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Academic staff: 54 Administrative staff: 35 Campus: suburban Location:Leesburg, Florida, USA Colors: blue,goldAccreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Beacon College is a comprehensive, four-year college that serves students who learn differently. It is located in Leesburg, Florida, United States, about an hour’s drive from nearby Orlando. The College’s distinctive educational model and small, intimate learning environment attracts students from throughout the United States and throughout the world who have learning disabilities, ADHD and other learning differences.
History Spearheaded by a group of parents committed to making the option of higher education accessible to students with learning disabilities, ADHD and other learning differences, Beacon College was incorporated on May 24, 1989. At the time of its establishment, the College sought and was granted the approval of the Florida Department of Education to introduce a focused undergraduate curriculum aligned specifically to the specialized learning and support needs of students who learn differently. These programs led to the awarding of both the Associate of Arts (A.A.) and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees. (1)
In 2003, Beacon College was granted full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and reaffirmed for the full 10-year period in 2008. (2) With this achievement, Beacon became the first — and until recently, the only —specialized institution of higher learning in the United States focused exclusively on students with learning disabilities to hold regional accreditation of a four-year baccalaureate degree.
The College's first academic concentration at both the baccalaureate (B.A.) and associate (A.A.) level was Human Services. In 1992, Beacon added a degree concentration (B.A. and A.A.) in General Studies that later evolved into its current Interdisciplinary Studies major.
Since achieving accreditation, Beacon has added bachelor's and associate degrees in: •Business Management (2012) •Computer Information Systems with tracks in Information Technology, Digital Media, Web Design (2005) •Psychology (2012) •Studio Arts (2013)(3)
The College leadership has included: • Founding President Marsha Glines (1989–1990) • Interim Chief Executive Katherine Jarvis (1991–92) • President Deborah Broadbeck (1992–2011) • Interim President John Hutchinson, Ph.D. (2011–2013) • President George J. Hagerty, Ph.D. (2013–Present) 4
The Beacon Community’s Singular Focus The institutional seal of Beacon College includes the motto “Illuminatun Vitae Abundantiorem” or “Illuminating the Life Abundant”. Motivating and guiding Beacon’s students to pursue such a calling is at the core of the College’s mission, programs, and unified delivery of instruction, co-curricular offerings and academic support services.
The “abundant life” that the College envisions for each of its students includes: • intellectual challenge; • a code of ethical and moral principles; • the healthy mooring of family ties, trusted friendships and positive social networks; • a lifestyle of wellness; • a worthy work and independent lifestyle; • service dedicated to bettering the larger community, and • dreams and ambitions that demand a devotion to lifelong learning.
The Academic Program Beacon College currently offers the following seven majors as part of its regionally accredited undergraduate program*:
• B.A. in Business Management (with tracks in Entrepreneurship and Hospitality Management) • B.A. in Computer Information Systems (with tracks in Web and Digital Media and Information Systems) • B.A. in Human Services • B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies • B.A. in Psychology • B.A. in Studio Arts
The College also offers concentrations (minors) in Art, Business Management, Computer Information Systems, Education (K-6), English/Literature, History and Psychology.*
In 2014-15, Beacon introduced a Breakthrough Semester for visiting college students who learn differently. This program promotes the development of targeted strategies and skills designed to help visiting students successfully secure or regain their academic footing at their home colleges or universities.
The Campus and Campus Life The college experience at Beacon is focused on creating a safe, supportive environment that contributes to the holistic growth and development of the individual, enhancing the academic experience. Located in historic downtown Leesburg, the College has renovated a number of buildings to accommodate classrooms, support centers, laboratories and faculty offices. Campus life offers a full range of opportunities outside of the classroom from arts and intramural sports to leadership development opportunities. Student housing includes 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units with cable, high-speed Internet and private parking. Laundry facilities are available at each housing complex, and many apartments have self-contained units. The Beacon College Dining Hall, called “The Chopping Block,” serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily during the week, and meals until 1:00 p.m. on weekends. The Navigator Café offers a range of snacks and lighter fare. Students participate in a wide range of activities outside the classroom. Knowing how important it is for students to have options that appeal to them, all clubs are student organized and change each semester based on current interests. Students have opportunities to participate in sports, clubs and special events. Leadership development opportunitities are also available. Beacon is committed to supporting the whole student — mental and physical — so that all students may excel both academically and personally. Transportation is available for students who want to go shopping, or visit area attractions, such as Disney World and Universal Studios.
(1) Beacon College Foundational Documents, Governance and Administration, Volume 1, June 25, 2013.
(2) Letter of Accreditation, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), June, 2003
(3) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Member, Candidate and Applicant List (includes Commission actions taken 06/20/2013), July 2013. http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/webmemlist.pdf
(4) Beacon College Foundational Documents, Governance and Administration, Volume 1, Section 1.12, June 25, 2013.
(*) Beacon College Catalog, AY 2013-2014.
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