Art Institute of California, Argosy to close Bay Area campuses

SAN FRANCISCO — The Bay Area campuses of the Art Institute of California and Argosy University will close, according to information on the website of the organization that owns them, Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC.

“Since acquiring these schools in late 2017, we have been undergoing an ongoing process of evaluating the viability of certain campus-based programs relative to student needs and preferences in order to best support our students, both present and future,” said a notice posted on the organization’s website. “As a result of that examination, we have made the decision to discontinue campus-based programs for a number of schools within The Art Institutes, Argosy University, and South University systems.”

The Art Institute’s website says the San Francisco campus is no longer accepting applicants and redirects potential students to other locations in Los Angeles, San Diego or its online division. Argosy University posted a similar message on its website about its Alameda campus.

The Art Institute of California-San Francisco offers classes in visual and interior design, marketing, film, gaming, cooking, animation and fashion. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the San Francisco division of the school has 630 students enrolled. The school website puts tuition costs at about $518 per credit hour and estimates the cost of a full bachelor’s program north of $96,000 for most programs.

At Argosy University, about 304 students are enrolled, according to estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics. That school offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in psychology, criminal justice, management and education, among other subjects. Fees at Argosy range from $445 per credit hour to more than $1,000 per credit hour, according to its website.

In addition to the Bay Area campuses, Dream Center Education Holdings will close Art Institutes campuses in San Bernardino, Santa Ana and Sacramento, as well as schools in Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Oregon. Argosy will close a campus in San Diego and Ontario in California, as well as campuses in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, Utah, Florida and Illinois. The organization also runs South University and will close campuses in Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio.

It’s unclear what kind of support the schools will offer current students. Requests sent to the school spokeswoman for information were not immediately returned.

According to a report of layoffs on the website of the California Employment Development Department, the closures will result in the layoff of 138 employees at the San Francisco campus and 78 in Alameda.

Dream Center Education Holdings acquired the Art Institutes and Argosy University schools late last year, along with South University and Western State College of Law. The transfer, from former parent company Education Management Corporation, transitioned the schools from for-profit to non-profit institutions, according to a 2017 news release from the Art Institute. In 2015, the Education Management Corporation reached a $95.5-million settlement with the federal government over claims that it had misled prospective students, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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