Brooks Institute Closes After 70 Years of Photo Education


There’s big news that’s making waves in the world of photography education: the well-known photo school Brooks Institute has announced that it will be closing, ending a 70-year run.

VC Reporter reports that the Ventura, California, for-profit school announced at a staff meeting yesterday that the doors will permanently close on October 31st, 2016, and that all classes in the fall semester have been cancelled.

The entrance to the Brooks Institute's main campus in Ventura, California.
The entrance to the Brooks Institute’s main campus in Ventura, California.

Just a day earlier, the Ventura County Star reported that there was a significant shakeup in leadership: President Edward Clift was dismissed by the school’s new owner since 2015, Green Planet, prompting the majority of the board of trustees (4 members) to resign.

Brooks Institute had been struggling with declining enrollment, falling from 2,563 in 2005 to 350 students in 2016, VC Star says. The school had been reportedly been working on a move to downtown Ventura to attract more students, but owner Christine Lin apparently decided that shuttering the business entirely was the best decision instead of waiting to see if a turnaround would take place.

The school made an announcement on Twitter yesterday:

It says it’s doing all it can to take care of currently enrolled students.

Others are complaining that current students are in a horrible situation, and that they should contact the Attorney General:

The school was founded in 1945 and was previously known as the Brooks Institute of Photography. It offered four undergraduate majors (Bachelor of Arts in Professional Photography, Film and Video Production, Graphic Design, and Visual Journalism) and two graduate programs (Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Master of Science in Scientific and Technology Imaging).