PRESS RELEASE: Ringling Colleges Welcomes Pierian Spring Academy

Ringling College School of Continuing Studies Welcomes Pierian Spring Academy

Merger official June 1, 2017

SARASOTA, FL—As announced a year ago, Pierian Spring Academy (PSA), a nonprofit lifelong learning institution in the region, has merged with Ringling College of Art and Design as of June 1, 2017. PSA will become an integral component of the College’s newly restructured continuing studies department, where it will be incorporated into an arm of the department called the Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy (RCLLA).

“This is a relationship years in the making. This merger, along with our merger last year with the Lifelong Learning Academy, has sparked a major metamorphosis of the community education arm at Ringling,” explains Dr. Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design. “But the effects will be felt beyond our campus borders. From a lifelong learner perspective, this partnership will transform the process of finding and registering for courses in the area, as well as significantly increase and diversify the array of courses learners can choose from, whether those be art and design related or economics, literature, history, political science or French, among many others.”

These two mergers have inspired the College to take a deeper look at the structure and organization of its rapidly growing continuing studies department. Thus, the College is pleased to announce the formation of the Ringling College School of Continuing Studies (SCS) as an umbrella department housing all of the community education programs offered by Ringling College.

Under this new restructuring (as seen in the graphic at the end) are two tracks for non-degree seeking students: 1. Art & Design Studies and 2. General Studies & Enrichment. The Pierian Spring Academy will become part of RCLLA as a component of the General Studies & Enrichment track.

Janis Cohen, President of the PSA Board of Directors, remarks, “The members of the board of Pierian Spring Academy are excited about our merger into RCLLA.  It represents the next phase in the growth of lifelong learning opportunities in the Sarasota area and will ensure that interesting and stimulating academic level courses will continue to be available to our community.  We are particularly pleased that the program will soon be housed in a newly renovated building in a central location with accessible parking and other amenities.”

PSA has been offering high quality adult learning programs in Sarasota/Manatee counties for 19 years. The highly successful nonprofit had 1350 enrolled adult learners last year with nearly 70 seminar-style courses. PSA has offered higher education level adult learning courses taught by highly qualified retired academics or professionals with a specialization in a course area.

“Pierian Spring Academy and Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy share a common vision: to best serve the interests of the growing population of adult learners in the region, who embrace the joy of learning and choose to continue their education in a variety of subjects,” says Janna Overstreet, executive director of RCLLA. “This merger will enable both of our organizations to share resources, faculty, and expertise to more effectively cater to our community’s growing needs.”

This merger is a win-win for Ringling College School of Continuing Studies and Pierian Spring Academy as it will further each organization’s reach, aggregating resources, building a larger community of adult learners in the area, and offering the convenience of finding the organizations’ combined course listings and information in one place. Upon completion of the Ringling College Museum Campus, the SCS (including RCLLA and PSA) will be headquartered in the historic Sarasota High School building, alongside the Sarasota Museum of Art. However, courses will continue to take place at various locations throughout the Sarasota-Manatee region.

About Ringling College of Art and Design

For 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ten disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. www.ringling.edu 

About Pierian Spring Academy

Pierian Spring Academy was founded as a nonprofit lifelong learning institution in 1999.  PSA instructors are retired and active professors in numerous academic fields, along with orchestra and jazz musicians, ballet and theater professionals, art critics, scientists and nature lovers. This diverse group of experts organizes classes —four to six weeks long—to instruct, entertain and exercise the minds of people who seek intellectual challenge, fun, and a chance to interact with other lifelong learners in Sarasota/Manatee. PSA classes are not only about gathering facts, but also about delving into ideas and thinking anew about the arts, government, literature, medicine, science, nanotechnology, sports, film, history, nature, economics, and even spirituality or astronomy. http://pierianspringacademy.org

About Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy

Ringling Lifelong Learning Academy offers educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons and enrich their lives. Courses cover a wide range of stimulating topics and are taught by scholars, retired faculty members, and professional practitioners. Courses are taught in an engaging, collaborative manner where learning results in the development of civic awareness, ongoing learning communities of peers and intellectual and cultural connections to our communities. As a private, not-for-profit, LLA has served the Sarasota- Manatee region for the past 18 years growing lifelong learning program offerings in number and variety as the demand for services has grown. The Academy is funded by donations and registration fees and led by an executive director and volunteer advisory board. Visit www.rclla.org






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Claire Powell

Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian


Janelle Rebel

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Janet Thomas

Instructional Design Librarian


Claire Powell

Instructional Design Librarian





Alexandra Vargas-Minor

Library Technician III (Cataloging and Metadata Assistant)   


Lisa Martinez

Library Technician II (Periodicals and Interlibrary Loan)



Library Technician III (Circulation Manager)  


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Patron Type # of Items Type of Material Borrowing Time
Student 40 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Faculty and Staff 40 Books 6 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 7 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Trustee, Alumni, Cross College Alliance, and  15 Books 3 weeks
Ringling College LibraryAssociation Members CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
PreCollege 5 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Local Teacher 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Chartwell’s and Follett employees located at Ringling 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
*The video game collection supports the research and teaching of the Game Art & Design program. Video games may not be checked out by Alumni, Ringling College Library Association members or Family members.


The Alfred R. Goldstein Library features a wide variety of quiet, group study, and work process spaces. Looking for a quiet study area? Make your way up to the 3rd floor to look for a book in the Research Collection or peruse the new art magazines while relaxing in comfortable seating. When the weather is nice, you can take your coffee from Roberta’s Café on the first floor to one of the four terraces to work outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Looking for meeting space to get together with a group? Check out the group study rooms, which are available on all three floors of the Goldstein Library. The 10 group study rooms are available to students on a first-come first served basis, or available for booking by Ringling College faculty and staff for group and class meetings.

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Contact specialcollections@c.ringling.edu to schedule an appointment.

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