Closure of Art Institutes Creates Challenge For Enrolled Students

The Art Institute of Phoenix will be closing as was indicated in a July 3rd email students reportedly received. The Phoenix location is just one of several sites throughout the country which are expected to close this year, creating challenges for currently enrolled students.

According to the Art Institutes own website, an organization which bills itself, as “a system of non-profit schools through the United States,” the Phoenix location is “not currently enrolling students.” Rather, there is a phone number provided for students currently enrolled at the Phoenix location and contact information for those not currently in attendance but interested in their programs, redirecting them to online programs or other locations. Among the nearby locations listed as accepting students are Henderson, Nevada, and San Diego, California, respectively.

The Art Institutes has been dogged by various complaints from students, as reporting demonstrates, including about its financial loan practices, among others. The company was acquired by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC, in 2017, whose acquisition also included South University and other properties. The previous owner, Education Management Corporation filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy as of June, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to CNBC, some former students have even reached out to the Department of Education for issues with the company including regarding financial practices from their respective programs.

Additionally, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, currently the Democratic Whip, has publicly raised questions about the company’s practices in recent months. His most recent press release dated June 26 of this year is entitled “Durbin Calls on Accreditor to Investigate Reports of Misleading Practices by Dream Center Education Holdings.”

A statement from Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC, as provided on their media contact page says, in part, the following:

Dream Center Education Holdings is aware of multiple reports and speculation regarding the future of certain schools and campuses within The Art Institutes, Argosy University, and South University networks. 

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. 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. This decision will redirect prospective students to one of our other campuses or our online offerings. Current, active students should continue to attend class as scheduled. We will support current students by offering multiple options to continue their education.

We are discontinuing campus-based programs at the following campuses:

The Art Institutes Arlington, VA; Charleston, SC; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Nashville, TN; Novi, MI; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Portland, OR; San Bernardino, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Ana, CA; Sacramento, CA; and Schaumburg, IL 

Argosy University Alameda, CA; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Nashville, TN; Ontario, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Diego, CA; Sarasota, FL; and Schaumburg, IL

South University Novi, MI; High Point, NC; and Cleveland, OH

While we actively work with our accreditors and regulators to assess the viability of our current offerings at these locations, DCEH remains steadfast in our mission to provide students with accessible, affordable, relevant, and purposeful education aligned with market demands.

Dream Center Education Holdings was recently made aware of the Education Management Corporation (EDMC) bankruptcy filing. This bankruptcy filing is in no way associated with Dream Center Education Holdings.


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