American InterContinental University (AIU) is a for-profit university with open admissions owned by Career Education Corporation. AIU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association to award associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.
American InterContinental University (AIU) was founded in 1970 in Lucerne, Switzerland by American couple Jack and Helen Barnette of Atlanta, and was first known as the American Fashion College of Switzerland. The school was recognized as an American degree awarding institution in 1971, initially offering associate and bachelor’s degrees starting in 1974. In 1976 the Switzerland-based school opened a campus in Atlanta and, in 1978, the Lucerne campus moved to London and changed its name to the American College for the Applied Arts.
By 1978, the school had approximately 300 students, and began to expand its course offering beyond fashion to areas such as business. The school opened several other campuses in subsequent years. Steve Bostic bought the school in 1996 and changed its name to American InterContinental University. In 2001, AIU was acquired by its current owner, Career Education Corporation, which is a publicly traded operator of for-profit schools.