DENVER — The for-profit Art Institute of Colorado is laying off employees, turning away students, and will reportedly close by the end of the year. That leaves nearly 500 students with uncertain futures.
“I thought my life was set. My path is set. My future is going to be great because of this school,” incoming freshman Jayda Moore told Denver7. “It felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.”
Moore received an email that her classes, which were supposed to start on Monday, had been canceled.
“I was shocked,” she said.
Jayda couldn’t get answers over the phone, including information on her $2,200 deposit. She and her mom eventually went to the school in person to find faculty and staff, who will soon be looking for new jobs themselves, helping students with transcripts, transfers, and deposits.
“It is being processed, and it will be mailed within a week or two,” Jayda’s mom Pam said.
The Moore’s advised other parents and students to go to the school in person since they’re being overwhelmed and couldn’t get answers over the phone.
That’s good news for them, but it doesn’t take care of the aspiring designer’s uncertain future.
“And it’s really tough because now I have to find a different school that’s good for me,” Jayda said.
“So now it’s a battle of getting her into a program because most art programs are limited seats,” Pam added.
Dozens of incoming students are now looking for a new start. Others who are halfway or more to a degree are still up in the air after finding out the Institute lost its accreditation months ago and didn’t tell anyone. What happens to those students and their credits is unknown.
To look up schools and their accreditation status, head to https://www.hlcommission.org.
“It’s sad seeing all those people sad and how many students it's affecting. It’s not just me,” Jayda Moore said.
The parent company of the Art Institute, Dream Center Education Holdings, wrote in a statement:
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.