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AB-Tech President Appointed to State Board

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

K. Ray Bailey

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech President Emeritus K. Ray Bailey was sworn in to the State Board of Community Colleges July 17 in Raleigh. Members of the N.C. House elected Bailey for a six-year term on the 21-member board.

The Board serves as the governing authority for the North Carolina Community College System. The Board is empowered by General Statutes to adopt and carry out the policies, regulations and standards necessary for administering and operating the nation’s third-largest system of community colleges.

Bailey served as president of A-B Tech from 1990 until he retired in August 2007. He was elected as a Buncombe County Commissioner in November 2008. He was A-B Tech’s longest-serving employee, having been hired in 1966 as the director of Adult Basic Education. Under his leadership, the College grew into a three-campus institution that enrolled more than 25,000 students each year in more than 50 curriculum programs and 1,200 Continuing Education courses.

Bailey served on the boards of numerous civic organizations and has been widely recognized for his community service. Among the honors he received are the title of 2005 President of the Year for the North Carolina Community College System, the 2005 Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, and the Rotary Centennial Service Award for Professional Excellence. In 2006, he received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina, for extraordinary service to the state.

Bailey also received the Spirit of the Civitan Award, a Professional Achievement Award from Western Carolina University, the Leadership Asheville Circle of Excellence Award, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award, the Buncombe County Partners in Education Volunteer of the Year Award, and a Special Contributor Award from Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina.

In addition, he holds honorary doctorates from Western Carolina University and Mars Hill College in recognition of his efforts to improve the quality of education not only for A-B Tech students, but all of Western North Carolina.

Fiske Guide Names Warren Wilson One of Nation’s "Best Buys"

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


SWANNANOA, NC – For the fourth consecutive year, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has named Warren Wilson College as one of its 24 “Best Buy Institutions” among private colleges and universities nationwide.

According to the 2010 guide, schools “qualify as Best Buys based on the quality of the academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance” – in other words, “outstanding academics with relatively modest prices.” With tuition and fees of slightly more than $24,000 for the 2009-10 academic year, Warren Wilson is rated as “inexpensive” compared with other private colleges and universities in the selective guide.

In its narrative on the college, the Fiske guide says Warren Wilson is the “best of schools where students combine academics, community service, and on-campus work…. It promotes global perspectives, puts students to work on the campus farm, and makes service-learning a central part of the educational experience.”

The guide also notes, “Success at Warren Wilson is measured not only by grades, but by community service and a sense of stewardship.” It quotes a student as saying, “Students come here for all different reasons and are allowed to shine in all different areas.”

In addition to giving the college high marks for its academics and social life, the Fiske guide awards Warren Wilson the highest possible rating for its overall quality of life: five stars, as opposed to the guide’s norm of three.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges, first published in 1982, has been called “the best college guide you can buy” by USA Today.

UNC Asheville Offers Three Online Courses for Fall Semester

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville is taking advantage of the growing trend in online education to improve access to classes for students, working adults and others in all parts of the state who need the flexibility and convenience that online education provides.

This fall the University will offer three online courses. These 300-level education, statistics and women’s studies classes are each worth three credit hours. The deadline to register is August 12.

“Math Methods” (EDUC 373) will focus on methods and materials for teaching mathematics to high school students. This class will emphasize diversifying classroom instruction, technology preparations, creating resources and designing methods for effectively working with students. Participants will be assessed on content knowledge, pedagogy, dispositions, and ability to connect theory and practice.

“Statistics for High School Teachers” (STAT 273) is an introductory course that will cover the basic concepts of statistics. The class will provide a theoretical foundation for data collecting and analysis, using hands-on experiences analyzing real data. Topics include basic probability, sampling methods, descriptive statistics, regression and variance.

“Theorizing Women’s Lives” (WMST 273) will examine the elements and evolution of the major theories articulated by feminists from the early days of the movement to present day. Building on a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the basic ideas articulated by feminists throughout history, the course will offer a close analysis of feminist critiques on subjects including marriage, sexuality, capitalism and “cutting edge” feminist thinking.

UNC Asheville, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, makes every effort to ensure that online courses provide an outstanding learning experience. All UNC campuses are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which requires that online offerings be similar in quality to residential courses.

In-state tuition for these courses is $267.30 and out-of-state tuition is $1,454.82, plus a one-time non-refundable $20 application fee. To register, email [email protected]

For more information, call UNC Asheville’s Office of Extension and Distance Education at 828/232-5122 or click on www.unca.edu/distedu/onlinecourses/.

A-B Tech Achieves Exceptional Status

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech was one of 11 community colleges in the state achieving Exceptional status on the North Carolina Community College System’s accountability measures.

The NCCCS measures colleges’ performance in eight core areas using the most recently available data. Accountability measures for North Carolina’s 58 community colleges based on 2007-08 academic year data confirm that community college students found success in college readiness, workforce preparedness and as college transfers.

To obtain Exceptional status, a college must meet or exceed all eight system standards. They must also meet the performance goals of achieving the college performance rates of students who began in, rather than transferred into, the UNC System and attaining at least a 70 percent passing rate for students who sit for a licensure or certification exam for the first time.

City Welcomes Third Class of Youth Leadership Academy

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville has selected 23 high school students to participate in the 2009 City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA). CAYLA, created in April 2007, is designed to introduce promising Asheville High School students to civic-minded careers while encouraging them to take an active part in saving for their college education.

The CAYLA students were chosen in May from eligible applicants at Asheville High School by a committee of local educators and city staff. Each student was required to submit an application and at least two written recommendations to the committee, and attend an in-person interview. After attending a week of orientation in June, students began 8-week internships at the both City and County Departments, as well as with a number of participating nonprofits and businesses including HomeTrust Bank, YMI Cultural Center, AB-Tech Small Business Center, UNCA, Mt. Zion Community Development Inc, MAHEC, the Center for Diversity Education, and the YWCA.

CAYLA students earn approximately $7 an hour. To support their goal of attending college, CAYLA students will each receive $2,000 in a 529 College Savings Plan to be awarded by the Asheville City Schools Foundation at the completion of the program in May 2010.

“CAYLA provides talented students with the opportunity to experience a professional environment while still in high school,” said Erika Germer, CAYLA coordinator. “I encourage Asheville businesses to consider hosting a CAYLA student next year or sponsoring a placement at a local nonprofit. Through public-private partnerships, CAYLA can promote economic self-sufficiency and strengthen our community as a whole.”

To complement the summer internships, the CAYLA program places a significant emphasis on community service. The students have already started planning and the second annual Summer Olympics to be held in August for young children who live in Asheville’s various housing communities. In addition, the CAYLA students attend weekly workshops on topics including entrepreneurship, health & wellness, financial literacy, and a personalized career assessment.

The members of the 2009-2010 Class of CAYLA are: Keevon Baten, Dre Bowden, Yelena Dariy, Taurean Davidson, Dreama Davis, Darius Drummond, Anika Ellis, Gio Figaro, Andrea Griffin, Nakia Harrell, Roosevelt “RJ” Harvin, Ceante Hudson, Martel Jackson,Tyler Jeffries, Satorria Jones, Simone Knotts, Sohna Njie ,Charles “Dre” Payton, Brianna Rock, Crystal Sherriff, Anice Smith, Jarrett Vernon, and Ariana Weaver.

UNC Asheville Joins City of Asheville to Offer Classes at YMI Cultural Center

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The University of North Carolina at Asheville, in collaboration with the City of Asheville and the YMI Cultural Center, will offer three upper-level, for-credit courses to the public beginning August 18. Classes will meet from 4:30-7 p.m. through December 8 at the YMI Cultural Center, located on the corner of Eagle and Market streets in downtown Asheville.

“Black Arts and the Harlem Renaissance” will examine how Harlem and its artists emerged from the social and political turmoil following World War I. Texts will include David Levering Lewis’ “When Harlem Was in Vogue” and works by well-known authors, artists and musicians of the time. In-state tuition for this master’s of liberal arts class is $452.82 and out-of-state tuition is $2,153.43, plus a one-time non-refundable $50 application fee. The registration deadline is August 12.

“Cultures of Childrearing,” an undergraduate anthropology class, will present the cultural practices surrounding parenting. Using ethnographies, case studies and fieldwork, this course will focus on the different ways that various communities approach raising children.

“Community Approaches to Achieving Racial and Ethnic Health Equity” is an undergraduate health and wellness promotion course. Students in the course will learn about the history and causes of health disparities and inequalities in the United States. The class will also examine practical solutions to eliminate health disparities, with a goal of applying the lessons in the students’ communities.,/p>

In-state tuition for these classes is $267.30 and out-of-state tuition is $1,445.76, plus a one-time non-refundable $20 application fee. Registration deadline is August 12.Free parking for enrolled students will be available in the City parking lot adjacent to the YMI Cultural Center. For questions about parking, contact Harry Brown, City of Asheville parking services manager, at 828/259-5792 [email protected]

For more information or details on registrations, call UNC Asheville’s Extension and Distance Education Office at 828/232-5122 or visit www.unca.edu/distedu/.

AB Tech’s Phi Beta Lambda Brings Home National Honors

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

AB Tech

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) won six awards, including a first-place win, during the National Leadership Conference June 19-23 in Anaheim, CA. The College’s chapter was also recognized as a National Gold Seal chapter.

Members Chris Addy, Kevin Davio, and Sonia Hendrix took top honors for their Free Enterprise Project on Aquasolix, a local company that sells solar-powered water purification systems.

Aaron Foster, Heather Hamilton and Jennifer Rogers won third place for their Community Service Project. In fifth place were Nathan Hazlett for Computer Concepts and David Hazlett for Justice Administration. A team consisting of Nathan Hazlett, Juliana Schmitt and Beth Worland place 10th in the Community Service Project category.

Addy, Beth Carlisle, Stephanie Fann, Foster, Hamilton, David Hazlett, Nathan Hazlett, Hendrix, Ellyse Mazzi, Jennifer Rogers, Schmitt, Sean Warren and Worland were recognized for their completion of the Institute for Leaders Program.

Adviser Kathie Doole was the event administrator for Public Speaking and Network Designs events. Adviser Kathy Toler was the event coordinator for Business Decision Making and was a workshop presenter on business etiquette.

WNC Nature Center Offers Free Course in Biodiversity for Teachers

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

WNC Students

ASHEVILLE, NC – You and your classroom can be a part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) by attending this free course on Saturday, July 18th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road in East Asheville!

Currently, every aspect of life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now being studied extensively by scientists and volunteers through the ATBI, a part of the national program, Discover Life in America. The goal is to discover and catalog every type of living organism in the park. To date, almost 900 species new to science and nearly 6500 species new to the Park have been documented.

Now you, if you are a teacher, can replicate the same effort in your classroom. If you attend this FREE course, your students can do their own species study in the schoolyard. An introduction to the Smokies ATBI will be followed with some outdoor hands/on work as well as demonstrations of how to conduct an ATBI at your school. Please join us for this informative teacher workshop. Call the Nature Center at 828-298-5600, ext. 320, to register for this course.

For more information, please contact Todd Witcher, Director, Discover Life in America, at [email protected] or 865-430-4757.

To view WNC Nature Center’s web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to: www.zandavisitor.com

UNC Asheville Earns Top Spot in Fiske Guide to Colleges

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

UNC Asheville

ASHEVILLE, NC – As the 2010 college rankings begin to roll in, UNC Asheville continues to stand with some of the nation’s finest colleges. The annual "Fiske Guide to Colleges" released its 2010 list of Best Buys of American and Canadian colleges earlier this month. UNC Asheville is alone among public colleges in Western North Carolina to earn a spot on the list. It is the 16th consecutive year that UNC Asheville has been named a Best Buy.

The Fiske Guide praised UNC Asheville as "one of the best educational bargains in the country," citing rigorous academics, small classes, internships, service-learning, undergraduate research and Integrated Liberal Studies, the University’s enhanced general academic curriculum.

In addition, for the sixth consecutive year, UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Department was named to the Fiske Guide’s listing of pre-professional programs with "unusual strength" in preparing students for careers.

The guidebook says, "All the right ingredients for a superior college experience lie in wait at Asheville: strong academics, dedicated professors, and an administration that continues to push for excellence."

Professors drew high marks for their accessibility, passion and experience.

"The quality of teaching is awesome," said one psychology major interviewed by the guide.

Residence life, outdoor recreational opportunities, athletics, Founders Day, homecoming and Greenfest were among features commended for rounding out the college experience.

The only other North Carolina public institution named to the Best Buy list of 44 American and Canadian institutions was UNC Chapel Hill. Warren Wilson College and Elon University earned places on the private school list.

UNC Asheville Anounces ‘Concerts in the Quad’

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

UNCA

ASHEVILLE, NC – From blues and bluegrass to jazz and world music, UNC Asheville’s 27th Concerts on the Quad has something for everyone. Music lovers are invited to bring their lawn chairs along with their friends and families to UNC Asheville this summer to enjoy a beloved – and free – annual tradition.

Big Ron Hunter and his four-piece band will take the stage June 29.

The concerts get under way at 7 p.m. each Monday from June 15 to July 13 on the Quad. In case of rain, the free concerts will be held in Lipinsky Auditorium. The series concludes with two ticketed performances of Folkmoot USA Festival on July 18-19. All concerts are free, except for Folkmoot.

The public is invited to bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs. Sorry, no pets allowed. With nearly 2,000 people attending each concert, lawn-chair seating will be separate from blanket seating in order to preserve sight lines; please look for signage when arriving on the Quad.

Whitewater Bluegrass Company will kick off the series on June 15. For more than 25 years, this band has captivated audiences throughout the Southeast with their blend of bluegrass music, country ballads and mountain swing.

Land O’ Sky Symphonic Band will perform on June 22. The Marion, N.C.-based band features professional and amateur musicians, playing symphonic tunes in the classic tradition of community bands.

Piedmont bluesman Big Ron Hunter will take the stage on June 29. This old-school player and his four-piece band perform it all – from the acoustic styling of Robert Johnston to up-town funky electric originals.

Noted Cherokee storyteller Lloyd Arneach will share his traditional stories at 7 p.m. on July 6. An enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Arneach learned his first legends from two storytelling uncles and has gone on to collect traditional tales throughout his life. Also on July 6, popular mountain musicians Laura Boosinger, Josh Goforth and Jerry Sutton will play at 8 p.m. Boosinger, an award-winning singer and clawhammer banjo player, performs regularly at Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival and around the region. Goforth is a critically acclaimed young fiddler, guitar picker and mandolin player from Madison County. Sutton, an award-winning guitar player, has deep family roots in old-time music and mountain heritage.

The Capital Messengers will swing into the limelight on July 13. A unit of the 257th U.S. Army Band based in Washington, D.C., the Capital Messengers is a traditional jazz team directed by Sergeant Jamal Brown.

The 26th annual Folkmoot USA festival, the only ticketed event of the series, will feature folk dance and music from around the world on July 18-19. Tickets range from $25-$20 and are half-price for children under age 12. Tickets are available online at www.folkmootusa.org/ or call 877.FOLKUSA.

In case of rain, the concerts will be held in Lipinsky Auditorium. Concert location decisions are made at 5 p.m. the day of the show. Patrons may call 828.232.5000 extension 3 after 5:15 p.m. each Monday to hear a recorded announcement about the location of that evening’s performance.

For more information about Concerts on the Quad, call UNC Asheville’s Cultural & Special Events Office at 828.251.6991 or click on www.unca.edu/summerquad.