Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur campus to close

Posted by Dena Mellick May 6, 2015
Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur campus director Jennifer Ramsey speaks at the 2013 Edible Book Festival. Photo by Dena Mellick

Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur campus director Jennifer Ramsey speaks at the 2013 Edible Book Festival. Photo by Dena Mellick

The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur is one of 15 Art Institute locations set to close nationwide.

Chris Hardman, spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based parent company Education Management Corp. (EDMC) said in an email to Decaturish, “The Art Institutes system of schools have made the decision to not accept new enrollments into programs at 15 campuses, including The Art Institute of Atlanta – Decatur. We remain committed to assisting currently enrolled students in successfully completing their programs of study and will continue to offer courses, student services and placement assistance until the last student has graduated.”

The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur is a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, located on Peachtree Dunwoody Road. That location will not be affected.

Hardman said, “A number of the impacted locations are off-site learning or branch locations in a community where we have more than one location. Their main locations will not be impacted by this change and will continue their long-standing traditions of serving as an important source of creative professionals in the design, media arts, culinary and fashion fields.”

Hardman said Ai-Decatur, as it’s called, will remain open for a few more years as part of a “teach out” process. Each campus will keep offering courses and student services until students have graduated. “We expect the teach out of Ai – Decatur to take approximately 2-3 years,” said Hardman.

“Our primary concern is ensuring that currently enrolled students receive a high quality education that will equip them with the skills and expertise they need to earn a meaningful return on their educational investment,” he said.

Hardman said this is the full list of Art Institute campuses that are closing:

  • Atlanta (Decatur)
  • Fort Worth
  • Houston (North)
  • Jacksonville
  • Kansas City
  • Michigan (Troy)
  • New England
  • New York City
  • Cincinnati
  • Salt Lake City
  • Silicon Valley
  • Tinley Park
  • Washington (Dulles)
  • Wisconsin
  • York

Hardman said there are 51 Art Institute campuses, including the 15 that will be closing.

Last month, EDMC announced it had completed a large debt restructuring agreement. When Decaturish asked if the closings were the result of the debt restructuring, Hardman said, “to serve the needs and expectations of our students, faculty and staff, it is more important than ever that we align our organization with the realities of the education environment. That alignment demands a comprehensive and strategic examination of our schools and programs to ensure we are fully focused on providing the best student, graduate and employer outcomes. As a result of that examination – and as the next step in our transformation – we, together with the respective local boards of trustees, have made the difficult decision to cease new enrollments at a select number of our institutions.”

About Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of

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