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Online Programs in K-12 Education

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Our programs and courses have been online since 1996.  There are several organizations that track the progress of online post-secondary enrollments including Eduventures and the Sloan Consortium.  There’s no doubt that the convenience of online post-secondary programs is a major reason that more and more adults are continuing or furthering their college education through online degree programs.

In the K-12 market, online schools have been gaining popularity too.  K-12 may be the most famous of the online programs, having gone public in December of 2007 after beginning its online programs in 1999.   K-12 offers online charter schools in 26 states (including the District of Columbia) as well as private programs.  Connections Academy is another educational company that runs online charter school programs in 15 states.   K-12 and Connections Academy aren’t the oldest K-12 distance education programs, but have the advantage of being started after the advent of the internet.

There are several ways that online K-12 programs and classes provide advantages to students, educators, and parents.  Homeschooling has become more popular over the past 20 years.  Not every parent is talented enough to provide supervision and direction to their child through kits from correspondence schools or publishing houses.  Online courses can provide qualified instructors for subjects where the parent feels uncomfortable explaining the content.  In states where there are shortages of qualified teachers, particularly in the areas of science and mathematics, online courses can provide an avenue of instruction for schools unable to find qualified teachers locally.  In thinly populated areas, online instruction could provide a source of education for areas unable to afford or to attract specialists such as advanced placement teachers.   In the event of a natural disaster, school fire, or other disruption, online schools could provide a continuation of education even if the students and faculty were located in separate states.  In such situations, it is unlikely that traditional brick and mortar schools could do the same. Rules and regulations governing K-12 education may block online opportunities in many school districts around the country and have convinced our management team to continue to focus on the opportunities in post-secondary education.

Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and as a member and chair of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

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