Ashbrook Academy sets high school students up for success


Submitted By: The Ashbrook Program

Academy students enjoy learning more about American history, but also get a taste of what college life is all about.

Gracie Wilson, Collegian Managing Editor

The Ashbrook Academy kicked off its seventh year this summer with four different academy offerings, welcoming high school students from around the nation to partake in this unique summer program centered on history and political science. 

Since its start in 1984, the Ashbrook center has welcomed like-minded students with a passion for the field, and now, using the Ashbrook Academy, they have the chance to spark the interests of young individuals who are interested in history and looking for what their next step after high school will be. 

The residential program invites students to campus Saturday-Sunday where they have the chance to live in Andrews Hall, eat at Convo, get a campus tour and learn history course material from Ashbrook professors in the same way they teach their college courses. 

“It’s always a great experience for them,” Ardith Amon, a Junior Ashbrook Scholar and Academy Student Worker said. “I think they love having a little bit more freedom for at least a week going from home to [college].”

The academy offers a week of history material that differs based on which academy students choose. From “Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War” to “The Supreme Court and the Constitution,” there is something for every aspiring history major to take interest in. 

“It was a really cool experience to hear students’ stories from their own high schools and then their experiences here and getting to listen to them…talk about why they love what they’re doing,” Amon said.

The Ashbrook Program has also found success in using the academy as a recruiting tool for the future, often seeing students from an academy a couple of years prior show up on the list of applicants to the program after they graduate high school. 

Dr. Cara Rogers speaks to rising juniors and seniors in high school. (Submitted by: The Ashbrook Program)

“We’ve had quite a few students attend the academies who then like the way we approach thinking and learning using original documents [and] very little lecture,” Dr. Christopher Burkett, Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program said. “It’s more discussion based and quite a few of them have come to Ashland as Ashbrook scholars.”

Over the course of the week, students will have multiple daily sessions where they use original documents and primary sources to learn about the academy topic and play academic jeopardy review games. At the end of the week, students take an exam over all that they have learned and if they pass, they earn two college credits for their work. 

“It’s a really joyful thing to see their minds engage and open up to thinking about really important questions concerning justice, equality, freedom, good and questionable aspects of our history,” Burkett said. “Their minds are open to these things because they’re surrounded by these other eager and curious students.”

For more information on the Ashbrook Academy and to fill out an application, visit