July 19, 2018
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
1400 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Dear Dr. Monday:

On July 19, 2018, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education acted as follows:

To document receipt of the supplemental information report, noting that the report provided limited responses to requested information and was insufficient to address the Commission’s concerns. To note that the institution failed to inform the Commission about any and all developments relevant to the terms of the change in ownership and legal status as directed in the Commission action of November 16, 2017. To require the institution to show cause, by August 31, 2018, as to why its accreditation should not be withdrawn. To note that the institution remains accredited while on show cause. The institution is required to present its case for continued accreditation by means of a show cause report, in lieu of the formerly requested supplemental information report. To request that the show cause report document evidence that the institution has achieved and can sustain ongoing compliance with Commission’s Requirements of Affiliation, accreditation standards, and policies including, but not limited to evidence of (1) the capacity to support increased enrollment in online programs, including fiscal and human resources as well as the physical and technical infrastructure adequate to support its operations (Standards II, IV, VI, Requirements of Affiliation 11, 15) and adequate student support services (Standard IV); (2) clearly stated, ethical policies and processes to admit, retain, and facilitate the success of students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals provide a reasonable expectation for success and are compatible with institutional mission (Standard IV); and (3) honesty and truthfulness in all publications and communications, in all formats, for internal and external communities (Standard II). In addition, to request that the show cause report also document evidence (4) of the breadth of the relationships involving the related entities, Dream Center Foundation and Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), including the identification of contractual relationships, employment, and family or financial interests that could pose or be perceived as conflicts of interest (Standards II, VII; Requirements of Affiliation 12, 13; Related Entities Policy); (5) of recertification by the related entities that they recognize the Commission's compliance requirements and will ensure that responsibilities of the related entities are fulfilled, including making freely available to the Commission accurate, fair, and complete information through disclosure of information required by the Commission to carry out its accrediting responsibilities (Related Entities Policy; Requirement of Affiliation 14); and (6) that the institution operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy (Standard VII). To also request that the institution complete and submit for approval, by August 31, 2018, a comprehensive, implementable teach-out plan describing how, if the Commission withdraws accreditation, all students including any student requiring access to Title IV funding will be accommodated. In accordance with Commission policy and federal regulations, the teach-out plan must provide for the equitable treatment of students to complete their education, and include any teach-out agreements that the institution has entered into or intends to enter into with another institution. Approvals from any licensing, regulatory, or other legal entities, as may be necessary, must also be provided to the Commission. To direct a prompt liaison guidance consultation to discuss Commission expectations. An on-site evaluation will follow submission of the report. The purpose of the on-site evaluation is to verify the information provided in the show cause report and the institution's ongoing and sustainable compliance with the Commission's Requirements of Affiliation, accreditation standards, and policies. To note that the institution will be invited to appear before the Commission when it meets to consider the institution’s show cause report.

This action now appears on the institution’s Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS). This serves as the institution’s official notification of that action. If any of the information contained within the action appears to be factually incorrect, please send an email within 30 calendar days of the action to support@msche.org.

This action is a non-compliance action and includes a request for a show cause report and a visit. An explanation of this type of action is provided in the Commission's policy Accreditation Actions. The institution is invited to appear before the Commission when the Commission meets to consider the institution's show cause report. The procedures Show Cause Appearance Before the Commission Prior to Withdrawal of Accreditation is enclosed. As noted in these procedures, the institution must inform the Commission of its intent to appear before the Commission at least 14 days prior to the Commission meeting at which the adverse action will be considered.

This notification also serves as the Public Disclosure Statement (PDS), consistent with the Commission’s policy on Communication in the Accreditation Process, and it will be made publicly available on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education website in accordance with policy and federal regulation. The institution is also invited to submit an official statement in response to the above Commission action. Any statement must be sent to support@msche.org within 30 calendar days from the date of the action. Any statement received will be embedded within this notification and made available through it.

The following resources provide additional information that may be helpful to understanding the Commission’s actions and the institution’s accreditation status:

In accordance with policy and federal regulation, the Commission provides notification of decisions on non-compliance actions to the U.S. Secretary of Education, the appropriate state or other licensing or authorizing agency, and the appropriate accrediting agencies at the same time it notifies the institution, but no later than 30 days after it reaches the decision. The Commission provides notification of such decisions to the public through its website within 24 hours of informing the institution. Please ensure that the institution’s published references to its accreditation status align with Commission policy.

For questions about the Commission action, please contact the institution’s assigned Vice President staff liaison. Questions from the public about the institution’s accreditation status can be directed to communications@msche.org.


Gary L. Wirt, Ed.D.