EXECUTIVE: George J. Hagerty, President
LOCATION: Leesburg, FL
Beacon College, a nonprofit, liberal arts school, is the first higher- education institution accredited to award bachelor’s degrees in eight arts and science disciplines primarily to students with learning disabilities, ADHD and other learning differences. Enrollment soared by more than 70 percent over the past three years as the college reached its enrollment peak in fall 2016 with 320 students.
Under the leadership of Dr. George J. Hagerty, a Harvard-trained academician and former Department of Education administrator, Beacon College’s graduation rate of 70 percent in four years nearly triples the numbers at other U.S. colleges, while its 83 percent rate of students who pursue postgraduate study or find worthy work within six months of graduation nearly quadruples other U.S colleges. That unparalleled success earned the notice of BestValueSchools.com, which named Beacon College the No. 1 best value school nationally for students with disabilities in its “20 Best Value Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities 2017- 2018” ranking, and raved, “When it comes to the best colleges for students with learning disabilities, none holds a candle to Beacon College.” Similarly, BestColleges.com ranked the school No. 8 on its “Best Florida Schools” list and College Magazine ranked Beacon No. 2 on its “Top 10 Best Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities” list.
This summer, Beacon exports its unique learning model to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where Beacon faculty will train teachers in the UAE to better serve students who learn differently. Beacon will also facilitate a summer college-immersion experience for UAE students with learning disabilities. In the fall, it’s “ciao” Beacon, as the school launches “Beacon in Tuscany,” a semester- long study abroad program. Meanwhile, in the coming months, Beacon will renovate its academic mall, break ground on new student housing and expand the student fitness center, among other projects, to better prepare Beacon graduates to compete in the global economy.