Ashford University Announces Constellation

Innovative Suite of Interactive Educational Materials will Increase Affordability for Students

Ashford University announced today the launch of Constellation, a new online learning platform to be used by its students. The platform consists of highly engaging web-based course materials which include both text and multimedia assets that were developed in cooperation with Ashford University faculty as well as subject matter experts from across the country. 

“At Ashford University, we provide our students with an attainable quality education and are always seeking to improve the overall student experience through new technologies and methods,” said Dr. Jane McAuliffe, president of Ashford University. “Our faculty and staff exhibit a remarkable willingness to innovate and adapt in keeping with today’s trends and available resources. We expect the students at Ashford to benefit significantly from this new system, both in terms of making education more affordable and in making education more adaptive to their personal schedule. 

“We believe that Constellation raises the bar for other learning platforms,” continued McAuliffe. “Its features and capabilities enhance content delivery by incorporating elements of modern communication into course materials. Constellation courses offer a variety of multimedia, interactive and disability-accessible content to better serve students and their personal learning styles.” 

Quality Curriculum

Given the close alignment of materials with Ashford University outcomes, a more relevant and comprehensive education experience is provided to students. Constellation also presents opportunities for tighter integration with assessment tools used by Ashford University’s parent company, Bridgepoint Education. Those include Waypoint Outcomes’ interactive assessment tools and surveys that develop rich data on student learning outcomes and help assure optimum online instruction for students. Waypoint Outcomes was acquired by Bridgepoint Education in 2009.

Technological Innovation

Constellation materials are displayed in a proprietary, browser-based reader developed and owned by Bridgepoint Education. The innovative Constellation Reader is included with the course materials and gives students an interactive web-based experience. It enables students to search and download multiple versions of the materials like PDF and ePub, and also creates highlights, notes and bookmarks. While full functionality is best enjoyed with the Constellation reader, students may also engage with the materials on a variety of devices, including web-enabled cell phones like the Blackberry and iPhone, as well as devices such as the Kindle and the new iPad. 

Students are free to use their course materials in any way that works best for them. They can enjoy a full audio version of the materials, download materials to various devices, print them without restriction, keep them for future reference, or share the materials with colleagues. 

Accessibility/Affordability

A cornerstone of Constellation is student affordability. Constellation materials replace third-party textbooks, which have typically cost online students $150 per course. With

Constellation, the cost is expected to be cut in half to approximately $75. Initially, Constellation will be provided in ten Ashford University general education courses and, ultimately, is expected to include core courses in approximately 80 percent of degree programs over the next two to three years. 

Constellation officially launched on April 29 and is currently available to new students who enroll in Ashford University’s online programs. 

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.

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 and are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit www.bridgepointeducation.com or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations at 858.668.2580.