Schools’ options for providing supplemental learning resources to at-risk students and accelerated learners are opening up. A group of venture investors have awarded $7.5 million in financing to Advanced Academics, an Oklahoma City company that delivers online learning to students in grades seven through 12, the company announced June 6.
“In a difficult environment for venture capital, I believe securing this level of financing sends a strong message about our achievements thus far, as well as the future of our business model,” said Baxter Brings, president and CEO of Advanced Academics. “We have solidified our executive team with top talent in the education publishing industry, correlated our course offerings to more state standards, increased the number of states where we have certified our teachers, and continue to deliver the best possible online experience for high school students.”
Advanced Academics’ new investors are Council Ventures, of Nashville, Chrysalis Ventures, of Louisville, Ky.; and Prosperitas Investment Partners, also of Louisville. Previous investors who participated in the financing were Chisholm Private Capital Partners and American Fidelity Group, both of Oklahoma City.
Since January 2002, Advanced Academics has added eight new states for operation: Alaska, Georgia, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. Three recent new contracts include a pilot project with the Detroit Public Schools, the Seattle Public Schools, and the South Brunswick, N.J., Public Schools. Brings says additional major contracts will be announced during the summer.
Under the business model Advanced Academics offers to schools, a staff of certified teachers at the company handles all aspects of the learning experience, including course development, assessment, grading, and 24/7 availability for interaction with the student via real-time chats, eMail, and telephone calls. According to Brings, the company also provides custom reporting and time monitoring of student activity that can be viewed online not only by the district, teacher, and student but also by parents and guardians. Advanced Academics also provides all data necessary for accreditation and funding, plus financial and audit records.