Cyberspace Graduates from 46 States and 4 Countries Participate Ashford University Graduation Ceremonies

First Fall Graduation Commencement in Ashford University History

More than 538 students from 46 states and 4 countries participated in Ashford University graduation ceremonies held on Oct. 16. The accredited university offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs. 

The October graduation marked a milestone in the university's 91-year history. It was the first one held in the fall and the first exclusively for online and ASPIRE graduates. ASPIRE students attend on-campus traditional and accelerated online classes. The university now holds three annual commencement ceremonies to accommodate its increased number of graduates. 

Ashford University's online graduates represent the face of non-traditional online learners – working moms, dads, military war veterans, career enhancers, career launchers and scholarship winners who need flexibility in earning their degree.

In today's economy where there is higher demand for a college-educated workforce, online higher learning has grown exponentially. With a 17 percent growth rate nationally for online enrollments, more than one in four college and university students now take at least one course online, according to the Sloan Consortium's "Learning on Demand; Online Education in the United States, 2009." More than 99 percent of Ashford students earn their degrees online. 

Fall graduates traveled from as far as the Virgin Islands and Guam – and nearly every state in the United States was represented by an Ashford student successfully completing a degree program. 16 associate's, 378 bachelor's and 144 master's degrees were conferred. 

"Most online graduates participating in the ceremony experienced the Ashford University campus for the first time. It was an honor to welcome them and reward their accomplishments," Dr. Jane McAuliffe, president of Ashford University, said. "Author and CNN Contributor Dr. Steve Perry did a remarkable job delivering the keynote address encouraging and inspiring the graduates to be the best they can be after graduation." 

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( 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 or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.