Western NC

VOL12 ISS2 2017

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32 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — WESTERN NC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 2 EDUCATION 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 the North Carolina Academy of Science for their research than any other school in the nation. When it came to naming the state's Top 25 2-year Campus School Rankings, the Western North Carolina region scored equally as well. #8 McDowell Technical Community College (MTCC) located in Marion, North Carolina, offers associate degrees in applied science, arts, science, and general education, as well as many other diploma and certificate options. MTCC hopes students will develop an understanding of the theoretical, technical, and business-related components of their chosen field. As an example, in addition to digital imaging, design, and business practices; students enrolled in the school's photographic technology program take courses on the fundamentals of camera systems, lighting, and photographic processes. #17 Mayland Community College (MCC) boasts a student body of over 10,000 students. MCC's main campus is still located in Spruce Pine, North Carolina; but the school has in recent years added two additional learning centers in both Newland and Burnsville. By offering 15 associate degrees, including several designed to provide students hands-on experience on-site, the school has become one of the top community colleges in North Carolina. Perhaps nowhere did Western North Carolina colleges shine more than in the Top 25 Online Colleges. #4 in the state's online schools we've already mentioned. Appalachian State University in Boone is one of the best online schools in the state because its students have access to both online tutoring and other academic assistance 24/7. Disciplines offered online include education, management and nursing and most are taught on both a full-time or part-time format. The #7 online school has also appeared in the rankings previously. Western Carolina University (WCU) is one of the best online colleges in North Carolina because all its bachelor's degree programs--completion programs--are 100% online except for Engineering Technology, which has a hybrid format. Some of WCU's online graduate degree programs include construction management, entrepreneurship, education, and sports management. It's not surprising that the #16 online school was also one of the Top 25 4-year campus schools—University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA). The uniqueness of UNCA's take on online is its ability to offer full-time students at take online classes through the University of North Carolina Online, where the 16 North Carolina online colleges offer more than 190 online degree programs and courses in 22 fields. In order for UNCA students to participate in the UNC Online program, they must be an undergraduate degree-seeking student, be seeking a second degree, or a teacher licensure student. Wrapping up Western North Carolina's appearances in the state's Top 25 Online Colleges is one school we haven't mentioned before—Montreat College, an independent Christian college located just east of Asheville in the town of Montreat. Offering 19 undergraduate majors, 48 minors and concentrations, and four graduate degree programs, the school has a cutting-edge cybersecurity program and 100% placement rate for biology majors applying to med school. Associate and baccalaureate degree programs are offered online in business, general studies, management, psychology and human services, Bible and religion, and cybersecurity, as well as a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. The Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville was launched in 2012 to expand the Lenoir-Rhyne University mission and serve the specific needs of Western North Carolina and beyond. Lenoir-Rhyne purchased part of 36 Montford Avenue to house a state-of-the-art learning space in downtown Asheville, and hired full-time, terminally-degreed faculty to direct the graduate programs, mentor students, and develop community partnerships. It's nearly impossible to include every college or university in the area. Among those I may have not had the chance on which to elaborate are: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Blue Ridge Community College, Brevard College, Haywood Technical Community College, Lees-McRae College, Mars Hill University and South College. Whether its colleges or universities, preschools or playschools, public schools or private schools, or something in between like charter or Montessori, Western North Carolina educational opportunities from the bottom up or the top down will meet and exceed your expectations. You may have come for the scenery; you may have come for relaxation; you may have come for the quiet reflection – but it's nice knowing you didn't have to sacrifice yours or your family's educational standards by moving to one of the most beautiful places on earth! []

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