November 24, 2023
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Brooks Institute in Ventura closing down


Tim Meyer critiques student work in his "Lighting People" class at Brooks Institute in Ventura.

Tim Meyer critiques student work in his “Lighting People” class at Brooks Institute in Ventura. (Courtesy photo)


Brooks Institute plans to close, the Ventura visual and media arts school announced on Aug. 12.

The institute canceled its fall classes and will shut down by Oct. 31, according to a letter sent to Brooks students.

“Changes in economic regulatory conditions in recent years have had a significant, prolonged, negative impact on the instruction,” the letter penned by Transition Officer Kristen Howard reads. “We have attempted to mitigate the problem through contraction, strategic planning and innovation, but with only limited success. Because we do not expect the adverse conditions to change in the foreseeable future, our only remaining, responsible course of action is to proceed to closure.”

The school will continue to offer administrative student services support, including transition services, through October. It will reimburse students enrolled in fall classes and is working with other schools to create opportunities for them to transfer.

“Today is a sad day. After 70 years, Brooks Institute closing October 31, 2016. Your education, experience, and careers will live on,” the school wrote in a tweet.

The closure is subject to review from the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, and other regulators, according to the letter.

The institute was sold in 2015 to Massachusetts-based Gphomestay, which specializes in finding housing for students studying abroad.

Brooks relocated all of its Santa Barbara students and equipment last year to a consolidated campus at 5301 N. Ventura Ave. The school made plans to move the students into the downtown core but announced in late July that it was delaying the move.

The school grew rapidly in enrollment and staffing after Career Education bought it in 1999. That growth was rolled back during the Great Recession and enrollment had been declining since.

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