Update from Appalachian State University

Friday, March 1, 2024

During the meeting of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors held this week, the board approved App State’s new Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences. This Beaver College of Health Sciences program will provide flexible options for students to earn a bachelor's degree from App State Online, in Boone or in Hickory to prepare them for advancement and leadership roles in allied health. The program begins in fall 2024.

Additionally, the board determined, for the eighth consecutive year, to keep the rates for in-state undergraduate tuition unchanged. This is excellent news for North Carolinians, and we appreciate the strong commitment of President Peter Hans and the board to keep higher education in our state accessible and attainable. App State will see nominal increases in graduate and out-of state undergraduate tuition, and a fee increase of $24.

Recent rankings continue to strengthen App State’s reputation for value. Last month, our online bachelor’s programs and graduate programs in business, education and nursing were recognized among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report. App State was named among the top 23% of schools recognized in the publication’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” rankings list and received specific recognition for our Master of Business Administration and online Master of Science in nursing programs. Additionally, our Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics program was recently ranked No. 11 in the nation for 2024 by Fortune Education.

On Wednesday, App State leaders attended the Chamber of Catawba County’s Annual Meeting. As we continue strategic planning for the growth of the App State Hickory campus, we are proud to partner with the chamber and other community and business leaders to advance economic development and quality of life in the Catawba Valley.

This strategic planning, along with the academic and research strategic plans, will be key as we look toward the development of App State’s next master plan. The current plan — Master Plan 2025 — has operated as a living, guiding document for strategic growth and development for our campus since the Board of Trustees approved it in 2017. As we develop our next Master Plan, we will work with our campus and community to gather input and develop guidance that will support the long-term strategic goals of the institution and community. Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations Dan Layzell will be leading the master planning process for the university, which will include broad-based input from faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. 

Next week, construction will begin on the tunnels that run underneath Rivers Street. The tunnels, which for many years have been dark and covered in graffiti, are on their way to becoming bright, secure pathways that reflect school spirit. With this renovation, we aim to address safety concerns, ensuring that the tunnels are well lit, more consistently monitored and slip-resistant, even in adverse weather conditions. The upgrade includes a complete overhaul, including removing many old layers of paint from the tunnels’ walls and floors, replacing the existing lighting with new, bright LED lighting and adding 24/7 closed-circuit cameras to enhance security. 

Wednesday, March 6 is iBackAPP Day — the university’s largest giving celebration of the year. With events taking place on both campuses and Mountaineers across the country set to help celebrate by wearing black and gold, sharing photos and App State stories on social media, and contributing financial support, we are looking forward to a great day for App State, celebrating the lasting and widespread support for our students, faculty and staff.

Congratulations to the men's basketball team for its 25th win of the season Wednesday night. With the win, the team tied a school record and clinched the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt tournament. We’re looking forward to their final game of the regular season at Holmes Convocation Center tonight, and of course, the Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament, which begins on Tuesday in Pensacola, Florida. I wish both the men's and women's teams good luck next week — the support of Mountaineers everywhere will be with you!

Sheri Everts