Bridgepoint Education Inc. (NYSE: BPI), a leading provider of postsecondary education services, announced today that Ashford University graduated a total of 3,566 students in December. Seventy-eight associate's, 2,800 bachelor's and 688 master's degrees were awarded.
More than 96 percent of the graduates earned their degrees online. In December, there were 3,497 online graduates and 69 on-campus traditional and accelerated graduates.
Graduation ceremonies are held semi-annually. In 2009, a total of 5,268 students, including 5,133 online students and 135 on-campus traditional and accelerated students, graduated.
"The December graduation event broke attendance records, and our total number of Ashford University graduates more than doubled from 2008," said Jane McAuliffe, chief academic officer of Bridgepoint Education and president of Ashford University.
In 2008, the university graduated a total of 2,567 students and, in 2007, 876 students, making the 2009 graduating class by far the largest in Ashford University's 91-year history.
More than 300 graduates from 44 states participated in three commencement ceremonies held Dec. 12, 2009, at the campus. In attendance were 1,400 guests. Susan Stamberg, one of the pioneers of National Public Radio and the first woman to anchor a nightly news program, was the keynote speaker.
"We've reached another memorable milestone in our institution's history," McAuliffe said. "It was a pleasure to welcome a record-breaking number of graduates, along with their families and friends, to Clinton for graduation ceremonies. Receiving a diploma in person, with encouragement and support from loved ones, is a wonderful, meaningful way to celebrate the Ashford University experience.
"At Ashford, we believe in higher access to high-quality higher education. Our dramatic increase in graduates demonstrates that non-traditional students - from working moms to military war veterans from across the nation and beyond - are increasingly successful in furthering their education and earning their college degrees through online education."
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, director of Public Relations at 858.668.2580.
About Ashford University
Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.