On Sept. 7, the Gemological Institute of America announced it terminated its agreement with the owners of the licensee school in Florence, Italy.
The outside party that owns the school provided GIA educational programs through its license agreement with GIA. The institute was informed that the owners of the licensee school intend to file for bankruptcy.
GIA still has licensee agreements with schools in Japan, Korea, and Russia, and is not reconsidering those relationships, spokeswoman Jessica Sachariason tells JCK.
Current enrollees will be offered the opportunity to continue their education, including transitional assistance to other GIA campus locations, GIA Distance Education, or a full refund (for those who elect not to continue).
“GIA is stepping in to offer alternatives to all enrolled students who contact us,” said GIA president and CEO Donna Baker in a statement. “Although the school in Florence is not owned nor controlled by GIA, we are deeply concerned about the students and want to ensure they receive the finest gemological education. We’re trying to locate [the students] and help them navigate their plans for the future.”
Students requiring assistance should contact GIAFlorenceHelp@gia.edu or call 760-603-4001 with proof of payment.