Ashworth College Students Establish Virtual Forensic Science Club

Ashworth College students are exploring a different type of crime scene, an online discussion forum in a club format, where like-minded students converge to discuss issues, news and trends pertaining to forensic science.

Norcross, GA, November 08, 2008 --( It’s a different type of crime scene, one where like-minded students converge to discuss the latest issues, news and trends pertaining to one of the fastest growing professions – forensic science. And it all takes place online.

Starting as a grassroots initiative, Ashworth College’s Student Forum is now host to its latest student organization, the Ashworth Forensic Science Club (FSC). Initially inspired by the new and rapidly evolving branch of Computer Forensics, FSC is open to like-minded students wanting to share information on the latest issues, news and trends in Forensics and related fields. Within the first 30 days, the Club has boasted more than 16 active members.

Fueled by mainstream exposure from television programs like C.S.I. and highly televised, high-profile court cases, interest in Forensic Science as a profession has grown. This exposure has contributed to impressive employment projections -- +30.7% by 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To meet the demand, schools like Ashworth College offers programs in criminal justice, security services, private investigation and paralegal studies. As such, FSC should have no shortage in cultivating a vibrant membership base. The Club is open to students pursuing an Ashworth Career, Associate, Bachelor’s or Master’s program in these and several related fields, as well as enthusiasts and alumni.

“As a student, I have really enjoyed getting to know my classmates on the Ashworth Forum,” said Betty Ray-Mydland, Ashworth Criminal Justice student and FSC charter member. “Through FSC, I’m really looking forward to sharing with others in my profession.”

Ray-Mydland’s story is similar to other club members whose interest in Forensic Science compliments both her professional background and as a student currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree online. “I’ve been working in correctional services since 1996 when I began working with the Adult Probation Department. I’ve since moved into the Department of Corrections and work with offenders and their families on criminal appeals, as well as with individuals needing help with Employment Law.”

Ashworth administration was pleased to discover this grassroots initiative on the Student Forum. As a distance learning institution, Ashworth College, 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, etc. 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 growing 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 – which includes connecting with Ashworth and fellow students with similar interests. These specialty organizations are a great reflection of our students’ commitment to the school.”

“Developing online communities 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 Student Forum we can give them a well-rounded experience.”

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

About Ashworth
Ashworth College, 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). Ashworth High School is further accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA). Based in Norcross, GA, Ashworth College, offers more than 450 different high school, career school, associates, bachelors and masters courses. For more information visit

Ashworth College
Richard Orr