American School Celebrates 115th Anniversary

It's December 17, and on this date in 1897, the American School received a charter from the state of Massachusetts as an "educational institution not for profit."  115 years later, that same charter still guides us.  Ever since the day R.T. Miller founded the American School in Boston, the American School has been governed not by owners or by stockholders but by corporation members who have a great interest in the School, its students and the advancement of education.  That's not to say that nothing has changed in the past 115 years.  In fact, plenty has changed, starting with the School's location.  We were only in Boston for five years before moving to Chicago in 1902 to partner with the Armour Institute of Technology, which today is called the Illinois Institute of Technology.  When that five-year partnership ended in 1907, the School built its own headquarters in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.  We remained at that location until we moved to our current location in Lansing, Illinois, in 1996.  One of the many highlights of our time in Hyde Park was the development of the Benton Harbor Plan in 1922.  The principal of Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor, Michigan approached us with the idea of using our courses to expand existing course offerings at his high school.  Thus, our Independent Study program, which today serves thousands of high schools across the country, was born.  In 1938, the American School awarded its first post-secondary scholarship to a deserving graduate, and in the 74 years that have followed, we've awarded nearly $800,000 in scholarships to our graduates.  The American School continued to prosper in the decades that followed, and the 1970s brought further recognition.  In 1974, the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges accredited the American School, making us the first private home study high school to earn accreditation by a regional accrediting body.  Today we are accredited by NCA-CASI, an accreditiation division of AdvancED, an organization dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide.  In 1978, the Illinois State Board of Education recognized us as a private secondary school, and we still hold this recognition today.  Perhaps the biggest change in the past 115 years, though, has been our curriculum.  Early courses included such subjects as Machine Shop Practice and Animal Husbandry and were done entirely on paper.  Today's subjects included more than 70 unique courses, with a variety of electives, and courses are delivered on paper and online.  As you can see, the American School has adapted to the times, and as we enter 2013, we are poised to add to the American School's excellent educational legacy.