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Mission & History
art and design school students

Mission Statement
The Art Institute of California—San Diego educates and prepares creative and culinary arts students using quality educational programs designed to instruct them in skills useful in everyday performance in the workplace. The Art Institute of California—San Diego faculty achieve this purpose by bringing professional knowledge to their instruction. A student graduating from The Art Institute of California—San Diego can expect to be prepared to seek an entry-level position in his or her chosen field.

Our goal - to be a leader in providing education - must be achieved in accordance with our philosophy: Everything we do is based on quality service to students and their families, faculty, and staff; development, growth, involvement, and recognition of employees; and sound economic principles.

Each of The Art Institute of California—San Diego students is expected to gain an understanding of a body of theoretical and practical knowledge appropriate to his or her degree objective. This understanding is demonstrated through measurable student-learning outcomes specified in the outline of each course for each degree program. In The Art Institute degree programs, students are expected to complete specific courses and develop critical and analytical learning abilities, together with educational values, that contribute to lifelong learning.


The Art Institute of California—San Diego [formerly La Jolla Academy of Advertising Arts (LJAAA), The Advertising Arts College (TAAC), and later known as The Art Institute of California] 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.

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

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

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

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

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

The Art Institute of California—San Diego joined The Art Institutes system of schools located throughout North America.

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

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

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

The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92108-4423
1.858.598.1200 • 1.866.275.2422
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