This year, the American College in Spain celebrates its 10th anniversary. How has the college evolved during this time?
The truth is that it has seen significant changes. When we first started in 2013, we concentrated solely on the university program (2+2), since this was our area of expertise. Nevertheless, my father, who is the actual founder of The American College, had been considering adding a high school option to our program. After 4 years of offering university courses, we realized that there was a niche for a high school, especially on my part since I had kids that were reaching that age. In 2016, we introduced our first year of high school studies.
Have you formed any professionals during these last 10 years?
Well, we have had many success stories. One of our students who completed her first 2 years of university studies with us, transferred to Madrid, completed her degree, and has now been accepted to study International Law. She is also working concurrently for a political party while she pursues her law degree.
My daughter did her high school and first 2 years of university at ACS, transferred to Florida International University in Miami, to the Chaplin School of Hospitality, and is now working as a human resources manager for one of the Marriot hotels.
One of our other students also transferred to Florida International University and graduated with honors in Psychology. She has now been accepted into the Master's program in the same university.
We also have had high school students who have been offered full scholarships to universities in the United States, specifically in golf and tennis.
Are you planning a special celebration?
We will celebrate our 10th year anniversary this June during our graduation ceremony for our high school students. It will also coincide with the fact that this year we have the largest graduating class, so it will be a double celebration.
For those people who still have not heard of The American College in Spain, what distinguishes your institution?
I believe that it is a combination of factors; evidently, we are a small institution, and this gives it a family environment. The classroom sizes are reduced, which encourages good interaction and allows teachers to be aware of each student’s needs.
Another factor that distinguishes us is flexibility. The high school program allows students to join our school at any time of the year. Furthermore, students who need to travel for a variety of reasons are still able to follow the classes online. For this reason, our offer is ideal for athletes because they can follow their sports commitments without falling behind in their studies.
Another advantage of our system is that students can finish high school with us and continue into the university program without having to follow the tedious application process which most university freshmen must go through.
We also offer various options to students in accordance to their needs. This year, for example, we have incorporated the “Fast Track” option, which allows a student to complete high school and university in a shorter period.
Which types of students show interest in your program?
All types. As previously mentioned, our program was initially designed for athletes, however, ACS is perfect for students who prefer a small institution with flexibility and personalized attention.
Many of our students are from the Costa del Sol area and of different nationalities. Most want to finish their university studies in the United States, although they also have the option of finishing in Europe.
Apart from being flexible, the American system has other advantages; the focus is to welcome students and guide them to develop self-confidence and discover their talent whilst becoming academically successful. Having an American university degree is widely recognized and respected.
What do you think your students and their families value the most?
I think it is the availability and willingness of the teachers and staff to reach out to students at any time.
Reduced class sizes
International, diverse, and family environment
And obviously, the education received, as well as the many options of going into the workforce in the future
What diploma do the students receive, and who is it accredited by?
Students who complete the high school program will receive a high school diploma directly from the United States. We are an international center of the University of Missouri High School (Mizzou Academy) which is fully accredited by Cognia and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement in the United States.
As for our university program, we are an international center of Broward College. Students who join our university program are simultaneously enrolled in Broward College in Florida and obtain an Associate of Arts degree after 2 years. They then transfer to the United States or any other American university in Europe to complete their degree. This is known as our 2+2 program.
Broward College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.