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Area Students Graduate from Appalachian’s Off-Campus Degree Program

grads.jpgBOONE–Nine students from Rutherford, Burke and Caldwell counties have been studying education at Appalachian State University for the past four years. However, they didn’t step foot on campus until May 13 when they received degrees.

The students received bachelor of science degrees in education through Appalachian’s off-campus program offered at Isothermal, Cleveland and Western Piedmont community colleges.

The group began taking night and afternoon classes in 1996. Most of the students worked full time and have families.

The students are: Christina Coffey of Lenoir; Robin Teresa Waters Dodson and Dawna Bauman Hamrick of Bostic; Dennis Wesley Earl of Valdese; Jennifer Joye Gulley, Melanie Hudson Haynes and Llarie Nicole Bishop Michael of Forest City; Anna Marie Daves McDaniel of Rutherfordton; and Jannie Michelle Arrowood Vess of Spindale.

All nine students graduated with academic honors and two, Hamrick and Gulley, were named as honor graduates of the Reich College of Education. McDaniel received an Outstanding Student Teacher award as well.

The students attended class twice a week. All were taught by Appalachian faculty who traveled to the community college campuses.

Appalachian began three off-campus bachelor’s degree programs in Burke, Cleveland and Rutherford counties in 1996 after receiving funds from the state to expand access to a college degree. Other programs were funded at East Carolina University, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Pembroke.

Based on surveys of interest and need, Appalachian created bachelor’s programs in social work, business administration and elementary education. The university is expanding its outreach through the Appalachian Learning Alliance, a consortium of nine community colleges in the region.

For more information about off-campus programs, call the Office of Extension Instruction at (828) 262-3113.

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Picture Caption: From left to right, front row, Jannie Vess, Christina Coffey, Melanie Haynes and Llarie Michael; back row, Robin Dodson, Jennifer Gully, Anna McDaniel, Dennis Earl and Dawna Hamrick.

(Appalachian photo by University Photographer Mike Rominger)