Will try but perhaps too verklempt. :-)
You are right re: it was commercially oriented. In the '70s majors were "color, portrait, photo illustration and industrial (technical, scientific) and motion picture. You were being prepared to get a job in a photographic specialty.
But that specialization took place only after a year of general photography preparation which all took place before a major was selected.
We got one week off in summer, another one at Christmas/NY.
After the first six months over half of those who started were gone. It was a demanding journey.
An MFA program was added in, I believe, the mid-1980s.
In 1945 Ernest Brooks and his later son Ernie were photographers who started a photography school. Yes, they wanted to make a profit (otherwise they would not remain open for long) but they were photographers first.
Much the same as founder Louis B. Mayer relinquishing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to Sony and Adolf Zukor's Paramount Studios holdings being turned over to Gulf+Western, so did Brooks become mired in corporatism when the family sold it to an educational version of 7-11.