Centennial Newsletter - February 2012


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Sneak Peak: ACICS Community Service Week

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Giving back to the community can be as important in the growth and development of students as the education that takes place in the classroom. As part of the ACICS Centennial celebration, we are looking to our colleges and schools to empower students in a week of service to their local communities.

The “We SERVE” initiative will take place during the week of May 21, and will provide an opportunity for students from ACICS schools across the nation to take part in philanthropic activities and projects that will benefit their community. “We SERVE” will tap the energy and goodwill of students and staff at ACICS institutions who have already demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in their communities, from feeding the homeless to helping with recent disaster rebuilding efforts.

Colleges and schools can get involved by encouraging students to establish project teams, and engaging in a little friendly competition against other ACICS schools. We will be providing further information about the "We SERVE" initiative next month.

Click here to learn how you can get involved in the ACICS Community Service Project.

ACICS Executive Directors: A History of Leaders

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Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of profiles of the men and women who have served in the chief executive role of the association over its first 100 years. Watch for profiles of other executive directors in coming editions of the Centennial newsletter.

James “Jim” Phillips served as Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools (AICS) from 1979 until 1992. Under his leadership, AICS extended its accreditation services to master’s level programs and saw schools begin to expand their program offerings beyond the secretarial and business foundation upon which the agency was launched. Jim led the implementation of standards focused on several key areas, including significant growth in campus locations, new ownership models, and the increased federal funding available to students.

He inspired loyalty in his staff through his gentle yet firm management style, recognizing individual potential and providing opportunity for growth. Those who remember him fondly have called him a “a true Southern gentleman.”

Click here to read the rest of Jim Phillips' story.

Visit ACICS.org for more Stories of the Centennial.

Centennial Student Spotlight

Martin Ferguson: Having the Courage to Take a Fresh Start

Martin Ferguson proves that finding your passion in life can come at any time. In 2004, after being laid off from a manufacturing plant, he decided he didn’t want to find “just another job.” Instead, he wanted a fresh start.

“I realized I would have to go back to school if I wanted to get a job in the new millennium,” he said.

After meeting a co-worker’s wife who worked as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), Ferguson decided that he too shared a passion for healthcare and helping others. He enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Brown Mackie College – Fort Wayne where he attended classes four days a week and worked as a restaurant cook in the evenings.

In 2009, Ferguson graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting, and was offered a job with a therapy company in Anderson, IN shortly after passing his state licensure.

“I felt pride run through me as I realized I had made it. I would say to anyone who is even thinking of school to go for it!”

Click here to read more Stories of the Centennial.

Send In Your Story 
Click here to submit a student story from your school for a chance to be featured on ACICS.org or in a future edition of the Centennial newsletter.

In Case You Missed It

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In January, ACICS selected first, second, and third place winners of its nationwide Centennial poster design competition. Clayton Stewart, a Visual Communications student at Westwood College (Houston, TX) won first place with his design, “100 Years of Quality: Making the Transition from Education to the Workforce.” Second place went to Michael Fitzgerald from Anthem Institute (Springfield, PA), whose design focused on the past, present, and future of career education. Raul Lopez from John Dewey College in Puerto Rico placed third with his design showcasing applications on a tablet to symbolize how students can choose their own career path.

Click here to view the winning designs and learn more about each of the winners.

Save the Date

  • February 23-24: Florida Association of Post-secondary Schools and Colleges Central Conference ( Lake Mary, FL)
  • April 20: Missouri Kansas Association of Private Career Colleges and Schools Annual Meeting (St. Louis, MO)
  • May 18: Arizona Private School Association Annual Meeting (Phoenix, AZ)
  • November 8-11: ACICS Annual Meeting and Centennial Celebration Gala (Las Vegas, NV)

Resources to Download

Looking for resources to download about the ACICS Centennial? Visit the Centennial > Resources section of ACICS.org to view and download a fact sheet about ACICS, a 100-year timeline of our history, and more.


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