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“Is anyone going to take my degree seriously?” Art Institute of Wisconsin stops enrollment for new students

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- About 400 students are learning they will be the last to attend a school in Milwaukee's Third Ward. It's not exactly what Art Institute of Wisconsin students were hoping to learn.

"Shocked, just shocked. That's it. I was speechless," said Art Institute of Wisconsin student Alisa Hovhannisyan.

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On Wednesday evening, May 6th, the school's parent company, Education Management Corporation, informed students that 'the Art Institutes have made the decision not to accept new enrollments into its programs at its Art Institute of Wisconsin location.'

"This is where my little home away from home. I think all of us in the department are just flabbergasted," said Hovhannisyan.

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Not to mention, concerned about just what the announcement means for them, despite the school's pledge to allow current students to complete their courses of study.

"I'm just stressed because I don't know how, once I graduate -- is anyone really going to take my degree seriously from a school that no longer is around?" said Hovhannisyan.

"I read the press release on it, and there was not a single mention of the students, and so my concern was the students. I figure the least I can do is extend my hand and say, 'if there's some way we can help you, if we can help transfer here, or help you with guidance in terms of your program and your goals to be an artist or designer.' I'm responding as an educator, and as a father, frankly," said President of MIAD, Neil Hoffman.

Hovhannisyan says while the news has her unsure of her future at the Art Institute of Wisconsin, it does have her certain of one thing, that she'll be spending some time this weekend exploring other opportunities.

Google Map for coordinates 43.034192 by -87.906360.


  • Wendy

    Why should you assume you have any privilages over someone who does not have a degree in art ? Your quality of art alone should be what gets a career. The art community is already bogged down by boring and uncreative artists.

    • Liz

      As a artist, I completely agree with you, Wendy.
      Not to mention that most of what you could learn at the “art” institute could easily be taught through the internet for free.

    • Matt

      Yes actually. You have no idea the amount of jobs that require artistic talent. I’m guessing you have very little, therefore do not understand or respect it.

      • Matt

        Everything you see, literally, billboards, advertising, packaging, commercials, websites…etc has a creative mind behind. Aka: a degree in Art. Suprised you didn’t know that.

      • Max

        No. How silly a statement that a creative mind needs a degree to be creative. There exist plenty of designers and artists, just as qualified, with no degree.

      • VoxaLox

        No, we didn’t need degrees. We could have learned everything for free on the internet. In fact, many of my classes were just us watching videos. The equipment was outdated and unavailable. The job placements were falsified. So, you are right, we didn’t need the useless degrees, but the admissions representatives convinced us we did and made big promises of real world experience and internships that would teach us valuable skills as well as the opportunity to network. Those were false claims to get us to sign away our lives. Hindsight is 20/20, if I would have known, I would have run for the hills.

  • Mike DiGiacomo

    The students that the school is closing on, don’t transfer, if it ends up closing, within 120 days of it closing if you’re still a current student you can probably qualify for the federal loan cancellation clause. If you transfer, you lose that option.

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