news-artinstitute071318-01

The Art Institute of Philadelphia located at 1622 Chestnut St. will close on Aug. 28. — ABDUL SULAYMAN/TRIBUNE CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Art Institute of Philadelphia is slated to close its doors and cut more than 100 jobs.

The Center City-based school will close effective Aug. 28 and 171 jobs will be eliminated by the end of the year.

The institution is being shuttered along with 30 schools owned by its parent company, Dream Center Education Holdings. DCEH said it would not accept new enrollees at 18 Art Institutes around the country.

“This decision was made for a number of reasons, including a shift in the demand for online programs in higher education and in student populations at the campuses, which have resulted in declining, unsustainable enrollment levels for campus-based programs in these markets,” Anne Dean, a spokesperson for Dream Center, said in an e-mailed statement.

“We will support current students by offering multiple options to continue their education. 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.”

Students who are currently enrolled at the school have the option of finishing their studies at another Art Institute campus with a 50 percent reduction in tuition or transferring to a “partner university” that is not part of Dream Center and be eligible for a $5,000 tuition grant.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia, which enrolled 1,200 students as of June 2016, offers certificates and degrees in animation, culinary, graphic design, film and audio production. Tuition ranges from $47,957 for an associate degree to $92,472 for a bachelor’s degree.

Besides Philadelphia, the Dream Center is “discontinuing campus-based programs” at schools in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Colorado, California, Utah, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee, Virginia and Ontario, Canada.

Education Management Corp., a for-profit education company, sold the Art Institute schools and a number of other schools to Dream Center for $60 million last year.

EDMC filed for bankruptcy in late June and listed assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of between $500 million and $1 billion. Dream Center said it is not associated with EDMC’s bankruptcy filing.

ajones@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5747

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