A legacy of learning

Antioch University Midwest’s national recognition

By Alyssa Reck

Photo: Antioch University Midwest will participate in three national education programs seeking to learn more about the nature of adult education; photo: courtesy of Antioch University Midwest

It’s a bit of a history lesson, but it’s all in the name of education.

The name Antioch is familiar to residents and surrounding areas of Yellow Springs, but it’s becoming a larger name, too. Nestled in this creative community lie two distinct and separate institutions, Antioch College and Antioch University. Both these institutions have one name in common, Horace Mann. Mann established Antioch College in 1852 and was its first president. Over time, Antioch College grew by adding an adult learning program in 1978 called Antioch University. Antioch University geared itself towards the non-traditional student and adult learning programs, rather than being a four-year institution.

In 1988, Antioch University Midwest was established, becoming the fifth Antioch University Campus. This fifth campus has had many names including McGregor School, Antioch University McGregor and finally Antioch University Midwest in 2010.

After Antioch College closed its doors for a period of time, Antioch University became its own entity and own institution. Since the beginning, Antioch University has been making a name for itself, being recognized regionally, nationally and even internationally. Its hallmark is to help students realize their potential and ability to succeed in their educational goals.

Recently, this innovative university has been given the ability to explore its adult learning programs and progress toward expanding the benefits of higher education. Through three different programs, the university seeks further understanding of adult education.

“We are an exceptional landscape of adult learning, playing a unique role and well-known role,” University Chancellor Felice Nudelman said.

The first program in which the university will participate is a competency-based education network – C-BEN, for short – coordinated by the Public Agenda and funded by the Lumina Foundation.

“It shows less dependence on the individual course, but how you demonstrate what is learned,” Nudelman said.

According to Nudelman, the university has been working a similar model for about 15 years.

The second program is run by the Higher Learning Commissions Academy on Student Persistence and Completion. This program focuses on the university’s ability to improve their student’s completion of their undergraduate degree programs based on collected data.

The third program includes eight other institutions, all of which received a $50,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to use toward the program.

These eight institutions will form incubator teams. Antioch University will explore program completion through AU Connected program, their new online program. Antioch University is looking forward to being a part in national discussions regarding higher education. Utilizing their other five campuses – Los Angeles, Calif.; Midwest; New England; Santa Barbra, Calif. and Seattle, Wash. – Antioch University will pool their knowledge of adult education.

Walking onto Antioch University’s campus, the core student population is comprised of adults.

Nudelman mentioned many of the students are looking to further their existing degree or to further the education they might not have finished years ago.

“Life may have caught up with them and now they are ready to continue,” Nudelman said.

Antioch University offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates. The degrees and certifications can be received in Arts, Humanities and Liberal Studies; Education; Environment Studies and Sustainability; Health and Social Studies; Management and Leadership and Psychology.

Each Antioch University campus has a different focus. For example, the Midwest campus offers NCATE-accredited graduate degrees in education, while the Santa Barbara campus concentrates on Clinical Psychology degrees.

There are a few reasons why individuals choose Antioch University.

“Our mission resonates with them and empowers students to lead,” Nudelman said.

Another reason: the classes are focused around the mission of preparing and getting students to where they need to be. The third reason is experiential learning.

“The best way to learn is to be introduced to new information,”  Nudelman said, “but to also apply it to real life experiences.”

The average age of students here is 35, and classes are small, which gives students a chance to engage with peers of similar age; perhaps even similar life experiences.

Antioch University is unique in that students must complete service learning requirements, which help them gain real-world experience. They give back to the community while moving forward to their own life goals.

Many of the programs permit students to design it to fit their needs.

“We know our students have skills,” said Nudelman. “Why make them take courses on things they already know?”

The university has a committed faculty that mentor students and help them understand that they can achieve greatness.

Since there are campuses across the country, Antioch University developed a “We Deliver” program, which consists of a whopping 40 million library assets. The best part? It’s delivered! (If the name of the program didn’t already suggest this fact!)

Antioch University is located at 888 Dayton St. #102 in Yellow Springs. For more information, please call 937.769.1340 or visit antioch.edu.

Reach DCP freelance writer Alyssa Reck at AlyssaReck@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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