New Homeschool and Classical Learning Center on AU campus is thriving
ASHLAND, Ohio – A new initiative by Ashland University is already gaining significant interest, as the Homeschool and Classical Learning Center (530 College Ave.), which officially opened on Dec. 15, is providing services in support of a growing community.
The initiative was driven by the increased demand of families interested in transitioning from home education to higher education, according to Keith Ramsdell, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at AU.
“Over the last 8-10 years, there has been a significant increase in families interested in and making the choice to homeschool their kids or move them into classical education settings. That was accelerated even more during (the pandemic),” Ramsdell said. “Data continues to show the vast majority of jobs will require a college degree, (so) we want people in these communities to know that we are friendly and supportive to students who come out of those types of educational environments.”
The center, geared toward students in grades 7-12, offers a variety of services. There is a library of resources and curricula that can be checked out, personal tutoring opportunities and workshops, all in a place where similar students can connect with one another.
Over the coming weeks, Theresa Watson, coordinator of AU’s Homeschool and Classical Learning Programs, has a series of events planned:
- Grand Opening, an open house style celebration in which the public can learn more about the center and its offerings, on Friday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m.
- Book club—the first book to be discussed is “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”—on Tuesdays (Feb. 13, Feb. 20, Feb. 27, March 5, March 12) at 1 p.m.
- Weekly recreational opportunities, starting on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 1-2 p.m., at the AU Rec Center
- Poetry workshops on Friday, Feb. 16 and Feb. 23
- First annual Homeschool Conference on Friday, March 15, from 4-8 p.m., featuring keynote speaker Israel Wayne
Watson, who home schooled her five daughters and previously was a program director at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, has additional ideas to enhance the center’s offerings and is thrilled at the opportunity to help build a bridge between homeschool and higher education.
“For home schoolers, it’s important to have that extra help, to get support when considering College Credit Plus courses, to help them in their journey and possible transition to the regular student body,” said Watson. “AU is a safe and nurturing environment to be in … with many professors that share a similar way of thinking and worldview.”
The early response to the AU Homeschool and Classical Learning Center has been positive, noted Ramsdell, whose family also has personal experience with home schooling. He is looking forward to developing relationships and seeing where this initiative goes.
“We have a team that understands the needs of the homeschool community needs and how we as a university can support those needs,” Ramsdell added. “We have a friendly, safe campus and this center will give them a chance to explore and learn about who we are before making the investment in higher education.”
For more information, contact Theresa Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-207-6290.
Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.