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American School Celebrates 115th Anniversary


The American School is celebrating 115 years as a leader in distance education.

Lansing, Ill. (PRWEB) December 17, 2012

The American School celebrated 115 years as a leader in distance education on December 17. On that date in 1897, the School received a charter from the state of Massachusetts as an "educational institution not for profit." 115 years later, that same charter still guides the School, which has adapted with the times to help more than three million students earn their high school diplomas.

Ever since the day R.T. Miller founded the American School in Boston, the School has been governed not by owners or by stockholders but by corporation members who have a great interest in the School, its students and the advancement of education. That's not to say that nothing has changed in the past 115 years. In fact, plenty has changed, starting with the School's location. The School was only in Boston for five years before moving to Chicago in 1902 to partner with the Armour Institute of Technology, which today is called the Illinois Institute of Technology. When that five-year partnership ended in 1907, the School built its own headquarters in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The School remained at that location until it moved to its current location in Lansing, Illinois, in 1996.

One of the many highlights of the American School's time in Hyde Park was the development of the Benton Harbor Plan in 1922. The principal of Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor, Michigan approached the School with the idea of using its courses to expand existing course offerings at his high school. Thus, the School's Independent Study program, which today serves thousands of high schools across the country, was born.

In 1938, the American School awarded its first post-secondary scholarship to a deserving graduate, and in the 74 years that have followed, the School has awarded nearly $800,000 in scholarships to its graduates.

The American School continued to prosper in the decades that followed, and the 1970s brought further recognition. In 1974, the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges accredited the American School, making it the first private home study high school to earn accreditation by a regional accrediting body. Today the School is accredited by NCA-CASI, an accreditiation division of AdvancED, an organization dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide. In 1978, the Illinois State Board of Education recognized the School as a private secondary school, a recognition still held today.

Perhaps the biggest change in the past 115 years, though, has been the School's curriculum. Early courses included such subjects as Machine Shop Practice and Animal Husbandry and were done entirely on paper. Today's subjects included more than 70 unique courses, a mix of required courses to go along with variety of electives, and courses are delivered on paper and online.

As the American School marks 115 years of service and enters 2013, it is well-positioned to add to the its already excellent educational legacy.

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