School and Ranking Information
Roughly ten colleges and universities within 50 miles of the Miami, FL, area offer programs in CAD (computer-aided drafting) and design technology. The top three schools in the area with relevant programs are Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale, William T. McFatter Technical Center and Miami Dade College, based on their rankings, graduation rates, tuition costs and program offerings.
- Winner: Keiser University is the only school among these three with rankings from U.S. News & World Report.
- Runner-Up #1: William T. McFatter Technical Center has the highest graduation rate, making it the first runner-up.
- Runner-Up #2: Miami Dade College offers three different associate's degrees and two certificates for students interested in CAD drafting and design technology. It offers the lowest tuition costs.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale||William T. McFatter Technical Center||Miami Dade College|
|2014 Ranking(s)||57th for Regional Colleges (South)*||N/A||N/A|
|Location||Fort Lauderdale, FL (about 33 miles from Miami)||Davie, FL (about 28 miles from Miami)||Miami, FL|
|School Type||4-year, primarily associate's, private not-for-profit||2-year, public||4-year, primarily associate's, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$15,664**||$5,000 (total program cost for FL residents***|| $3,366 in-state,
|CAD Design and Drafting Degree Levels Offered||Associate's degrees||Certificates||Certificates and associate's degrees|
|CAD Design and Drafting Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||5**||10**||52**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time)||55% (students starting in 2006) **||56% (students starting in 2009-2010)**||31% (students starting in 2006)**|
|Noteworthy||Keiser has 14 campuses throughout Florida**||Part-time and full-time program formats available***||Eight campuses around the Miami area****|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), ***William T. McFatter Technical Center, ****Miami Dade College.
Winner: Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale
- 89% of Keiser's students are Florida residents and 76% work while attending classes
- Keiser accepts dual credit, AP credit and credit for life experiences
- The NCES reports that during the 2011-2012 school year, 87% of incoming freshmen received some type of financial aid
Keiser University - Ft. Lauderdale offers an associate's degree in computer-aided drafting. This 72-credit program covers introductory design drafting; 3-D modeling; mechanical, architectural and structural drafting; and computer drafting applications. General education courses are required as well. Keiser's Department of Student Services provides career advice and employment counseling for students and graduates seeking jobs.
Runner-Up #1: William T. McFatter Technical Center
- The full-time drafting program takes 15 months to complete
- Program graduates may pursue certification through the American Design Drafting Association
The drafting certificate program at William T. McFatter Technical Center in Davie prepares students for employment as structural, mechanical, architectural or civil drafters. The curriculum covers blueprint reading, CAD technology and technical drawing; hands-on training is integral to the program. Students enrolled part-time take morning-only classes Monday through Friday, while full-time students take classes those same days from 8:00 am-2:30 pm. This school offers CAD refresher courses as well.
Runner-Up #2: Miami Dade College (MDC)
- MDC grants associate's degrees to more minorities than any other college in the country
- 84% of first-time freshmen received grant or scholarship aid in 2011-2012, per the NCES
MDC's Kendall, North and Wolfson campuses offer students interested in CAD design and drafting technologies a variety of options. Associate's degrees are available in architectural design and construction technology, building construction technology and interior design technology; these programs consist of 64-70 credits. All of these programs include coursework in computer-aided design, and students complete design studios, projects and professional portfolios. Students may also pursue a 14-credit computer-aided design assistant certificate or a 22-credit computer-aided design operator certificate.