This is a photo of the ASEC team, Melanie Blansett, Kevin Ganus and director Shannon King, and they provide numerous ways to engage students and help them see academic success.

ASEC offers students tools for success

Sept. 13, 2017 — At the end of the 2016-17 school year, the Academy announced a new program designed to assist students needing extra support in the classroom. The Academic Support and Enrichment Center (ASEC) provides students with guidance outside of the traditional classroom during the school day in an effort to reduce the time students spend tutoring outside of school hours.

“This is extremely beneficial to the student because each child’s instructor works very closely with the classroom teachers to identify specific areas of focus,” said program director Shannon King. “An added benefit of the ASEC program is that it alleviates the need for after school tutoring and keeps the afternoons open for extra-curricular activities.”

There are three levels within the program. Target academic groups (TAG) are offered for students in kindergarten-eighth grade. In this setting, students receive small group, targeted instruction. The groups meet once or twice a week and focus on areas such as math, language arts, or study and organizational skills.

“Some learners just need more practice or confidence in math and language arts while other children need more intensive instruction,” said King. “Because the teacher student ratio is low, academic coaches are able to individualize each child’s instruction.”

The second level provides alternative testing environments for students, allowing students who have test anxiety or are easily distracted to be more successful on assessments. For students with diagnosed needs, the alternate testing component may also include oral testing or tests being read aloud.

E-CAT is the enrichment component of ASEC and explores subjects such as STEAM activities, beginning Spanish, book club and percussion.

“I started at HA as a first-grader and spent all 12 years here,” says King. “Throughout those years I had amazing teachers. However, it was difficult watching many of my friends struggle in their classes because they weren’t traditional learners. Seeing that frustration drove me to my chosen career. In college I wanted to not only certify in regular education, but also in special education. It is humbling that I have been given the opportunity to work with this program. It is something that I have always hoped Harding Academy would be able to offer.”

For more information about ASEC, visit