Students scramble after Art Institute's sudden closing announcement

Students scramble after Art Institute's sudden closing announcement

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11 has confirmed that the Art Institute of Pittsburgh will permanently shut down on March 31.

The school’s parent company, the Dream Center Foundation, filed the necessary paperwork with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

RELATED: Employees: Art Institute rolled out sudden mass layoffs

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They currently have almost 2,200 students enrolled at the school.

More than 300 jobs were also eliminated.


"Everybody's frustrated. The Art Institute is leaving us in the dark," said Sara McIntyre, a student who is supposed to graduate in May. "I just want answers. Am I going to get my diploma or do I have to go somewhere else for a year or two?"

Employees told Channel 11 almost everyone was unexpectedly laid off last week, as well as 325 other people who were laid off at two sister universities that are located down the street.

A building on Penn Avenue housed employees who worked for Argosy University Online and South University Online -- both of which are owned by the Dream Center.

Employees said they were given no notice or severance. Students aren't getting information, either.

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Hours after Channel 11 confirmed with the state that the Art Institute is closing, students got an email saying, "No official announcement of closure has been released to the college..."

"It's very upsetting. I've come so far just to be kicked in the shin, pretty much," McIntyre said.

The Dream Center is currently in federal receivership to restructure its massive amounts of debt.

In the paperwork it filed with the state, it outlines a plan to communicate all of that to its students, but the plan has not been put into action yet.