Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all.
Our location in the distinctive Appalachian mountain town of Boone, North Carolina, profoundly shapes who we are. As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, we fulfill our core academic missions of teaching, scholarship, and service in ways that honor our geography and heritage.
We bring people together in inspiring ways. The transformational Appalachian experience develops individuals who are eager to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, to embrace diversity and difference, and to become contributing members of society.
We create rich environments where students can thrive. Our students are educated broadly and are simultaneously equipped with strong disciplinary knowledge. Academic learning occurs in a wide range of undergraduate, selected masters and intermediate programs, and the doctorate in Education offered on campus, at off campus sites, and online.
Faculty and students engage in research and scholarship that advance knowledge and address the problems of our region, state, and world through creativity and innovation. Learning takes place within formal and informal instructional settings with dedicated faculty members, in co-curricular programs that enrich classroom experience, in interdisciplinary educational formats, and through outreach to the local community and beyond. Appalachian cultivates diverse and vibrant arts that enrich the cultural and intellectual climate of the campus and region.
We promote a spirit of inclusion that inspires students, faculty, and staff to form relationships extending well beyond graduation. Our students think critically, communicate effectively, make local to global connections, and understand the responsibilities of community engagement. We embrace our obligation to help create healthy, just, and sustainable societies by equipping our students to live with knowledge, compassion, dedication, humility, and dignity.
- The University of North Carolina Board of Governors (2014)
Appalachian State University: A History of Service to Students
The Desire to Educate
The Dougherty brothers founded Watauga Academy in 1899 with the dream of helping children in North Carolina, and this tiny academy quickly evolved into a school preparing quality teachers to serve our state and beyond. Building on this strong foundation, Appalachian has grown into a destination of choice for high-achieving, intellectually curious students wanting to be engaged in the community.
The Early Years
Dr. Blanford B. Dougherty and his brother founded Watauga Academy in 1899 with the dream of helping children in North Carolina’s “lost provinces” discover educational opportunity to match the splendor of the mountains in which they lived. This tiny academy quickly evolved into a school preparing quality teachers to serve North Carolina.
Known as one of North Carolina’s greatest educators, Dr. Dougherty led the institution for 50 years - from its humble beginnings as Watauga Academy to Appalachian Training School for Teachers, the two-year Appalachian State Normal School and later the four-year Appalachian State Teachers College. The pioneering spirit necessary to overcome the area’s isolation and hardships quickly characterized the institution, giving Appalachian its special niche in higher education.
Growing Into a University
Dr. William H. Plemmons (1955-69) presided over Appalachian’s transformation from a single-purpose teachers college into a multipurpose regional university. Yet, the precious features that set Appalachian apart - quality teacher training and a commitment to community spirit, faculty collegiality, and a beautiful mountain setting - remained secure under his leadership.
Known as the builder president, Plemmons oversaw 25 construction projects and strengthened the Appalachian spirit through enhanced activities for students and alumni, creating an interconnected community called the Appalachian Family.
When fire destroyed the administration building in 1966, it symbolized the demise of the old Appalachian and birth of the new. Enrollment exceeded 2,400 by 1958, only to double within 10 years. Full-time faculty grew to more than 300 and became more diverse. During his tenure, Appalachian also began offering master’s-level programs.
Nationally Recognized for Innovation
The university became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1971 under the leadership of Dr. Herbert W. Wey (1969-79). He introduced innovations that earned Appalachian national recognition as an institution of change, all while enrollment doubled to about 9,500.
Under his leadership, Appalachian implemented the student teacher program, College of Business, continuing education program and Watauga College, a small residential college within the greater university. It also secured the New York Loft and App House in Washington, D.C., for off-campus scholarly activities. To ensure the university’s continued innovation and success, Wey created the Appalachian State University Foundation Inc. to solicit support from individuals, corporations and businesses.
Wey was a prolific writer and researcher. Peers referred to him as the “educational innovator” for encouraging faculty to develop and practice new theories of teaching and learning.
A Leader in Technology and International Education
Dr. John E. Thomas (1979-93) recruited a first-rate faculty, believing that strong, effective teaching should be supported by research and community service. With a focus on improving campus technology and blending it into teaching, Thomas also developed Appalachian’s leadership in distance learning, which expanded in the late 1990s and early 2000s to include a formal partnership with 10 regional community colleges. Under Thomas’ leadership, Appalachian developed exchange programs in a dozen countries including China, Germany and Costa Rica.
The focus on international education continued with Dr. Francis T. Borkowski (1993-2003), who entered his chancellorship with a respectful vision: to create a distinctive learning environment sensitive to rapid world changes, such as technology and globalization, yet rooted in mountain values and Appalachian’s tradition of teaching, scholarship and service.
In May 2003, President Molly Broad appointed Dr. Harvey R. Durham as acting chancellor after 24 years of service as the university’s chief academic officer and 14 years prior as professor, department chair and associate vice chancellor. Dr. Durham served as acting chancellor for the school year 2003-04.
The results of these leaders’ progressive changes garnered recognition for Appalachian in U.S. News & World Report and other publications as a top comprehensive university. The university’s emphasis on international education led the American Council on Education to recognize Appalachian as a model institution for international studies, while programs such as Freshman Seminar, now called First Year Seminar, freshman learning communities and the Summer Reading Program prompted TIME magazine to name Appalachian a “College of the Year” in 2001.
A Destination of Choice
Under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock (2004-14), Appalachian became a destination of choice for high-achieving, intellectually curious students wanting to be engaged in the community. In addition to small classes and challenging academics, Appalachian became known for its undergraduate research, internationalized curriculum, service-learning and sustainability, both in academic programs and campus practices. The university grew significantly in the areas of healthcare and the nexus of energy, the environment and economics. It received increased national attention for its academics, as well as its three national NCAA football championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Moving Forward Together
At the time Dr. Sheri N. Everts joined Appalachian in July 2014, enrollment had topped 17,800 and the university was attracting international attention with its entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 competition in Versailles, France, and students’ exhibition of designs in the Milan Furniture Fair. Appalachian was also preparing to host its third annual Appalachian Energy Summit, at which leaders from North Carolina’s public and private universities convene to share best practices. On Chancellor Everts’ first day in office, Appalachian joined the NCAA’s Division I FBS, and in 2015, Mountaineer football brought home a record-setting win at the FBS Camellia Bowl.
Under Everts’ leadership, Appalachian has distinguished itself as the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina. By ensuring a sound foundation in terms of the university’s physical infrastructure and the goals and strategic initiatives that empower human potential, Appalachian provides the highest quality setting in which students can grow and learn how to navigate life successfully. Specifically, between 2014 and 2018, enrollment grew to more than 19,000 and the university increased underrepresented students by 37%, first-generation students by 39% and rural students by 11%. In 2017, Everts launched the Chancellor’s Innovation Scholars Program to support research and practice related to the innovation of higher education. In 2018, she led the charge in opening the Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork in Walkertown, North Carolina - which serves approximately 300 K-5 students with research-based practices, state-of-the-art literacy instruction, and exemplary classroom instruction and administration - and cut the ribbon on the new Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences. The university continues to be a leader in sustainability, in part by hosting the annual Appalachian Energy Summit - a platform through which UNC System campuses have worked together to avoid almost $800 million in utility costs.
Chancellor Everts’ priorities for moving forward as a campus community include:
- articulating the ways Appalachian defines sustainability;
- increasing the diversity of our student, faculty and staff populations;
- improving wellness, health and safety for our campus community;
- integrating global learning into and beyond our classrooms;
- supporting faculty and staff;
- providing innovative and creative opportunities for our students to engage in and showcase their research;
- emphasizing the significance of the difference we can make in communities here and across the world through civic engagement;
- securing the necessary resources to energize and sustain these strategic initiatives and support our world-class faculty, staff and students; and
- maintaining a focus on slow and steady enrollment growth.
History of the University of North Carolina
In North Carolina, all the public educational institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees are part of the University of North Carolina. The multi-campus state university encompasses 16 such institutions, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1789, the University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States to open its doors and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century. The first class was admitted in Chapel Hill in 1795. For the next 136 years, the only campus of the University of North Carolina was at Chapel Hill.
Additional institutions of higher education, diverse in origin and purpose, began to win sponsorship from the General Assembly beginning as early as 1877. Five were historically black institutions, and another was founded to educate American Indians. Some began as high schools. Several were created to prepare teachers for the public schools. Others had a technological emphasis. One is a training school for performing artists.
The 1931 session of the General Assembly redefined the University of North Carolina to include three state-supported institutions: the campus at Chapel Hill (now the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University at Raleigh), and Woman’s College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). The new multi-campus University operated with one board of trustees and one president. By 1969, three additional campuses had joined the University through legislative action: the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
In 1971 legislation was passed bringing into the University of North Carolina the state’s ten remaining public senior institutions, each of which had until then been legally separate: Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, the North Carolina School of the Arts (now the University of North Carolina School of the Arts), Pembroke State University (now the University of North Carolina at Pembroke), Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University. In 1985 the NC School of Science and Mathematics was declared an affiliated school of the University; in July 2007 NCSSM by legislative action became a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina. All the schools and universities welcome students of both sexes and all races.
The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions.” It elects the president, who administers the University. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms. Former board chairmen and board members who are former governors of North Carolina may continue to serve limited periods as non-voting members emeriti. The president of the UNC Association of Student Governments or that student’s designee is also a non-voting member.
Each of the UNC campuses (listed below) is headed by a chancellor who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president’s nomination and is responsible to the president. Each university has a board of trustees consisting of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the governor, and the president of the student body, who serves ex officio. (The UNC School of the Arts has two additional ex officio members; and the NC School of Science and Mathematics has a 27-member board as required by law.) Each board of trustees holds extensive powers over academic and other operations of its institution on delegation from the Board of Governors.
- Appalachian State University
- East Carolina University
- Elizabeth City State University
- Fayetteville State University
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
- North Carolina Central University
- North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
- North Carolina State University
- University of North Carolina at Asheville
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington
- University of North Carolina School of the Arts
- Western Carolina University
- Winston-Salem State University
In addition to its teaching role, the University of North Carolina has a long-standing commitment to public service. The UNC Center for Public Television, the UNC Health Care System, the cooperative extension and research services, nine area health education centers, and myriad other University programs and facilities reap social and economic benefits for the state and its people. For additional information, go to www.northcarolina.edu.
Appalachian State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, intermediate, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Appalachian State University. Contact information for the Commission on Colleges is provided to allow interested constituents to: (1) learn about the accreditation status of the institution, (2) file a third-party comment at the time of the institution’s decennial review, or (3) file a complaint against the institution for alleged non-compliance with a standard or requirement. Normal inquiries about the institution, such as admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, and educational support services, should be addressed directly to Appalachian State University and not to the Commission’s office.
In addition to this comprehensive accreditation, other special accreditation by appropriate agencies includes:
- AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
- Council on Accreditation for Recreation, Park Resources and Leisure Services
- Council on Social Work Education
- National Association of School Psychologists
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- National Association of Schools of Music
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
- National Association of Schools of Theatre
- North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
The University is a member of appropriate state and national associations and organizations to which its graduate programs are related. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- American Association of University Women
- American Council on Education
- American Counseling Association
- American Music Therapy Association
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
- Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
- Association for Library and Information Sciences Education
- Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions
- Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development
- Association of Teacher Educators
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education
- Association of University Programs in Health Administration
- Broadcast Education Association
- Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
- Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
- Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology
- Council of Graduate Schools
- Highlands Biological Foundation
- National Association of Business Teacher Education
- National Association of Industrial Technology
- National Business Education Association
- National Collegiate Honors Council
- National Communication Association
- National Film and Video Association
- National Middle School Association
- National Organization on Legal Problems of Education
- National Recreation and Park Association
- National Student Nurse Association
- North Carolina Academy of Science
- North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities
- North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
- North Carolina Association of Summer Sessions
- North Carolina Association of Supervisors in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology
- North Carolina Conference of Graduate Schools North Carolina Dance Alliance
- North Carolina Middle Schools Association
- North Carolina Professors of Educational Leadership
- Professional and Organizational Development
- Public Relations Society of America
- South Atlantic States Association for Asian and African
- Studies Southeastern Theatre Conference
- Southeastern University Clinical Educators
- Southern States Communication Association
- Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities
- U.S. Institute of Theatre Technology
Assessment of Student Learning at Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University routinely defines and measures academic and administrative programs and services. To that end, students should be aware that throughout their careers at Appalachian they will be expected to respond to surveys, complete evaluations, and provide artifacts that the faculty will use to document the institution’s success in fostering student learning.
In some cases, students’ responses to assessment inquiries will be anonymous, but in most cases student responses and artifacts will bear unique student identifiers that will allow cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of assessment results by program. In that the aim of assessment at Appalachian is program improvement, the analysis of results will always focus on programs and not individuals. Students should also understand that this type of information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and except in statutorily specified circumstances individual student responses will never be reported without explicit permission from the student.