American students celebrate Independence Day with unique graduation ceremony

The Class of 2017 at the first ever Ashville College Graduation Ceremony
The Class of 2017 at the first ever Ashville College Graduation Ceremony

Eleven Sixth Formers from a Harrogate school celebrated a one of a kind American Independence Day by participating in their own graduation ceremony.

The American students have graduated from Ashville College - one of only two schools in the country to be affiliated to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) - with an American High School Diploma, ensuring they are eligible for further studies back home.

Two years ago, Ashville launched its International Studies Program, which gives American students the opportunity to study at a traditional independent British School while continuing to meet US educational requirements.

It is the only school in the north of England to offer a programme of this type.

The graduation ceremony, held in the school’s Soothill Hall and attended by family and friends, was streamed live online for overseas relatives to watch.

Dr Pauline Younts, Ashville’s Director of International Studies, said: “This graduation ceremony was a first for Ashville, a first for Harrogate and a first for the North of England.

“It was very fitting that it was held on American Independence Day and the 11 Ashville students were joined for the ceremony by a student from James Madison University High School.

“We have been working closely with NEASC to tailor-make a course for the American students which means that, on returning to their homeland, they are able to slot straight into its education system and seamlessly continue their studies.

“The Class of 2017 has now graduated with credits in a variety of courses, from American History to Advanced Mathematics, enabling them to reach their fullest potential, either here or back in the United States of America.”