Dream Center Education Holdings, the company operating for-profit Art Institute, will no longer accept new students at 30 campuses nationwide. The News & Observer out of North Carolina first reported the news based on an internal memo that read: “Over the last several months, we have taken a strategic and comprehensive look at each of our three education systems and their respective campuses, evaluating them to be sure that they are meeting the needs of today's learners and providing the best student and graduate outcomes. What has become clear is that we have a critical need and responsibility to become a much more agile organization, responsive to the needs of our students and the changing demands of higher education."
A spokeswoman for the company confirmed the closures Monday. Eighteen Art Institute campuses, nine Argosy University campuses, and three South University campuses will be affected. Thirteen Art Institute campuses are expected to remain open. Prospective students will also have access to online offerings or programs at one of the open campuses. Dream Center spokeswoman Anne Dean told the N&O that active students should continue to attend class as scheduled, and that the company has “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.”
The Art Institute offers culinary education, as well as design, film, audio production, fashion, and animation. Five culinary graduates of The Art Institutes system of schools were among the 2018 James Beard Award semifinalists:
- Martha de Leon of Pax Americana in Houston (Rising Star Chef of the Year)
- Pat O'Malley of Hungry Pigeon in Philadelphia (Outstanding Pastry Chef)
- Jose Salazar of Mita's Cincinnati (Best Chef: Great Lakes)
- Mutsuko Soma of Kamonegi in Seattle (Best Chef: Northwest)
- Justin Woodward of Castagna in Portland (Best Chef: Northwest)
- Niven Patel of Ghee Indian Kitchen in Miami (Best Chef: South)
Woodward was a finalist as well.
Dram Center said it has “made the decision to cease new enrollments,” at the following schools:
The Art Institutes Arlington, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Denver; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; Novi, Michigan; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; San Bernardino, California; San Francisco; Santa Ana, California; Sacramento; and Schaumburg, Illinois.
Also: Argosy University Alameda, California; Dallas, Texas; Denver; Nashville; Ontario; Salt Lake City; San Diego; Sarasota, Florida; Schaumburg.
Lastly: South University Novi, Michigan; High Point, North Carolina; and Cleveland.
The Art Institute brand of schools was sold from Education Management Corporation to Dream Center Education Holdings for $60 million in October.