Education & Schools
Ashworth College is Now Accepting Applications for 2013 Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarships PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Richard Orr   
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 10:12

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Georgia – January 2, 2012 – Ashworth College (, one of the leading accredited online colleges, announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2013 Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarship program. Applicants will vie for one of 18 scholarships with a combined tuition value of up to $20,000.

Named for the online school’s former President and CEO in recognition of Keisling’s dedication and contributions to both Ashworth College and the field of distance education, the scholarship program will award 10 career diploma scholarships and four single semester’s scholarships each toward Ashworth Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs. The scholarships also include all of the student’s course materials.

“Gary’s personal mission was to open the doors of education to the underserved education population of America and we’re excited to continue his legacy by offering these scholarships,” said Rob Klapper, President of Ashworth College. He went on to explain that it is Ashworth’s ongoing mission to provide affordable, quality education that gives graduates the career training employers want with zero student loan debt.

To be considered for an ACCESS Scholarship, all applicants must submit an application ( and an original 250-500 word essay. All applications are due by February 1, 2013 and recipients will be announced on March 1.

First time students may apply for the career diploma scholarship and both existing Ashworth College students and transfer students may apply for a college degree scholarship. Scholarship recipients will be able to apply their award to their choice of programs which includes business, criminal justice, early childhood education, health care, skilled trades, technology, and more.

Cheyenne Ramsden, Ontario, Canada, was awarded a 2012 ACCESS Scholarship to pursue an Ashworth College Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems. “I'm very honored to have been selected as a recipient. The value of this scholarship is far more than financial - it has inspired me to really make an effort. I wish to thank Ashworth College for their kindness and generosity.”

In addition to the Ashworth College scholarships, sister school James Madison High School, is offering an additional four full ride scholarships for a regionally accredited high school diploma.

Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarship program

Founded in 2011, the Gary Keisling Ashworth College Continuing Education for Student Success, or ACCESS Scholarship for short, was founded to honor the online school’s former President and CEO, the late Gary Keisling. It was his personal and professional mission to offer affordable and accessible education to underserved populations who historically have had limited access to educational opportunities or an accredited diploma or degree.

Throughout his career, Keisling was regarded as an industry leader and an influential advocate for continuing education and students benefiting through distance education. For more information visit

About Ashworth College

Celebrating 25 years of Educating Minds and Changing Lives, leading online school Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence by offering students worldwide an extensive range of online college degrees, online certificate programs, career training and online high school diploma options that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of working adults. Ashworth offers military education as well as specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.

Headquartered in Peachtree Corners, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Ashworth is parent to James Madison High School which is accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED and further provides career training and vocational programs in the fields of health, business, technology, education, and skilled trades through sister schools PCDI Canada, New York Institute of Photography and Sheffield School.


Special Ed Students, Diversity & the Benefits of Inclusion PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 10:02
Friendship, Learning are a Two-Way Street, Says Doctor

For orthopedic surgeon Sean Adelman – a father of three, including Dev, a high-school age daughter with Down syndrome – life lessons are not the exclusive province of the young.

“As a dad, I have often been reminded of the poet William Wordsworth and his line, ‘The child is father of the man,’ ” says Adelman, author of Sam’s Top Secret Journal (, the first in a the first in a Nancy Drew-style children’s book series featuring a protagonist with Down syndrome.

“I think most parents have this experience that, while it’s our job to teach our children how to grow up and function in a society, we are constantly learning ourselves. They force us to rethink the basics as we help mold them into mature human beings.”

Of course, much of a child’s development is out of the hands of parents, he says. School and other social functions provide many first worldly experiences that are so important to developing students. And that makes diversity so important.

Various studies have shown that not only do those with learning challenges benefit from “inclusive education” – a movement that integrates special-ed students with non-special-ed students – but also the rest of the student body.

Adelman explores how inclusion benefits the entire student body:

• Empathic development: To a significant extent, society is a social contract among citizens. That means, at the very least, good behavior is required of individuals. At best, however, citizens recognize that we are social creatures who need each other, and the best way to a better society is to have empathy for our fellow human beings. During the 1990s, inclusion of special-ed students jumped from 48 percent to 70 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Despite concerns at the time about teachers’ ability to attend to the needs of all their students in such classes, a Zigmond and Baker study showed teachers did not lose their effectiveness. The famous study also showed that the students treated each other better in general. Children learn that everyone needs help from time to time, and it’s as gratifying to provide it as to receive it.

• Diversity and the real world: Children who attend inclusive schools, where all children are mainstreamed, are better able to navigate the complexities of our diverse adult society. Students with and without special needs benefit from exposure to classmates who face different life circumstances. Studies from the National Center for Special Education Research, among others from throughout the world, support claims of mutual benefit from special-ed and non-special-ed students with integration. For a well-rounded character and personality, young people need to be exposed to the many faces of humanity in terms of race, economic background and those with special needs. In addition to this personal edification, a professional career demands social grace and comfort in a diverse work environment.

• The meaning of friendship: Children need to develop social skills and to know how to create and sustain meaningful friendships for a healthy adult life. We may lose wealth, youth, health, and spouses. Friends, however, are often the most reliable emotional resource in life. Friends must learn to accept one another’s limitations and flaws, and to complement one another’s weaknesses by contributing their strengths. Friends also quickly learn that superficial differences are far less important than shared values, trust and humor.

About Sean Adelman

Sean Adelman is a practicing orthopedic surgeon and advocate for exceptional kids in Seattle. He and his wife, Susan, have three children. Adelman wrote the “Sam’s Top Secret Journal” series to show the similarities the protagonist shares with other children, and to explore how differently-abled individuals benefit society.

Rivermont Collegiate Welcomes New Headmaster PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Thursday, 27 December 2012 10:35

Rivermont Collegiate is thrilled to introduce Todd Zachary as our new Headmaster.  Mr. Zachary joins our school from Pennsylvania, where his most recent position is Department Chair and Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA.  Mr. Zachary is an extraordinary educator and respected leader – a retired Colonel in the Air Force with over 20 years of military experience and education, including serving as Head of School for the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, CO.  Mr. Zachary believes in strong community relations, expanded professional development, innovative technology in classrooms, and a team approach to improving programs and curriculum.

“I was drawn to Rivermont Collegiate because of the unsurpassed passion and commitment of the entire school community – staff, faculty, and parents – to the education and development of its energetic student body.” Zachary said.  “I am truly honored to join this remarkable school with its rich tradition and bright future.  I am eager to lead an incredibly dedicated and capable staff in taking the next step forward in guiding children to success, both academically and in life.  Go Lions!”

Rivermont has been educating students in the Quad Cities since 1884 and we are eager to welcome Mr. Zachary.  This is an exciting step for the future of our school, which holds such a rich history.  Mr. Zachary’s role as Headmaster at Rivermont will begin in July 2013.

Rivermont, located in Bettendorf, is the Quad Cities’ only private, independent college prep school for preschool through 12th grade, with students from throughout the Quad City area.  The school was originally organized as St. Katharine’s School, an Episcopal school for girls located in Davenport.  In 1968, St. Katharine’s dropped its boarding program, became co-educational, and added St. Mark’s to its name.  In 1973, St. Katharine’s – St. Mark’s moved to its present location and the name was changed to Rivermont Collegiate in 2001.  At Rivermont, students are encouraged to develop their potential and take risks in academics, leadership, athletics, arts, and service.  With a challenging academic experience in a family-like environment, Rivermont students build a solid foundation, nourish personal talents and passions, and develop a lifelong love of learning.  Visit us online at!

Todd Zachary.jpg

Candidates file to run for BHC Board of Trustees PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Leslie Anderson   
Thursday, 27 December 2012 10:08

In April 2013, four seats will be up for election on the Black Hawk College District Board of Trustees. There will be two (2) six-year terms and two (2) unexpired two-year terms.

The candidates are:

  • Sammie Borst, Kewanee (six-year term)
  • Kylee Fox, Rock Island (two-year term)
  • John McCooley, Rock Island (two-year term)
  • Doug Strand, East Moline (six-year term)
The Black Hawk College district includes all or part of nine counties in west central Illinois, consisting of more than 280 individual precincts.

Governor Quinn Announces Major Investment in Early Childhood Education in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 15:08

$45 Million Investment to Expand and Improve Vital Education Services in Communities Across Illinois

CICERO – December 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined students, families and teachers to announce $45 million for vital improvements to early childhood education facilities in high-need communities across Illinois. The 14 Early Childhood Construction Grants (ECCG) are funded through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program and will expand access to early childhood education, which experts have noted is critical to a student’s success.

Today’s announcement is part of the governor’s comprehensive plan to strengthen Illinois’ education system by improving early childhood education, modernizing school facilities, expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction, and implementing bold reforms that put children first.

“The achievement gap begins before a child steps foot into kindergarten,” Governor Quinn said. “We know that investing in early childhood education is the best way to ensure lifelong success for our students. By setting our youngest learners on the right track now, we can prepare them for a lifetime of growth and strengthen our economy for the future.”

The ECCG is the first program in the nation of its kind, created by Governor Quinn and funded through his Illinois Jobs Now! to increase early childhood services in underserved areas across Illinois. Organizations receiving the awards went through a competitive grant process that included specifying how the funds will be spent to improve early childhood education in their communities. The awards may be used to acquire or construct a facility or expand an existing facility as well as to purchase equipment and make safety improvements. Early childhood providers in Cook, McHenry, Will, Winnebago, St. Clair, Kane and Kankakee counties were among the successful applicants (A full listing is attached).

Today’s announcement was made at Cicero’s “Through A Child’s Eyes” pre-K program, which focuses on helping children deemed to be at-risk of academic failure. In the last school year, the program served 467 students, with 95 percent coming from families at or below the poverty level. By the end of the school year, approximately 90 percent of at-risk three and four-year-olds had met or exceeded expectations in literacy learning skills following their participation in the program.


“Thanks to these funds, some of our most vulnerable children will get access to early childhood education and services that might not otherwise be available,” State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico said. “Studies have proven time and time again that such programming changes lives and yields social, academic and economic benefits. This is especially important as we work to reduce the achievement gap in the coming years.”

The ECCG awards follow an announcement earlier this month that Illinois was awarded a $34.8 million Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funds will support quality improvements to Illinois’ early learning system including the development of a unified system that enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of programs.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has made strengthening Illinois’ education system a top priority. Earlier this year, the Governor announced $623 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding to help dozens of school districts statewide make critical repairs, additions and technology updates to classrooms. Combined with local dollars, the funding will allow school districts to complete projects totaling more than $1.2 billion. The program also includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges that has been used to support many landmark projects including Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Cole Hall at Northern Illinois University, the Advanced Chemical Technology Building at the University of Illinois-Chicago, the Transportation Education Center at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, as well as Western Illinois University’s Riverfront campus expansion in Moline.

In addition to improving facilities, Governor Quinn has worked to enhance academic offerings in the state by supporting the Illinois Pathways Initiative, an innovative public-private partnership between public education institutions and the business community to foster STEM learning. The governor’s goal is for 60 percent of Illinois adults to earn a college degree or career certificate by 2025.

In 2011, Governor Quinn also helped pass and signed historic education reform laws that are a model for the nation. These laws improved school report cards so that parents have more information about the schools that educate their kids; set clear benchmarks for teacher evaluation and put performance above tenure; and laid the groundwork for a longer school day and a longer school year.

As part of his push to strengthen education, health care and public safety, Governor Quinn proposed a plan that would prevent skyrocketing pension costs from squeezing out core priorities while fully funding the pension system by 2042. If nothing is done, state spending on public pensions is projected to exceed education spending by 2016. For more information and to make your voice heard in support of pension reform, visit


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