BOONE, N.C. — Over the past two academic years, middle school through ninth-grade scholars in Watauga and Ashe County schools have received academic programming designed to help them succeed in their high school and college careers — and beyond — thanks to the continued partnership between Appalachian State University’s GEAR UP program and Young Eisner Scholars (YES).
Anthony Jones, former interim associate vice chancellor of enrollment management, who oversaw Appalachian’s College Access Partnerships (which houses both the YES and GEAR UP programs), received a total of $63,950 in additional funding for the second and third years of the YES program (May 2016–July 2018).
The program identifies young leaders from low-income communities and equips them with the resources, support and academic skills required for success through high school, college and in their future careers.
YES works with scholars by engaging them for up to three hours a week in small group sessions, led by a team of educators to develop critical thinking, language and leadership skills, as well as placing them in and providing tuition for summer programs at local and internationally acclaimed boarding schools.
Additionally, the program helps students prepare for college entrance exams, such as the SAT and/or the ACT, through a subsidized program administered by the Compass Education Group, a private tutoring company. YES also provides students with college counseling support and assistance in preparing for college.
“We believe the next leaders and academics of America exist in these communities and we intend to prepare them intellectually, socially, and emotionally for their future successes,” YES’ website states.
The Appalachian–YES partnership, which began in May 2015, brings educational opportunities to students in the following schools in Watauga and Ashe counties:
- Ashe County Middle School.
- Bethel Elementary School.
- Blue Ridge Elementary School.
- Cove Creek Elementary School.
- Green Valley Elementary School.
- Mabel Elementary School.
- Mountain View Elementary School.
- Westwood Elementary School.
Candidates meet with YES instructors during school and on Appalachian’s campus for summer enrichment.
Susan Saule is coordinator of the YES program at Appalachian, and Corrine Smith, senior associate director for Appalachian’s GEAR UP program, assists Saule in supporting YES scholars.
In August 2017, Cynthia Lawrence “Cindy” Barr became associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and is the current director of Appalachian’s College Access Partnerships.
About College Access Partnerships
Appalachian State University’s College Access Partnerships supports students from the Appalachian region of North Carolina in finding their own distinct path to postsecondary education. This is accomplished by supporting the work of teachers, counselors and educators, along with providing direct services to students. College Access Partnerships offers the Upward Bound and GEAR UP programs, as well as additional resources for students, families and educators. Learn more at https://gocollege.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.