Western NC

Vol12 Iss12 017

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32 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — WESTERN NC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 1 EDUCATION Education BY LAUREL HYATT From daycare to K5 to high school and beyond it's never surprising that Western North Carolina garners national attention at all levels of learning. Asheville, North Carolina, is the epicenter of region (the largest city boasting the largest number of schools in the city limits as well as in surrounding Buncombe County). If you're a family with preschoolers, Asheville offers a wide variety of options. From "faith-based" preschools to Head Start Programs for children of low-income families to more alternative options like Montessori, Waldorf and Alternative Methods preschools where children are encouraged to develop problem solving, social, and time management skills at a pace uniquely catered to their needs and adjusted to the natural developmental stages of the individual child, there's a preschool that's a perfect fit for your family. In K-12 education, the Asheville area public schools have long been recognized for their achievements in academia. Ranked 8th in the state in the number of National Board Certified teachers, Asheville City Schools' students have responded appropriately by scoring 2nd in state SAT scores as well as 2nd for the number of No Child Left Behind AYP goals met. Asheville also boasts one of the most impressive arrays of private schools in the state. Schools that go to great lengths to maintain low teacher-student ratios, faculties with advanced degrees, and personalized college counseling programs are the earmarks of terrific private schools like Asheville School, Christ School, and of course Carolina Day. According to Head of Carolina Day School, Kirk Duncan, "…A solid curriculum… prepares students to take the responsibility and initiative to design their own futures. Here at Carolina Day School, the only National Association of Independent Schools member, accredited Pre-K/12 independent day school in Asheville; we take this very seriously. (Our efforts) are consistently rewarded with well above average SAT/ACT scores, acceptance and success in the best 4-year colleges, and ultimately alumni with the skills and confidence necessary to lead in today's competitive world." Depending on whom you talk to or what report you read Western North Carolina actually can include and/ or exceed 20 counties, so there are equally as impressive rankings and scholastic achievements in counties like neighboring Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell and others. Higher Education in the region is perhaps eclipsed only by the scenic mountains surrounding the top-notch 2-yr and 4-yr colleges and universities. Website: bestcolleges. com recently named several area schools in their top 25 lists in the state. In North Carolina's Top 25 4-year Campus School Rankings - #7 hailed from Boone, North Carolina. Appalachian State University (ASU) is home to over 18,000 students. With six undergraduate colleges the school maintains a 16:1 student- to-faculty ratio. ASU is notable among colleges in North Carolina for its signature "4+1" accelerated admissions program. In the "4+1" program undergraduates save tuition monies by earning graduate credits during their senior year. This allows many to graduate with a bachelor's and master's in about five years. #12 on the list, Western Carolina University (WCU) is home to around 11,000 students on a picturesque campus in the mountains of Cullowhee, North Carolina. WCU's undergraduate majors and concentrations are offered in high-demand areas such as engineering, healthcare, education, the arts, humanities, and business. #15 is the only school in the UNC system dedicated to the liberal arts – the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA). UNCA's nearly 4,000 students learn both inside and outside classrooms with faculty-mentored research projects, study abroad programs, internships and its many service-learning projects. #25 in the 4-year campus school rankings might not be a school you would expect. Warren Wilson College located in the Swannanoa Valley is one of the only schools in the state that still combines a work and service program. Not only are students provided with a strong liberal arts education but they develop lifelong leadership skills at the same time. Warren Wilson has become a leader in practicing sustainability, and many students partake in the Green Walkabout, an experiential sustainability education program that teaches best practices for green buildings, landscaping, waste management, etc. Students at Warren Wilson have received more grants and awards from >> a myriad of stellar choices

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