The Art Institute of Colorado Article

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The Art Institute of Colorado from Lincoln Street
The Art Institute of Colorado
Former names
Colorado Institute of Art (CIA)
PresidentJames Caldwell
Vice-presidentDr. Benjamin Valdez
DeanDr. Benjamin Valdez
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
AffiliationsDream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), LLC

The Art Institute of Colorado was a nonprofit institution owned and operated by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC. It stopped enrolling students in 2017, [3] It closed in 2018 ( [4] after losing accreditation. [5]


The school was established in 1952 and founded as a private college for arts and crafts. In 1956 John Jellico, a former Assistant Director of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, joined the staff and introduced the Commercial Arts program. In 1960, he took over management of the school.

In 1975, Education Management Corporation (EDMC) of Pittsburgh bought out the school and became a branch of the Art Institute System of Schools. A year later Interior Design and a Photography program were added. In 1977 the school moved from 16 West 13th Avenue to 300 East 9th Avenue in Denver.

A short lived program was the Music and Video Business program. It was started in 1987 and the first graduating class was in 1989. Some of the Art campuses still offer a video production program. In 2013, the Web Design & Interactive Media and Graphic Design programs at both the Associates and Bachelors level have been merged into the Graphic & Web Design program.

A Culinary Arts program was started in 1993 and a satellite campus in the Denver Design District at 675 S. Broadway is used for the Culinary Arts program. The Broadway location has four labs for production of hot and cold foods, one baking and pastry lab, one multipurpose lab, and one computer lab, along with the student-run Assignments Restaurant. In 2000, the school moved its main campus to 1200 Lincoln St., keeping the old location as another satellite building, primarily devoted to the Industrial Design department. In 2012, they vacated the building on 9th Avenue, and all programs other than Culinary became hosted at the 1200 Lincoln location, which housed 26 classrooms; fifteen computer labs; a library; photography studios; digital video, animation, sound and editing studios; and the John Jellico Gallery in the Golden Triangle District in Downtown Denver. A long-term arrangement for student housing was made at 5785 E. 8th Ave. All three buildings were used until the school closed. [6]

Although the school's official name became The Art Institute of Colorado (AiC), it wassometimes referred to by its previous name Colorado Institute of Art (CIA).

Current degrees and diplomas offered


  • Baking & Pastry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Digital Image Management
  • Fashion Retailing
  • Web Design & Development
  • Web Design & Interactive Communications

Associate of Applied Science Degrees

  • Baking and Pastry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Graphic & Web Design
  • Kitchen and Bath Design
  • Photography
  • Video Production

Bachelor of Arts Degrees

  • Audio Production
  • Culinary Management
  • Design & Technical Graphics
  • Design Management
  • Digital Filmmaking & Video Production
  • Fashion Design
  • Fashion Retail Management
  • Food & Beverage Management
  • Game Art & Design
  • Graphic & Web Design
  • Hospitality Management
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design
  • Media Arts & Animation
  • Photography
  • Visual Effects & Motion Graphics

Current student groups

  • Comic Club
  • Gamer's Guild
  • Game Development Club
  • GLOW (Gay, Lesbian or Whatever)
  • Martial Arts Club
  • Performing Arts Club
  • Photography Club
  • Recording Arts Club
  • Veteran's Club
  • Web Club

Student chapters of professional organizations

Student-run publications

  • Art Effects (A semi-annual student magazine)
  • Pump Fashion Magazine

School Presidents

  • John T. Barclay 1976-1980
  • Cheryl Murphy 1980-1991
  • W.C. (Bill) Bottoms 1991-1996
  • David C. Zorn 1996-2014


On June 27, 2013, the Art Institute of Colorado was placed on notice by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Commission cited concerns related to student success, including retention and attrition, institutional review of data related to student success, faculty workload and development, enrollment management, and evidence-based planning. According to the Commission:

"The Criteria for Accreditation (2005 Criteria for Accreditation) and Core Components on which the Board based its action are: Criterion Two, particularly Core Component 2.c, 'the organization’s ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement'; Criterion Three, particularly Core Component 3.b, 'the organization values and supports effective teaching,' Core Component 3.c, 'the organization creates effective learning environments'; and Criterion Four, particularly Core Component 4.a, 'the organization demonstrates, through the actions of its board, administrators, students, faculty, and staff, that it values a life of learning.'”

The Commission stated that the Art Institute of Colorado needed to file a Notice Report in August 2014 with proof that it met the criteria, hosting a focused visit on October 2014. The Board reviewed this information at its meeting in February 2015. [8] As of March 2015, the Art Institute of Colorado was no longer on notice. [9]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Facilities". The Art Institute of Colorado. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "AIGA Student Groups". AIGA. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  8. ^ "Public Disclosure Notice on Art Institute of Colorado" (PDF). the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Retrieved December 1, 2013.[ permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Higher Learning Commission". Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "Cody Donovan MMA Bio". Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title ( link)

External links

ART INSTITUTE OF COLORADO Latitude and Longitude:

39°44′08″N 104°59′09″W / 39.73556°N 104.98583°W / 39.73556; -104.98583