sail University Receives Numerous Honors from USDLA". U.S. News. May 6, 2011. Archived from the original on September 5, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  57. ^ "Center of Excellence Awards". New Media Consortium. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  58. ^ "Obituary: David Arneson". The Guardian. April 23, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  59. ^ "'He didn't love me at first sight'". The Jamaica Observer. January 14, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  60. ^ Boedeker, Hal (August 25, 2009). "An Oprah moment: Maximize your life, Graham tells class". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  61. ^ "Full Sail University to Unveil Hall of Fame". Mix Online. February 17, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  62. ^ Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (July 13, 2016). "From All Ghillied Up to No Russian, the making of Call of Duty's most famous levels". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  63. ^ Kenny, Tom (February 29, 2016). "On the Cover: Dream Asylum Studios". MixOnline. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  64. ^ Gounley, Thomas (June 9, 2015). "Fan-focused websites started by Hillcrest grads acquired by publisher of Sports Illustrated". Springfield News-Leader. Gannett Company. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  65. ^ "Full Sail film grad closes two-picture deal with Dimension Films". Orlando Business Journal. December 7, 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  66. ^ "Reggae Sensation Collie Buddz Keeps it Real". NPR. August 13, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  67. ^ "Collie Buddz". BBC. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  68. ^ Balakit, Melanie (May 29, 2015). "Vans Warped Tour includes active duty Army sergeant". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  69. ^ Helling, Steve (February 23, 2014). "Nelly Furtado: Working with My Husband Is a 'Healthy Tension'". People. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  70. ^ Sturrock, Staci (October 11, 2011). "Royal Palm Beach filmmaker and YouTube star builds his career far from spotlight". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  71. ^ "Ryan Connolly of FilmRiot on Crossing the 180". Dare Dreamer Magazine. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  72. ^ "Crawford Entertainment". Florida Trend. July 23, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  73. ^ "Winning the War: The Secret Mark 12 Weapon to Crush Temptation". Charisma. September 13, 2017. ISSN 0895-156X. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  74. ^ Daniels, David. "Deraj talks how artwork got him signed to RMG, favorite 2015 album cover he didn't design". Rapzilla. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  75. ^ a b Brinkmann, Paul (February 19, 2016). "Sony, Valve, Weta among workplaces for 2015 Full Sail honorees". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  76. ^ Pacheco, Walter (August 28, 2012). "Full Sail grads work on song beamed from Mars". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  77. ^ Davis, Justin (December 18, 2014). "Top 5 Producers Shifting the Sound of Atlanta Rap in 2014". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  78. ^ Duncan, Dustin (February 22, 2015). "Game on! Mount Vernon man creates video game, signs deal with Sony". The Southern Illinoisan. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  79. ^ "Mike Jaggerr Put a Thousand Days into "The Eleventh Hour"". NodFactor.com. February 2, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  80. ^ "Real RnB Radio's Rising Artist Spotlight: Jason Jetplane". WKNC. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  81. ^ a b c "Full Sail University to Unveil Hall of Fame". MixOnline. February 17, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  82. ^ "Ross Lara". Beatport. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  83. ^ Melendez, Angel (October 7, 2016). "Machinedrum Owes His Music Education to South Florida". Miami New Times. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  84. ^ O'Laughlin, Colm (October 25, 2013). "Q&A: Machinedrum". DJ Mag. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  85. ^ "William McDowell continues to inspire with 'I give myself away'". Christian Today. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  86. ^ "Interview: Steven C. Miller – Director (Under the Bed)". HorrorNews.net. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  87. ^ Sotonoff, Jamie; Gire, Dann (March 29, 2013). "Lombard filmmaker turned to skateboarding world". Daily Herald. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  88. ^ "Susan Nwokedi". Stage32. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  89. ^ "Emmy Winning Full Sail Grad's Short Film Now Available on Vimeo". East Orlando Post. December 14, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  90. ^ Polisin, Douglas (January 29, 2009). "Full Sail Celebrates Gary Rizzo's Oscar Nod". MovieMaker. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  91. ^ "Engaged – Stewart and Stenzel". Echo Press. December 7, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  92. ^ "TooSmooth's hip-hop career began in the suburbs". Daily Herald. November 1, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  93. ^ Golden, Zara (November 6, 2015). "This Is What It's Like To Make A Young Thug Mixtape". TheFader. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  94. ^ Davis, Justin (December 28, 2015). "How Engineer Alex Tumay Turned Young Thug's Entire Year Around". Complex.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  95. ^ Brinkmann, Paul (September 30, 2014). "6 successful graduates to join Full Sail's Hall of Fame". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  96. ^ Caviness, Tod (March 20, 2015). "Full Sail celebrates top alumni at gala". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  97. ^ "Adam Wingard". Empire Online. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  98. ^ "The New Masters of Horror: Meet 6 horror genre directors that are ushering in the new age horror renaissance". Movie Pilot. November 12, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2018.