Last week, UNC System President Margaret Spellings praised the General Assembly for “short session budget adjustments [that will allow the University to] build on the UNC System’s strongest budget in a decade.”
As the N.C. General Assembly continues its budgeting process, I’m heartened to see our legislators recognize the importance of compensation increases for our hardworking faculty and staff.
Key to our strategic mission, the budget reflects support for initiatives around student success, including retention and recruitment of students for whom earning a college degree is a challenge. While Appalachian compares most favorably in affordability reviews, the cost of an Appalachian education is challenging to many and out of reach for some.
We continue to focus our fundraising efforts on providing need-based and merit-based scholarships that open doors to the Appalachian Experience.
Our Early Intervention Team, Upward Bound program and services and scholarships supported by the Student Learning Center attract the kind of students who want to achieve, stay enrolled, graduate and go on to be productive and proactive citizens.
The outcomes are impressive. At 89 percent, the overall retention rate to reach sophomore status at Appalachian is 20 percent above the national average.
The UNC System has recently implemented an online dashboard to provide real-time performance data for all UNC System campuses as we work toward meeting goals specific to the System’s strategic plan. You can view Appalachian’s page here.
Appalachian is on track to meet — if not exceed — these goals, which is due in large part to established programs designed to support our students emotionally, academically and financially.
The success stories of our students are inspiring and rewarding — they are testimonies to the value of higher education.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor