Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Advanced Academics to Expand Headquarters in Oklahoma City's Bricktown

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Advanced Academics to Expand Headquarters in Oklahoma City's Bricktown

Article excerpt

Advanced Academics Inc., an online school curriculum provider, will expand its Bricktown district corporate headquarters to accommodate strong growth, company management announced this week.

President Jeffrey A. Elliott said the company is benefiting from increasing interest in charter school development and home schooling across the nation.

"It's really across the board. Charter schools, regular public schools, private schools - it's really a pretty diverse cross section," he said. "Home schooling is one of the bigger segments we have. ... And with school budgets being cut, in some cases it's really a more efficient way for schools to serve their students."

The Oklahoma-based unit of DeVry Inc. plans to add about 50 jobs in the coming year and has leased 9,000 more square feet in the historic Bunte Candy Factory building near downtown. Advanced Academics now occupies four floors of the building. Instructional staff, principals and assistant principals have already moved into their new offices and space is being redesigned for information technology and a video production facility.

The company's proprietary online learning platform, curriculum and instructional services are used by districts and individual schools for sixth through 12th grades in more than 30 states. Elliott said one of the biggest differences between Advanced Academics and its major competitors is that teachers are available 24 hours a day, ready to talk with students in real time.

Elliott said his company's growth is in line with publicly traded competitor K12 Inc., although a direct comparison is difficult because the latter company has been acquiring smaller competitors lately, he said. And the other big player in the niche of online education, Connections Academy, is privately held under Connections Education LLC so corporate figures are usually not available.

The relationship between private profit and public nonprofit education services is still evolving. A spokesman with the state Education Department confirmed Advanced Academics is listed as the primary curricula provider with several charter schools across Oklahoma. …

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