At the turn of the century, educational opportunities were rare. Correspondence education was increasing in popularity within the United States. An educator by the name of Frederick Griggs envisioned educating people around the world. His vision took shape in the establishment of The Fireside Correspondence School in 1909. The goal was to provide the benefits of an education to those unable to attend traditional schools.
Within two years, The Fireside Correspondence School (later renamed Home Study Institute, Home Study International, and most recently Griggs University/Griggs International Academy) was offering 11 secondary and nine college courses. By 1916 its students represented nearly every state and province in North America, as well as 10 other countries. Since then, almost 240,000 people have studied with Griggs.
Griggs is part of the Seventh-day Adventist school system. Today Griggs plays a unique and vital role in the educational development of students of all ages in all parts of the world. In 1990 the Griggs Board of Directors assigned names to its three academic divisions. Thus, Home Study Elementary School, Home Study High School and Griggs University (GU) became a part of Griggs' terminology. In 1991, GU began offering college degrees to international students who had no access to an Adventist campus. In 2011 Griggs was adopted by Andrews University (AU) and moved location from Maryland to the Berrien Springs facility. Griggs University became the AU School of Distance Education, with Griggs International Academy (K-12) falling under that umbrella.
People from all walks of life have discovered that the quiet conditions of private correspondence or technology-based study help develop self-reliance, independent thinking and responsibility. From its early years when it operated out of a one-room office, Griggs has developed into a worldwide school that maintains high scholastic standards and utilizes the services of qualified professionals in all phases of its operation. Griggs emphasizes the personal touch in its student-teacher relationships.