Increasing enrollment and achievement for low-income and rural students are top on my 2018 list of to-dos. Last September, I signed an agreement with UNC System President Margaret Spellings affirming Appalachian’s commitment to these goals, as well as to developing critical workforce programs such as health care, STEM and teacher education. That agreement, part of the UNC System’s strategic plan, merits our best efforts, and we will strive to meet and surpass the success metrics the system's plan has outlined.
These initiatives are ambitious, but they are achievable, and they are consistent with our founders’ mission to increase access to education for those students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to earn a college education. We are positioned well to achieve these goals, and we have amazing success stories to tell — just this week on today.appstate.edu, we featured a profile on ACCESS scholar and State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) intern Jordan Boles, one of many students gaining a top-notch education despite the challenges of paying for college and the bold choice to be a first-generation college student.
Keeping college affordable has always been a priority at Appalachian. Our tuition rates are very competitive, yet affording an Appalachian education is a hardship for some, and out of reach for others.
As we focus on telling our stories and securing scholarship funds, you — our faculty, staff and students — are our best champions. Please join me in sharing your Appalachian experience whenever and wherever you can.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor