Strategic Plan 2014-2019

Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all.

The Mission

Outside1Our 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 Vision

Outside2Appalachian State University aspires to be the destination institution for dedicated students who seek challenging academic programs and co-curricular experiences, engaged faculty and a vibrant campus culture that will shape them into engaged, responsible global citizens. Inspired by the ideal of sustainable community, we seek to deliver the Southeast’s best comprehensive, progressive education. Additionally, the university will provide excellent value; will be an influential world citizen; and will develop a distinctive identity built on the university's strengths, location and tradition.

The Core Values

Appalachian State University is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place of great beauty and cultural and recreational opportunity. The mountains inspire an appreciation for the traditions of the region as we connect to and learn from the world. We are a teaching institution with small classes in an innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrative curriculum supported by a faculty dedicated to research and invested in new strategies and technologies. Our faculty and staff inspire our students, who have a strong service ethic and involvement in the community. The green ethos at Appalachian infuses academic programs, environmental stewardship, research, and a community with an attitude of care for the planet.

The Statement of Sustainability

Sustainability at Appalachian State University is not a trend, it is a tradition. We are active stewards of our State’s interconnected financial, cultural and natural resources. Through engaged scholarship, we balance critical, creative and global thinking in a living laboratory, transforming theory into practice and fostering responsible citizenship.

The Plan

The strategic plan titled, The Appalachian Experience: Envisioning a just and sustainable future, provides direction for the campus over the course of the next five years. The plan serves as a recognition that the primary focus of the campus is to transform the lives of our students. We believe that this transformational Appalachian Experience results in engaged citizens who understand their responsibility to society. Our students leave with a clear charge to make a difference and to care for the planet and its people.

  1. Outside3Creating the Transformational Educational Experience: At Appalachian State University, we will continue to provide students with a transformational education by creating and maintaining intellectually challenging academic programs and extra-curricular experiences that involve them in civic engagement and community service. We will continue to positively impact student and faculty success by expanding e-learning opportunities and increase access to innovative learning technologies.
  2. Advancing Knowledge and Addressing the Challenges of Our Region, State and World through Creativity and Innovation: One of the fundamental responsibilities of a university is the advancement of knowledge through research and creative activities. Two noteworthy qualities of Appalachian are the way scholarship informs teaching and how we engage our students in research. Appalachian has depth in its disciplinary research and is poised to expand its efforts to create interdisciplinary research teams focused on important local and global issues. We value the role North Carolina citizens play in the global ecosystem and society, and will increase the value and visibility of research efforts in all disciplines.
  3. Engaging the State, Region and World: We create a culture of outreach and engagement through innovative teaching and scholarship as well as valuing engagement with varied communities. By applying our academic and professional expertise to collaborations with external partners, we improve the quality of life for the communities we serve. Through outreach, we apply our academic and professional expertise to the direct benefit of external audiences. Engagement allows us to use our professional or academic skills in collaboration with the community in ways that benefit that mutually benefit each partner.) Outreach and engagement promote improving the quality of life for our university and the communities we serve.
  4. Embracing Diversity of Thought, Belief and Community: Diversity is imperative for institutional, faculty, staff and student success. Continued assessment and planning ensures that diversity is incorporated into the fabric of the campus through its policies, administration, practice and service delivery. We are committed to fostering a community culture that is a microcosm of and responsive to the beliefs, identities, practices and values needed for constructive engagement in our increasingly global community. At Appalachian State University, diversity is recognized as an essential binding agent of the interdisciplinary approach to education, as well as to the greater life experience.
  5. Outside4Preserving Faculty and Staff Excellence: Our success in accomplishing our mission requires ongoing professional and personal development of faculty and staff and sustained wellness of our employees. Employees who are healthy and well-prepared can better perform their job duties, and can also serve as strong, effective role models to students. Faculty and staff development take the form of both professional knowledge and skills as well as personal growth. Professional development ranges from acquiring new knowledge in a discipline to learning new pedagogies to acquiring new skills with technologies. Personal development includes health, wellness, and work-life balance.
  6. Building a Responsive Infrastructure for a Sustainable Campus: How we employ our infrastructure, broadly defined, is critical to accomplishing our mission. Infrastructure includes both material and non-material means by which University personnel achieve our mission, encompassing both the physical facilities, and the operations, programs, business processes, organizational frameworks, and technologies we employ to sustain our campus into the future.

To learn more about the 2014-2109 Strategic plan, click here.