The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego is one of The Art Institutes, a system of more than 40 for-profit educational institutions located throughout North America, The Art Institute is a design, media arts and culinary arts post-secondary school providing bachelor's and associate degrees in Advertising, Culinary Arts, Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing & Management, Interior Design, Media Arts & Animation and Web Design & Interactive Media. The campus is located in the middle of San Diego's Mission Valley.

The school, located at 7650 Mission Valley Road in San Diego, California, houses many PC and Mac labs to facilitate industry style art creation. Professional skills kitchens are also available for culinary students. The school also includes a library resource center, student gallery, student lounge, an art supply store, staff and faculty offices and other amenities. In April 2004, the school opened its dining lab, The Paletteâ€"a restaurant open to the public that’s operated by senior level culinary students and overseen by professional chef faculty.

The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego was founded in 1981 as La Jolla Academy of Advertising Arts, and later known as The Advertising Arts College and The Art Institute of California [1]. The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).[2]

The Art Institutes system is a subsidiary of Education Management Corporation, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


The Art Institute Of California – San Diego - Bernardo Winery and The Art Institute of California-San Diego

1981 La Jolla Academy of Advertising Arts (LJAAA) later known as The Advertising Arts College (TAAC), created a new school based on the realization that most traditional college advertising or design graduates were not prepared to go to work. These graduates had acquired theoretical knowledge, but had little ability to perform hands-on tasks.

1986 The school became an accredited member of the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).

1987 The school received approval to offer associate's and bachelor's degrees from ACCSCT and BPPVE.

1996 The school won the regional AAF "College World Series of Advertising".

1997 The school was recognized with the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award.

1998 The San Diego Business Journal named the school as one of San Diego's top twenty-five colleges.

2000 The Advertising Arts College (TAAC) sold to the Art Institutes system of schools located throughout North America and became known as The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego.

2002 The school’s new 76,000-square-foot (7,100 m2) campus opens in Mission Valley, as enrollment doubled to more than 800 students in just two years.

2003 Fall enrollment surpasses 1400 students in seven career-focused, creative and applied arts degree programs offered by The Art Institute.

2004 The Palette, San Diego’s first culinary arts student-run dining room, opens to the public.

Facilities and Equipment

The Art Institute Of California – San Diego - The Art Institute Of California – San Diego - San Diego Art ...

The school's facilities include classrooms, studios, laboratories, offices, learning resource center, and a student lounge with basic snacks and convenience food such as hot dogs, pizza and refrigerated chicken wraps. The Art Institute also features an exhibition gallery located in the recruiters office, and maintains an art supply store for students. The year-round average class size is 25 or less. Maximum class size is 30 students for laboratory sessions and 60 students for lecture courses.

Equipment provided is specific to the program of study. This includes projectors, editing decks, digital and SLR cameras, camcorders, Windows and Macintosh computers, printers, and equipped kitchens.

The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego Library The library develops and maintains a readily available collection consisting of books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and CD-ROMs (both networked and stand-alone). The library also provides access to remote sources through electronic access to the Internet. Resources focus on creative art, design, and multimedia production, as well as support for general education enhancement in the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and communication.

The Palette Dining Room The Palette is San Diego’s premier culinary arts student-run dining room at The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego

Allegations regarding inappropriate recruiting activities

The Art Institute Of California – San Diego - Bernardo Winery and The Art Institute of California-San Diego

In 2010 EDMC contested a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act alleging fraudulently obtained student loans and other Federal financial aid. The lawsuit filed by a former employee accuses EDMC and South University of aggressive recruiting tactics and tying recruiter compensation to new student enrollments. EDMC contends the suit is without merit.

On September 30, 2010, then employee, Kathleen A. Bittel testified before a U.S. Senate committee after accusing EDMC in writing of falsifying job placement numbers to prospective students.

In 2011, the California attorney general's office filed a Notice of Intervention alleging that Argosy University and Art Institute of California campuses were offered $16 million in Cal Grant awards in the 2007-08 naming Western State University College of Law - EDMC in Fullerton.The U.S. Justice Department and the attorneys general of California, Illinois, Florida and Indiana intervened in another lawsuit alleging EDMC broke a 1992 law prohibiting for-profit colleges from paying recruiters incentive compensation and repeatedly made false statements to conceal its practices to receive $11 billion in federal and state financial aid â€" nearly all of the company's revenue.

In April 2012 a class action suit against The Art Institutes of California alleged recruiters and academic advisers mislead students into thinking that government loans can cover the cost of tuition at the for-profit college, then leaves them without a degree and saddled with debt.


The Art Institute Of California – San Diego - A Special Charity Event by The Art Institute of California-San ...

Bachelor of Fine Arts Programs

  • Fashion Design

Bachelor of Science Programs

  • Advertising
  • Audio Production
  • Culinary Management
  • Fashion Marketing & Management
  • Graphic Design
  • Game Art & Design
  • Interior Design
  • Media Arts & Animation
  • Web Design & Interactive Media
  • Video Game Programming

Associate of Science Programs

  • Culinary Arts

The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego’s culinary program has garnered much attention over the last few years. Several articles in the San Diego Union-Tribune have indicated that the school has been a sponsor of or involved with the Chefs of San Diego Celebration [3], the San Diego Teen Chef Cook-off [4] and the National High School Chef of the Year competition [5].

The curriculum for The Art Institute of California â€" San Diego Culinary Arts program is based on the classical principles of Escoffier, emphasizing progressive techniques and trends. Students are taught in modern kitchens and receive practical experience.

The Culinary Arts program consists of courses covering basic skills and techniques, including purchasing and cost control, human relations, kitchen management, international cuisine, nutrition, dining room procedures, garde manger, baking and pastries, à la carte kitchen, and an externship with a quality food service operation in the greater San Diego area.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to seek entry-level in the field of culinary arts.

  • Advertising
  • Baking & Pastry
  • Graphic Design


  1. ^ "U.S. joins lawsuit against EDMC". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Testimony of Kathleen A. Bittel" (PDF). 

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