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New England Institute of Art to cease new enrollment

The New England Institute of Art has stopped enrollment and will close once current students have completed their studies, officials announced Wednesday.

Education Management Corp. will halt enrollment and shut down the art institute in Brookline and 15 other similar institutions across the country, said Chris Hardman, a spokesman for the company. The corporation has about 50 similar facilities.

According to Hardman, the Pittsburgh-based company made the decision after examining the success rate of employment for its graduates, which he said was unsatisfactory at the selected locations.

Students at the New England Institute of Art were notified Wednesday of the decision at on-campus meetings or by e-mail if they were not present.


There are 450 students enrolled at the school, which offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, along with certificate programs. Those students will be able to complete their degrees before the branch closes, Hardman said, and he expects the process to take two to three years.

“Our primary concern is ensuring that currently enrolled students receive a high-quality education that will equip them with the skills and expertise they need to earn a meaningful return on their educational investment,” he said in a statement.

“As a result of that examination — and as the next step in our transformation — we, together with the respective local boards of trustees, have made the difficult decision to cease new enrollments at a select number of our institutions.”

Hardman would not comment on whether the closings were affected by a US Department of Education regulation that determines whether or not private institutions receive funding based on employment outcomes.

There are approximately 115 faculty members at the New England school, many of whom may remain until the last students graduate, Hardman said.

He said 10 faculty members, mostly from the admissions department, were told that Wednesday was their last day at the institution.


Other faculty members will remain based on the needs of students. After students have graduated and the school closes, faculty will have the opportunity to apply for other positions in the company, according to Hardman.

Those who do not get hired would receive severance benefits, he said.

Faculty members and students could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

The New England Institute of Art was founded in 1952, originally as a television and radio school, but now includes fashion, design, and media arts programs, according to the institution’s website.

M.G. Lee can be reached at matt.lee@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @m_g_lee.