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Home-Study Antique Course Expanding To College Curriculum

By Bill Van Lannen

Antique Trader – News Editor
Antiques as a college course?
With the advent of the Internet and eBay, the study of antiques is increasingly a mainstream concern that is finding its way into continuing adult education courses, colleges and auctioneering schools, according to Charlie David Green, director of The Asheford Institute of Antiques (AlA) of Destin. Fla.
AlA's home-study program, the largest and the oldest in the nation is in its second year in partnership with Delta Community College, University Center in Michigan, and is currently in negotiations with 15 to 20 other schools across the United States and Canada. Green said.
''Delta Community College came to us and gave us the idea," said Green, "and we've found that many colleges and continuing education schools have a great interest in the burgeoning field of antiques."
"Whether it be through Delta or any other college, the Institute will continue to stress core subjects such as recognizing furniture periods. buying at auctions and flea markets. attending estate sales, learning to appraise professionally and operating your own antique business." Green said.
The AlA Course, which is now in the process of establishing it's classroom-hours to be used as transferable college credits, takes from six months to two years to complete, depending upon one's level of commitment. It consists of 12 volumes of reading material (either in hard-copy or CD-ROM format). The Course text books alone total about 1,600 pages that cover five Plans of study. The Plans start with basic generalities and lead to the specifics of targeted antiques fields.
"We teach people first of all what they're looking at, and the only way to do that is to go back through the history," said Green, who at age eight was already refinishing furniture for his father, Peter, the owner of South Meadow Farm Antiques north of Toronto, in Canada.
The AlA course begins with a study of fundamentals and ends with a diploma that certifies the graduate as having successfully completed the 12 volume course, in addition to being certified as a "competent appraiser." Items belonging to the student will be appraised as part of the course at no additional cost.
When asked if be sees the field of antiques advancing to the point that it becomes an accredited field of study within a college curriculum, Green replied, "Absolutely! There's no doubt that many people are taking our program for that very reason - they can see it coming - It's growing by leaps and bounds, and the interest in the Internet begs for some sort of accreditation, perhaps within a general fine arts degree. There's art, history and philosophy in antiques - it's all there."
The tests must be mailed back to AIA for grading, and the final exam consists of an essay. About 45,000 people worldwide have taken the AlA course since 1966, an average of 1,500 per year. The company was started by Peter Green, and his son Charlie, named Director in 1988, has been running it since.
The AlA course costs between $895 and $995, depending on a payment plan, and is now available on CD-ROM.
For more information about the A IA and its home study program, visit their website at: or, write to: AIA, 981 Harbor Blvd. Ste. 3, Dept. 275 Destin, FL 32541 or call them toll free at:  877-444-4508

Admissions Office & Information Hotline
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US Offices:

Asheford Institute of Antiques
981 Harbor Blvd, Ste. 3, Dept. 275WEB
Destin, FL USA 32541-2525

Canadian Offices:
Asheford Institute of Antiques
131 Bloor St. West.Suite 200, Dept. 124WEB
Toronto, ON
T. 705-645-5589

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