Ashford University, a Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI) academic institution, graduated a total of 5,063 students since the University's previous graduation ceremonies in October. Collectively, Ashford graduates earned 297 associate's degrees, 3,547 bachelor's degrees and 1,219 master's degrees.
The April 30 graduation marked the first time that ceremonies were held at Ashford's new athletic field on the University's Clinton, Iowa campus. More than 1,000 graduates took part in the commencement ceremonies. Graduates traveled from Canada, Guam, American Samoa, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Indonesia, the Virgin Islands and from across the United States to receive their diplomas.
"Earning my degree was a big milestone for me," said Mary Thompson-Appiah, who graduated from Ashford University with a master of arts degree in education. "I'm glad I was able to take part in the graduation ceremony and share the occasion with my family and so many other graduates from around the world."
More than 98 percent of the Ashford graduates earned their degrees online. Since the last graduation in October, there were 4,963 online graduates and 100 on-campus traditional and accelerated graduates. Graduation ceremonies are held semi-annually.
"Although the majority of our students earn their degrees online, it is important to many of our graduates to take part in the whole commencement experience," said Dr. Elizabeth Tice, president of Ashford University. "They worked diligently to earn their degrees and they want to feel that sense of pride in participating in graduation ceremonies and having a hard-earned diploma placed in their hands."
The keynote address was delivered by Ron Clark. Dubbed "America's Educator," Clark is a teacher who has found great success educating students from low-income areas of North Carolina and New York City. Clark was named Disney's American Teacher of the Year in 2000.
About Bridgepoint Education
Bridgepoint Education's postsecondary education services focus on offering associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in such disciplines as business, education, psychology, social sciences and health sciences. Bridgepoint Education's regionally accredited academic institutions – Ashford University and University of the Rockies – deliver their programs online as well as at traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit www.bridgepointeducation.com or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.668.2580.