though named in 1964, reflects an educational philosophy that dates back to the 1930s when Ashland College President Charles Anspach developed his personalized and holistic approach to higher education.
President Charles L. Anspach served the college from 1935 to 1939 and under his administration, the Ashland Plan of Education was conceived; wherein the roots of Ashland's "Accent on the Individual" philosophy were laid.
In the early 1960s, President Glenn Clayton unveiled his "Programs for Quality" initiative that sought to give direction to the college for the next decade. At the centerpiece of Clayton's educational philosophy was an emphasis on the individual student, for which he acknowledged indebtedness to Anspach's "Ashland Plan." Clayton sought to make Ashland a place where the worth of each student was emphasized.
While this philosophy has continued to evolve over the years, from its inception until today it continues to reflect the school's philosophy of providing an opportunity for students to grow and become successful through supporting them intellectually, spiritually, socially, culturally and physically. The students are challenged to give their best inside and outside the classroom. The University fosters a culture that facilitates mentoring relationships and encourages flexibility and opportunities for individual exploration. Extracurricular activities and social experiences are considered an important part of the total Ashland Experience.
Today, Ashland University is a private, comprehensive institution that takes great pride in this philosophy of "Accent on the Individual." The University offers a learning environment in which students can expect to receive personal attention from professors and staff who genuinely care about them and their development. Professors, not graduate assistants, continue to teach classes and labs.
In its most recent strategic plan, the University is developing the next generation of the "Accent on the Individual" philosophy to broaden its focus throughout the extended Ashland University community -- not only the students but also the faculty, staff and the friends of the University. The University, through its actions and words, recognizes that each member of its community is distinctly different and is in a position to make unique contributions to others. All members of the Ashland University community work together in a mosaic fashion and the inherent value of each individual is respected.
This unique approach to higher education at Ashland University has been captured in the phrase "Accent on the Individual" and the University has identified this philosophy of "Accent on the Individual" as one of its five Institutional Core Values:
Accent on the Individual:
Pledges the best individual and collective efforts to challenge each person while offering the attention and encouragement that recognizes the uniqueness of everyone.
The Ashland Plan first appeared in the 1936-37 catalog and was built upon four basic principles, which were supported with strategies that created an individualized approach to education:
Growth and Development - "We believe...that education cannot be measured in terms of time nor the accumulation of units of credit, but must be evaluated in terms of individual development and growth. We are not so interested in subjects, as such, as we are in the stimulation to growth which the studying of certain subjects brings to the individual."
Varying Rates of Growth - "Colleges must realize that individual students grow at varying rates based on unique personal differences."
Experiences and Backgrounds - "Differences among students in their ability to deal with instructional materials derive from both inherited ability and differing experiences. These differences need to be considered in planning a student's program."
Supplementary Educational Agencies - "The experiences obtained outside of the classroom are just as vital as those obtained within the classroom. Colleges have too long ignored the educational value of experiences obtained in industrial, religious, social and professional groups."