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Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago

The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago is permanently closed.[3]

The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago
MottoThe College for Creative Minds
TypeNonprofit institution[1][2]
PresidentMs. Jennifer Raney
Location, ,
ColorsBlack and Red
AffiliationsDream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), LLC

The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago, a for profit institution owned and operated by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC, is not currently enrolling students.[4]

Currently, it is not accredited, having lost their accreditation on January 20, 2018 from the Higher Learning Commission, but it is a candidate for accreditation.[5] It stopped accepting students in 2018.[6]

The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago offers bachelor's degree or associates degree for several programs including: fashion, interior design, visual communication/graphic design and other media arts, and culinary arts with an enrollment of 2200 students. The school is located in two facilities in Chicago, Illinois, the Mart campus being in the West Mart Center of the Merchandise Mart complex. The Loop campus is located on the corner of Lake and Wabash. The Loop campus houses classes for media (graphic design, interactive media, digital film-making, videogames) and culinary programs while the Mart campus houses most of administration, library, and classes for fashion and interior design programs. The Loop campus features a student-run restaurant called "The Backstage Bistro."



The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago was founded in 1916 as The Commercial Art School, which was one of the first applied art and design colleges in the United States. Three years later, William F. Ray became president and incorporated the school under the name of Ray School.

During the 1920s, and 1930s, the school increased substantially in enrollment as professional art, design photography, and fashion programs were added to the curriculum. In the 1930s, the name "Vogue School" was used during an advertising campaign for fashion courses offered by the school, thus the school became widely known as Ray–Vogue School. When Ruth Wade Ray assumed the presidency in 1945, Ray-Vogue had become recognized throughout the country as a leader in professional art and fashion education. The College was renamed Ray College of Design in 1981 and was granted the authority to award associate degrees in all of its programs.

In 1985, the president of the college, Wade Ray, opened a branch campus near Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, which later became The Illinois Institute of Art—Schaumburg. One year later, the college was granted authority to award Bachelor of Arts degrees by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Ray College of Design joined The Art Institutes system in 1995 as The Illinois Institute of Art.

As part of The Art Institutes, The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago refocused its bachelor's degree programs and mission to serve four basic creative industries (fashion, interior design, culinary and the media arts, which includes digital film-making, game art design, graphic design, and advertising) as a skill-centered and market-driven career college.

Since 1995, The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago has grown by programs and floor space for its growing student body. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago took advantage of the expansion and renovation of the first floor of the West Mart Center (350 N. Orleans) of the Merchandise Mart Center and Apparel Center complex. Most all of the new floor space was shared and occupied by the Illinois Institute of Art and by Argosy University.

In 2007, new class space opened on a newly acquired fifth floor at the Loop campus. By the end of the 2007 school year, the college successfully expanded its floor space at both the Mart Center campus and the Loop campus, and discontinued its use of temporary spaces.

In late 2007, The Art Institute of Michigan serving the Detroit metropolitan area became a branch location of The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago. Also, progression was made to include officially The Art Institute locations at Schaumburg and Cincinnati as branch locations under the umbrella of The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago.

The Illinois Institute of Art—Chicago achieved regional re-accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for ten years in 2008. The interior design program was re-certified by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation a few months earlier. Also, in June, 2008, Argosy University moved out of the spaces at the Mart Center Campus allowing The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago to grow its programs that serve the fashion and the interior design industries further there.

Each year, the journal DesignIntelligence conducts research and publishes "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools," a ranking of accredited programs across the United States to determine the top colleges and universities for architecture and design. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago was chosen one of the top 15 undergraduate interior design programs in the United States in 2008. In 2009, the program improved its ranking to No. 9.

Former presidents include:

1995 to 2001: Saundra Van Dyke

2001 to 2004: Charles Restivo

2004 to 2012: John Balester Jenkins

2012 to 2014: David Ray


The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago is a candidate for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. On November 5, 2015, the Higher Learning Commission placed the Institute on Notice.[7] The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is authorized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to award the following: the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees: Digital Media Production, Fashion Design, Game Art & Design, Interior Design, Media Arts & Animation, Interactive Media Design, Digital Photography, Visual Communications and Visual Effects & Motion Graphics; the Bachelor of Arts Degrees: Fashion Marketing & iManagement; Advertising; and the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Management; Associate of Applied Science Degrees: Culinary Arts, Fashion Merchandising, Interactive Media Production and Graphic Design.

The Interior Design BFA program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The Culinary Arts AAS program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation.

On January 20, 2018, The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago lost their accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees and the Chicago-based Accreditation Agency by going from "Accredited" to "Candidate" following a public disclosure letter sent out to them; completing Education Management Corporations sale to the Dream Center Foundation through Dream Center Education Holdings.[8]

Student organizationsEdit

  • Student chapter of the International Interior Design Association
  • American Advertising Federation
  • American Society of Interior Designers
  • The American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • G.A.M.E. Club
  • Kappa Omicron Nu
  • The Mixing Bowl
  • Society of Illustrators - Chicago
  • Students for Sustainability

Students can participate in several professional organizations, including Digitaleve, Association for Multimedia Communications (AMC), Chicago Area Toon Novices and Professionals (CATNAP) and International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

External linksEdit

  1. ^
  2. ^ "EDMC completes sale of schools to Dream Center". Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  3. ^ The Art Institutes. "CLOSED SCHOOL INFORMATION PAGE". Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Deal under scrutiny as Art Institutes face accreditation setbacks". Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  6. ^ Rhodes, Dawn. "Faced with falling enrollment and federal scrutiny, for-profit art schools in Chicago, Schaumburg to close". Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^