A Reflection on Some Key Points of Pride

Retention, graduation and success
Friday, June 7, 2019

Boone is a great place to spend the summer, and many of our students and faculty continue their academic work throughout the summer. About 65% of our students take at least one summer class during their time at Appalachian. More than 7,000 students are enrolled in one of our two Summer Sessions, taught by more than 500 faculty.

Taking summer classes can be a valuable strategy that pays off for our students in more ways than one. Four- and five-year graduation rates are much higher for students who attend Summer Sessions, saving our students both time and money.

With our first Summer Session of 2019 underway, it is a good time to reflect on how the hard work of our students, faculty and staff reaps dividends for our university and our state. These are facts and figures I share regularly with our university stakeholders — they leave little room for debate about how our students benefit from the Appalachian Experience:

  • Appalachian’s retention and graduation rates are well above national and state averages. Of our first-year class, 87.2% achieve second-year status — nearly 20% above the national average.
  • In the last year, more than 7,600 of our students engaged in experiential learning, including internships, at approximately 1,950 sites — a tribute to our faculty and staff and to the employers who engage with our students.
  • Our students are also in high demand in the workplace after graduation. Nearly 70% report employment within one year of graduation. One-third report enrolling in a program of advanced study.
  • Appalachian students and alumni pay down their college loan debt at a rate that is 25% higher than the national average.

These statistics are the product of the diligence and efforts of our faculty, staff and students, and are part of what makes Appalachian the premier, public undergraduate university in the state. Take pride in this level of achievement. Every day, I share how these figures increase the already high value of an Appalachian education. I encourage you to do the same.

/s/ Sheri Everts

Sheri Everts, Chancellor