MSCHE Ends Accreditation for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Looks to Finalize The Art Institute of Philadelphia Status

On April 18, 2019, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education formally acted to end the accreditation for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, effective March 13, 2019. The action was spelled out in a letter from MSCHE President Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski to the federal equity receiver, Mark E. Dottore, who is overseeing the institution. In addition, the Commission, unable to confirm the status of the teach-out plan for The Art Institute of Philadelphia, which closed in December, noted that the federal equity receiver has been unresponsive to repeated requests for information.

The actions for both institutions were detailed in a letter provided to Mark E. Dottore. In the letter for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the action stated in part: To note The Art Institute of Pittsburgh closed while on show cause, without prior approval and without an approved teach-out plan. To note the accreditation of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh ceased on March 13, 2019. To note that the show cause report, due September 1, 2019, is no longer due, and the on-site show cause visit will not occur.

The Commission took an additional action to request a comprehensive, implementable teach-out plan with teach-out agreements from the federal equity receiver due May 3, 2019:

To note the teach-out plan with teach-out agreements, due April 1, 2019, was not received. To note the federal equity receiver, custodian, and liquidator, after repeated requests, has failed to confirm the status of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and failed to provide a comprehensive, implementable teach-out plan with teach-out agreements. To require a comprehensive, implementable teach-out plan with teach-out agreements, due May 3, 2019, from the federal equity receiver, custodian, and liquidator documenting evidence of: (1) communications and information provided by the Receiver to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the United States Department of Education relating to AI Pittsburgh relating to closure; (2) an updated teach-out plan with copies of all teach-out agreements relating to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, including, but not limited to, verification that teach-out agreements received on January 25, 2019, from the institution are verified, ratified, or otherwise authorized by the Receiver; (3) the status of the term that abruptly ended on March 8, 2019, including whether grades were issued and the number of degrees that were awarded; (4) provisions for student records, including how students can obtain transcripts and the appropriate arrangement for the permanent disposition of all student records held by the institution so that students and alumni will be able to obtain accurate and complete transcripts in the future; (5) notification to all students that the institution’s accreditation ceased effective March 13, 2019; and (6) public disclosure regarding the institution’s accreditation status provided wherever the institution’s web pages, publications, and announcements make reference to MSCHE accreditation and in all other appropriate places and venues.

With regard to The Art Institute of Philadelphia, Dr. Sibolski wrote:

To note that the supplemental information report due on March 15, 2019, was not received and that the federal equity receiver, custodian, and liquidator, after repeated requests, has failed to confirm the status of the teach-out plan and teach-out agreements for The Art Institute of Philadelphia. The institution closed on December 28, 2018, and accreditation ceased effective December 29, 2018.

The Commission continues to request information from the federal equity receiver in an effort  to provide useful information for the benefit of students impacted by the closures of the two institutions.  Until that information is received, the Commission continues to direct constituents to the federal equity receiver and any information that may be available online:  https://www.artinstitutes.edu/closed-school-information-page. Please note that the Commission has been unable to confirm the accuracy of information posted at the Closed School Information Page.

Other online resources include:

For more information on the Commission’s policies and procedures, visit: