Unlike many other universities of its size and stature, Appalachian State University is not a research mill where undergraduates are taught by graduate students. The departments of the College of Arts and Sciences are proud of their faculty, and believe that it is a high calling to pass knowledge along to the next generation. That's why you'll find senior members of our faculty, many of them nationally-known in their fields, teaching undergraduates at every level. There are not many schools where freshmen can expect to be taught by the very best people in a department.
That attitude is fostered by the College of Arts and Sciences. In the humanities, the social sciences, mathematical sciences, and the sciences, students deserve and receive attention from professors who consider teaching their first priority. Often this involves including students in professors' own research, making students important participants in the process of generating new information.
There's been a lot of talk recently about the demise of the traditional liberal arts curriculum, as well as national doubt regarding the United States' commitment to preparing scientists for tomorrow. The College of Arts and Sciences not only offers the best preparation for students in those areas, but also offers exciting, innovative programs to meet the needs of more students.
As an example, take these startling statistics: in the last four years, of the students preparing for careers in medicine, 78% of our science majors were admitted to medical school, and 90% into schools for optometry, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. These numbers, far above the national average, are concrete testimony to our outstanding curriculum and the people who teach in it.
But that's only part of the story. Many schools, understanding that the world is changing and teaching must change with it, dilute their curricula by offering a smorgasbord of options for students. Appalachian has never done that and our students will be required to complete a rigorous core curriculum with courses specifically designed to make them better writers and speakers, as well as courses to acquaint them with the ethnic and cultural diversity of the nation.
In a world where there's more to know, the only responsible way to approach education is to know more.
A Tradition of Success
The College of Arts and Sciences comprises fifteen departments, a variety of pre-professional programs, cooperative degree programs with other universities and a number of interdisciplinary minors. But that's not what the College is. The College is the body of people who make it successful, now and in the future.
Consider that the average faculty member has been with Appalachian for eleven years. That means not just that they find the College a stimulating and rewarding place to be, but that they are committed to the College and to their students.
Consider that graduates of the College take their places as leaders in their own communities and in the state. Appalachian has a large number of graduates in early and mid-career who are making a difference in the lives of many people. Unlike older institutions, we don't have huge numbers of alumni-what we have is a vital, successful, and increasingly visible number of alumni.
And consider that the region looks to us, to our faculty and our programs, for answers to many of the questions our neighbors have. The College has determinedly not forgotten its standard of service, and we have an unmatched record of helping the people of North Carolina in every way we can.
The evolution of Appalachian in the past few decades, including the establishment of the College of Arts and Sciences, brought remarkable changes to the breadth and depth of the educational opportunities which are offered. This college is central to the mission of the University and the educational needs of all students at Appalachian. We have exciting challenges ahead and your participation in the College will help us meet those challenges.
Dr. Donald W. Sink
Former Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
As recently as ten years ago, Appalachian State University was best known as a small school in a beautiful area, a school whose strength was preparing teachers for North Carolina's mountain schools.
Today that description is only partially true. Since 1985 Appalachian has been consistently ranked by university presidents across the nation as one of the top schools in the country. The reason is easy to see-in addition to its traditional college atmosphere and its four-season splendor, Appalachian boasts some of the finest teachers, scholars, and programs anywhere.
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to many of these outstanding assets. The departments of the College not only prepare students in a variety of majors and career preparatory programs, but also serve as the liberal arts component of the University's professional schools.
Appalachian has a solid curriculum. It is large enough to offer the atmosphere of a big university, but the people are friendly. I found the professors to be approachable and responsive. I was pleased so many top-notch professors found their place at Appalachian. That speaks well for Appalachian and the community.
Brad Wilson '73
Senior VP and General Counsel
Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC