Ringling Colleges Welcomes Pierian Spring Academy
SARASOTA, FL—As announced a year ago, Pierian Spring Academy (PSA), a nonprofit lifelong learning institution in the region, has merged with Ringling College of Art and Design as of June 1, 2017. PSA will become an integral component of the College’s newly restructured continuing studies department, where it will be incorporated into an arm of the department called the Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy (RCLLA).
“This is a relationship years in the making. This merger, along with our merger last year with the Lifelong Learning Academy, has sparked a major metamorphosis of the community education arm at Ringling,” explains Dr. Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design. “But the effects will be felt beyond our campus borders. From a lifelong learner perspective, this partnership will transform the process of finding and registering for courses in the area, as well as significantly increase and diversify the array of courses learners can choose from, whether those be art and design related or economics, literature, history, political science or French, among many others.”
These two mergers have inspired the College to take a deeper look at the structure and organization of its rapidly growing continuing studies department. Thus, the College is pleased to announce the formation of the Ringling College School of Continuing Studies (SCS) as an umbrella department housing all of the community education programs offered by Ringling College.
Under this new restructuring (as seen in the graphic at the end) are two tracks for non-degree seeking students: 1. Art & Design Studies and 2. General Studies & Enrichment. The Pierian Spring Academy will become part of RCLLA as a component of the General Studies & Enrichment track.
Janis Cohen, President of the PSA Board of Directors, remarks, “The members of the board of Pierian Spring Academy are excited about our merger into RCLLA. It represents the next phase in the growth of lifelong learning opportunities in the Sarasota area and will ensure that interesting and stimulating academic level courses will continue to be available to our community. We are particularly pleased that the program will soon be housed in a newly renovated building in a central location with accessible parking and other amenities.”
PSA has been offering high quality adult learning programs in Sarasota/Manatee counties for 19 years. The highly successful nonprofit had 1350 enrolled adult learners last year with nearly 70 seminar-style courses. PSA has offered higher education level adult learning courses taught by highly qualified retired academics or professionals with a specialization in a course area.
“Pierian Spring Academy and Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy share a common vision: to best serve the interests of the growing population of adult learners in the region, who embrace the joy of learning and choose to continue their education in a variety of subjects,” says Janna Overstreet, executive director of RCLLA. “This merger will enable both of our organizations to share resources, faculty, and expertise to more effectively cater to our community’s growing needs.”