Seven Argosy University and Art Institute campuses across California will cease enrollment and operations, resulting in at least 700 employee layoffs.
Parent organization Dream Center Education Holdings LLC said in a statement Tuesday that it would be “discontinuing campus-based programs” at Argosy University locations in Alameda, Ontario and San Diego, and Art Institute campuses in San Bernardino, San Francisco, Santa Ana and Sacramento.
The only location for which a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice was not filed with the California Employment Development Department was the Argosy University site in San Diego.
More than 20 other campuses across the country are also included in this decision, including sites in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado and Oregon.
Pittsburgh-based Dream Center Education Holdings — described on its website as a publicly traded company that has converted to a not-for-profit organization — said the decision was made after a “complete and thorough” examination of its three education systems.
The organization operates Argosy University, which offers degrees ranging from associate to doctorate in areas such as health sciences, business and law; the Art Institutes, which focuses on media arts, design, culinary and fashion and offers associate to master’s degrees; and South University, which includes areas of study in theology and information technology.
In notices filed to the state Employment Development Department, a Dream Center Education Holdings official said the affected facilities would “cease operations” about Dec. 31. Jobs would be eliminated starting Sept. 11, the notices said, and continue until “the campus has discontinued all onsite program offerings.”
Employees were notified of their expected last day as of two weeks ago, according to the notices.
Dream Center Education Holdings cited a shift in demand for online programs in higher education and a change in the student population at these campuses as reasons for the enrollment halt.
“We did not see demand for growth at these campuses,” Dream Center Education Holdings said in the statement, noting that these locations had “declining, unsustainable enrollment levels for campus-based programs in these markets.”
The organization said it is meeting with students individually to “review their academic plan and chart the best path to completing their degree.”
As of Oct. 15, Dream Center Education Holdings operated 62 schools in 21 states.