Ashworth University Students Make History Naming First Student Newspaper

In a recent online contest, the Ashworth University student body selected the Ashworth Chronicle as the name for the school’s first student newspaper.

Norcross, GA, August 27, 2008 --( What’s in a name? When it comes to student newspapers, some are literal (Daily, Times, Weekly). Some go for a traditional journalistic approach (News, Advocate, Press, Record). Others opt for a more creative bent (Tattler, Razoo, Prickly Pear, Crimson). What they all have in common is the desire to communicate the news about events occurring within the institution.

While the jury is still out on who has bragging rights to the oldest U.S. student newspaper (depending on if it is published daily or weekly), according to the Associated College Press, the earliest student newspaper might be Dartmouth College’s, The Dartmouth, established in 1779.

In a recent online contest, the Ashworth University student body selected the Ashworth Chronicle as the name for the school’s first student newspaper. Students were asked to submit recommendations which were culled down to three choices by a committee of students and school administration. Students then voted on the three selections: Chronicle, Post, or Trumpet. The former overwhelmingly won by 54%.

“There was a lot of thoughtful consideration that went into the short list,” said Jayme Normand, Ashworth Chronicle Editor-in-Chief and early supporter of having a school newspaper. “We’re proud of our school and wanted to be sure that the name we selected would withstand the test of time and represent a wide and diverse student body.” Normand resides in Addis, Louisiana and is pursuing a Paralegal degree.

Largely associated with traditional brick and mortar schools, it was a pleasant surprise to Ashworth administration to discover a grassroots initiative on the student Forum expressing interest in a student newspaper. As a distance learning institution, Ashworth University, along with Ashworth Career School and Ashworth High School, operates without many of the trappings associated with the traditional brick and mortar school, i.e., classrooms, sports, student organizations. However, through its development of social communities and active partnering with administration and students, Ashworth is working to minimize that gap.

“Our students represent a large segment of the population attempting to manage career and family as well as their education. They are drawn to our programs because they are flexible, self-paced and fit into their existing lives,” said Jon Bouffler, Ashworth Executive Vice President. “In spite of not physically attending classes, our students express interest in many of the trappings associated with a traditional school environment – connecting with Ashworth and other students, having pride in their school. The school newspaper is a great example of our students’ commitment to the school.”

“Developing an online community is a natural for distance education students. However ours is much more that a social site,” Bouffler added. “It’s the student union, the school library, the career counseling center and much more all rolled into one. Through our online communities and the AU Forum we can give them a well-rounded experience.”

Editorially, the Ashworth Chronicle will focus primarily on issues important to the diverse student base. Initially to be hosted on the University website, content will be peer-to-peer and include program and course reviews, student and faculty profiles, events and student organizations, as well student advocacy.

“We want all of our fellow students to succeed at Ashworth,” Normand said. “We are considering publishing things like study tips, how to locate a study partner, etc. We believe this will be of particular interest to those who are new to distance education.”

The student paper is just one of several student-driven initiatives that developed within the Ashworth online communities. To date, students recently identified the school’s first mascot as well as having established online fraternities and sororities.

About Ashworth
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.

Ashworth University
Richard Orr