HBCU To The Rescue: Morris Brown College Extends A Lifeline To Displaced Students From Art Institute Of Atlanta
Morris Brown College in Atlanta is stepping in to help stranded students from the recently shuttered Art Institute of Atlanta complete their schooling.
The Art Institute of Atlanta closed down on Sept. 30, as its troubled parent institution, the Art Institutes, shut down for good.
According to the New York Times, the Art Institutes, a network of for-profit universities, shuttered its doors this September after a decade of controversies plagued the now-defunct program. In 2015, the Institutes were entangled in a nearly $100 million settlement with the Justice Department amid allegations of fraud. Three years later, in 2018, the institution lost accreditation, which led to the closure of 20 campuses. Now, the Art Institutes has shut down its eight remaining locations. The abrupt decision has left faculty reeling and 1,700 students scrambling to finish their education.
The news of this closure was shared with the student body and staff via email. Anne Perry, who taught at the Art Institute of Dallas, wrote a Facebook post about the sudden announcement.
“I got the message right after I had met on Zoom with a student, and we had expressed looking forward to next quarter, and the day after, I had delivered an impassioned lecture in two classes about the road ahead,” she said. “And now it will be a different road for many.”
Perry also included the contents of the email. “As the announcement describes: ‘A culmination of events over the past decade . . . has forced the closure of this not-for-profit system of colleges. Most notably, the colleges, which already were dealing with the legacy challenges that arose under prior ownership, were unable to absorb the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on schools teaching hands-on and equipment-intensive programs such as culinary arts and fashion design,’” she shared.
While hundreds of students have been left in the dust, Morris Brown College, a historically-Black institute, has stepped in to help those in need. The school has created a new program called The Art Institute of Atlanta Pathway to Morris Brown College partnership, which will assist Art Institute students in transferring to the HBCU without having to start over.
Morris Brown College has had its own share of complications throughout its 142-year history. In 2002, the school lost its accreditation due to financial mismanagement. However, in April 2022, it regained it and is now working to help other students affected by similar circumstances.
Morris Brown College President Dr. Kevin James spoke about the initiative.
“We personally here at Morris Brown College know a lot of the feelings that are going on amongst the individuals over at the Art Institute,” he said. “Although Morris Brown never closed, we did have a huge exodus of students that had to leave Morris Brown College because we lost our federal financial aid.”
For more information, visit morrisbrown.edu.
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