2013: A Look Back

It's New Year's Eve, so today is a fitting time to look back and consider some of the American School's accomplishments in the past year.  Perhaps the two biggest accomplishments of the year and two of the ones that have the greatest impact on our students involve accreditation and online learning.  In late summer, the American School received accreditation from Ai (Accreditation International) and the NCPSA (National Council for Private School Accreditation) which will serve us and our students very well in the future.  We also continued to expand our online learning offerings, especially in the area of online exams in paper-based courses.  To date, more than half of our paper-based courses now come with the option of taking online exams.  The American School also greatly expanded its presence at conventions and on social media in 2013.  Check us out on Facebook and Twitter if you haven't done so already, and check out our blog on Thursday for a look ahead to 2014.  Happy New Year!

Holiday Schedule Reminder

Don't forget that the American School will close at noon on Tuesday, December 31, and be closed all day on Wednesday, January 1.  We'll be open with regular business hours on Thursday, January 2.

FAFSA Application Season Begins January 1

2014 isn't the only thing beginning on January 1.  On Wednesday, you may submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA for short.  Refer to the Counselor's Corner column in the November-December All-American newsletter for more information on how the process works and who to contact at the American School if you need assistance.

Today’s Special Occasion: Boxing Day

It's December 26, a day celebrated as Boxing Day in some countries around the world.  As you'll read in the article linked above, nobody really knows how Boxing Day got its name, other than it doesn't have anything to do with the sport of boxing.  Here in the United States, many people go to malls and stores today to return gifts they received yesterday.  One gift that is never the wrong size and never goes out of style is an accredited high school diploma from the American School.  It truly is the gift that keeps on giving since a high school diploma can be the gateway to the university or career of your choice.  Enroll today and you'll have your first course materials to help you ring in the new year next week!

Holiday Schedule Reminder

Don't forget that the American School is closed Tuesday, December 24, and Wednesday, December 25.  We'll be open with regular business hours (and have a brand new blog entry) on Thursday, December 26.

Flashback Friday

It's the Friday before Christmas, and we thought you'd might like to see how our old office in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago was decorated for the holidays more than three decades ago.  You'll see a picture of that in the December 1981 All American, which is attached to this blog.  You'll also read about a new reading course that had just been released, as well as read profiles of a pair of instructors.  Enjoy this look back in time, and look for more Flashback Fridays in 2014!


Testimonial Thursday

This might be the last Testimonial Thursday of 2013, so we're going out in style.  Today we hear from Wanda from Illinois, who writes, "The American School has opened my eyes and made me look at the bigger picture as far as the future and wanting to graduate from high school and be able to be somebody in life and go to college and be able to help other people.  I’m happy that you worked with me on trying to graduate and pick the right classes that will help me understand and learn new things."  We thank Wanda for those words and wish her the very best in whatever is in store for her after earning her accredited high school diploma.  This is a popular time of year for giving and receiving gifts, but one gift that will last far beyond the holidays is a high school diploma from the American School.  Enroll today! 

American School Announces Holiday Schedule

The American School has announced its schedule for the upcoming holiday season. 

On Friday, December 20, the School will close at noon for a special event.

During the week of Christmas, the School will be open with regular business hours on Monday, December 23.  The School will be closed Tuesday, December 24, and Wednesday, December 25.  The School will be open with regular business hours on Thursday, December 26, and Friday, December 27.

During the week of New Year's, the School will be open with regular business hours on Monday, December 30.  The School will close at noon on Tuesday, December 31, and be closed on Wednesday, January 1.  The School will be open with regular business hours on Thursday, January 2, and Friday, January 3.

We wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season!

Today’s Birthday: The American School

It's December 17, and on this date in 1897, the American School received its charter to operate as a non-for-profit school.  R.T. Miller, who was the principal founder of the American School, was an educational pioneer.  In an age when a college education was primarily for the wealthy, technical schools were virtually non-existent and grade school completion was the exception.  Miller (pictured) wanted to expand educational opportunities, and his idea for doing so was to offer vocational and technical training through correspondence courses.  Over time, we grew and moved our headquarters from Boston to Chicago, where we have remained since the early 20th century.  Our focus has changed over time as well, from concentrating on vocational and technical courses to offering two high school diploma programs as well as an independent study program for students who wish to take individual courses for credit recovery or enrichment purposes while attending a local high school.  In the coming year, the American School plans to develop a wider variety of online learning offerings so that R.T. Miller's mission of providing a quality, cost-effective education to anyone who might desire one may continue for years to come.


Method Test Prep Monday

It's Method Test Prep Monday once again, and today we have a guest blog of sorts.  Two years ago, Tom Ehlers of our partners at Method Test Prep took the SAT as a 35-year-old man.  You can read about that experience here.  This past Saturday, he took the ACT for the first time.  His words about that experience are as follows:

"This past Saturday, at 37 years of age, I showed up with a hundred or so 16 and 17 year olds and took the actual ACT at Bay Shore High School for the first time in my life. The experience was shocking.

There were many things in my favor. I got to bed early the night before. I ate a healthy, substantial breakfast. Even though I don’t normally drink coffee, I drank a cup because I know that caffeine improves concentration. Most importantly, I have spent the last 15 years teaching students how to prepare effectively for the SAT and ACT so I have gone through thousands of ACT multiple times.

And I still had trouble finishing the sections in time.

The takeaway? Success on the ACT rests largely on a student’s ability to work extremely quickly, without panicking and without losing his or her concentration for 35 to 60 minute periods of time. This is not an easy task for most of us.

Allow me to speak bluntly: without a significant amount of high-quality practice on realistic ACT questions under some kind of timed conditions, a student has no chance of scoring his or her highest. I will go further and say that a student needs to take a full-length practice ACT under timed conditions before they sit for an official ACT or they will not score near their potential. In other words, if you haven’t done a practice ACT while being timed first, don’t waste your money or time on the real thing."

Method Test Prep's ACT and SAT prep courses can help you do your best on either exam.  Click here for more information, and remember to use the code AMERICAN to receive 10% off your purchase of Method Test Prep's teacher-led courses.