Norcross, GA, August 13, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- As a leader in distance education, Ashworth’s live graduation ceremony is a unique opportunity for its students. Unlike other learning institutions, Ashworth students complete their programs from home, making this the first time a majority of students have met school faculty, staff and fellow students.
The 2008 ceremony was the second time the institution hosted a live ceremony for its graduates. Almost 250 graduates travelled from 38 states, and five foreign countries, making attendance at this year’s event nearly double the inaugural 2007 event.
“Attending a live ceremony has special significance our graduates,” said Jon Bouffler, Ashworth Executive Vice President. “Some are changing careers. Some never completed high school. Some are military personnel completing their degrees while being deployed around the world.”
“Our students come from diverse backgrounds and situations, as such they have made a significant commitment to improve their lives through education – often juggling work, family and finances to realize their dreams,” he added. “This is the culmination of their efforts.”
Bouffler presided over the ceremony and was joined by Dr. F. Milton Miller, Ed.D., Ashworth Vice President, Education and Dr. Lisa Bryde, Director of High School and Career School Diploma Program Development. Mike Lambert, Executive Director of the Distance Education and Training Council delivered the Commencement Address.
Pre-graduation activities began at University headquarters on Friday, August 8, where graduates and guests were welcomed by faculty and staff. Graduates had the opportunity to Tell Us Your Story. These videotaped testimonials will be posted on the school website and serve as inspiration to their fellow students.
The University also partnered with CareerBuilder.com® to host two Career Search Workshops. Open to graduates and their guests, the sessions included tips on interviewing, resume writing, and how to utilize the Internet as part of a job search.
“Now that they have completed their education we want to be sure to give them as many tools as we can so that they can succeed,” said Bouffler. “The Internet has changed the way people find jobs. We are fortunate to be able to partner with an expert like Careerbuilder.com®.”
Tying into the New Beginning theme was Bouffler’s opening speech which acknowledged the commitment each graduate made towards the completion of his or her program.
"This is your day – the formal recognition of all you have achieved in your academic study with Ashworth. But it goes beyond that. You have proved to yourselves and others that you can muster all it takes to get through and pass a course of study whether it be high school, a career course or a degree program. That takes real purpose, you have to make sacrifice, you have to be disciplined, you need support from your family and friends. These are also the tools of life. I know having proved yourselves here you will go onto to do so time and time again in your lives," he said.
Graduates journeyed from 38 states and five international countries. Each of the 250 graduates had specific reasons to pursue their education and each came with 250 unique stories to tell. Among this years graduates:
Deborah Dykes travelled from Jackson, MS to receive her Teacher Assisting Diploma. For Dykes, her diploma represents the first step in pursuing her dream of working in education, specifically with deaf and special needs children. It’s a field for which she has a particularly high affinity. Dykes is deaf herself.
“For years I have been volunteering with deaf children through church as well as with students at the Mississippi School for the Deaf,” Dykes commented. “I want to combine my experience in computers and technology with my passion for working with deaf children.” Two sign language translators were on hand to assist.
Distance education has no boundaries as evidenced by Timothy Roxbury. This Business Management graduate and Dallas native travelled more than 8,000 miles from his/her current home in Afghanistan to receive his Associates degree.
“I have been on an overseas assignment,” said Roxbury, a retired Military serviceman who is currently working as a civilian.
“Living and working in an environment like Afghanistan is stressful. It’s not uncommon to be working up to 80 hours a week. The flexibility of the Ashworth program has made it possible to work and study at the same time,” he explained.
Ashworth University, a worldwide leader in comprehensive distance education, offers diploma and degree programs in high school, career school, associates, bachelors and masters. It is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Based in Norcross, GA, Ashworth University, offers more than 450 different high school, career school, associates, bachelors and masters courses.