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The school Twin Citians long knew as Brown Institute and later Brown College, where many broadcasting professionals learned the craft, will lose its brick-and-mortar presence.

Career Education Corp. (CEC), of suburban Chicago, announced Wednesday that its subsidiary known as Sanford-Brown College is no longer accepting new students and is phasing into strictly online instruction.

Among Sanford-Brown's 14 locations around the country are schools at 5951 Earle Brown Drive in Brooklyn Center, where instruction is offered in medical and pharmacy support, information technology and criminal justice, and at 1345 Mendota Heights Road in Mendota Heights. That campus offers classes in business, graphics, information technology, medical and pharmacy support, photography and broadcasting.

Among the many Twin Cities broadcast products of Brown over the past several decades was Rod Grams, who became a Twin Cities television news anchor and then U.S. senator.

Others on the long list of recognizable names include: former U.S. Sen. and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, KQRS Radio's Tom Barnard and Roger Peterson, a radio and TV correspondent for ABC News for 23 years.

CEC said current students can stay put until they graduate. The cost-saving phaseout is expected to take from 18 months to three years.

"In making this decision, we have chosen a path of gradual discontinuation, or teach-outs, rather than closing schools immediately," said Ron McCray, chairman and interim CEO of the for-profit Career Education Corp. "Teach-outs minimize potential negative impacts on faculty, students and staff members."

Brown was founded initially in 1946 as the American Institute of the Air by Richard and Helen Brown. Its first home was a multibuilding campus on E. Lake Street in Minneapolis. It changed its name to Brown Institute in 1954, when courses in electronics, computer programming and television production were added, and then to Brown College in 2001.

In 1986, it made a short move to Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue. From there, it moved to Mendota Heights in 1997 and expanded in 2001 to Brooklyn Center.

As previously announced, CEC's Le Cordon Bleu Colleges of Culinary Arts in North America, located in Mendota Heights, remains for sale. CEC said it "is engaged in discussions with numerous interested parties, and the process remains ongoing."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482