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Mission & Vision


Established in 1899 as Watauga Academy, Appalachian State University has evolved into a preeminent university located in a unique, rural mountain environment. As a member of the University of North Carolina, Appalachian's fundamental mission is to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society. This mission is achieved by providing undergraduate students a rigorous liberal education that emphasizes transferable skills and preparation for professional careers; offering graduate students distinctive, relevant programs; maintaining a faculty whose members serve as excellent teachers and scholarly mentors for their students and who produce high levels of scholarship and creative activities.

Appalachian recognizes that the success of the University depends upon the achievement and cooperation of a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff and strives to implement policies and allocate resources accordingly. We accept our responsibility to be actively involved in addressing the educational, economic, cultural, and societal needs of the changing region, state, nation, and world. As a publicly funded institution, Appalachian is committed to accomplishing its initiatives through efficient and effective resource utilization.


Appalachian aspires to be a model 21st-century, nationally recognized university combining the best characteristics of liberal arts and research institutions by resourcefully blending teaching and scholarship. To achieve this, Appalachian is committed to attracting, educating, and graduating the best students and to producing the highest levels of scholarship. 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.