Appalachian Connections message, July 2018
Message from Chancellor Sheri Everts
While some of our Appalachian students take advantage of the summer break for travel, internships, summer jobs and quality time with their families, many are on campus for summer sessions. Summer classes make good sense for a number of reasons: They keeps students fresh and in learning mode, often shorten the time to graduation and improve retention rates. (Appalachian’s overall retention rate now exceeds 88 percent, which is 20 percent higher than the national average.)
Helping your student stay on track academically, emotionally and financially is always a priority for our faculty and staff, and there are bountiful services and resources available. We recently profiled one of the services — the aptly named Office of Student Success — that vigilantly monitors the performance of our students and strives to keep them on track academically.
Some other resources for student success, health and wellness can be found here: the Counseling and Psychological Services Center, the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services. The Student Learning Center — dubbed “The Disco” in honor of its location in the building named after one of the university’s founders, Dauphin Disco Dougherty — provides tutoring and academic assistance for all levels of student need.
To help faculty and staff easily access resources in order to assist students early on, the Office of Student Success recently partnered with the Early Intervention Team, a faculty and staff-led entity, and the Office of the Dean of Students to prepare a “Quick Referral Guide for Faculty and Staff.” I think you may find it a helpful resource as well.
At least one group of our students is preparing for an unusual summer experience. Our solar vehicle team (SVT), ranked 7th in the world by the International Solarcar Federation, is currently en route to Nebraska to compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and the American Solar Challenge. During the latter, the team will race its Cruiser Class car across 1,700 miles of the Oregon Trail. You can read about and follow their success here.
When our students graduate — and our impressive retention rates are a positive sign that many will — they continue to make a difference here and in the world.
An inspiring example of alumni success, Rosemary Pierce-Messick, a 2017 graduate of our psychology-business degree program, credits the diverse experiences she had at Appalachian for preparing her to work as a business development associate for a financial technology company focused on establishing a pollution- and poverty-reducing urban transport system in Bangalore, India. Rosemary is also leading a project aimed at onboarding more female drivers in order to provide financial independence for lower-class women and a safer commuting option for female passengers.
Rosemary is just one alumna who has moved on and is contributing to the greater good — more than 90,000 Appalachian alumni live and work in North Carolina. Whatever your student’s ambitions, we know they will leave our campus better prepared to think critically and contribute to the solutions that will provide a better future for us all.