Appalachia

Our Appalachia Hub is anchored by Morehead State University in collaboration with the National Rural Education Association.

In addition to supporting the mission of RSC, our partners at Morehead State University- Ernst & Sara Volgenau College of Education and the National Rural Education Association form the Appalachia Hub, which covers the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. April Miller, Interim Dean for the College of Education at Morehead State University, serves as the Appalachian Hub's primary contact.


Antony D. Norman, Provost for Morehead State University, views the University's teacher education program as an integral ally to the surrounding region.

Antony D. Norman, Morehead State University Provost

In fact, MSU’s work in preparing teachers to serve the region is historic. The University got its start as a normal school, or an institute began exclusively to train educators. For this reason, Norman sees education as the “heartbeat of Morehead.” And as he’s seen and heard from colleagues and community members, “our rural educators and rural schools continue to be a central mission of the university.”

One program that exemplifies the strong work of the MSU Ernst & Sara Volgenau College of Education is the MSUTeach program. This program offers the opportunity for STEM students to receive a teaching certification along with their Bachelor of Science degree. As Norman points out, the benefits of this program can have a large impact.

“Since most of our students are from Eastern Kentucky and the region, every math and science teacher we create is a real strong possibility that we’re impacting right back into those communities we want to serve.”

MSU was also the recipient of RSC 2021 Catalyst Initiative Grant funding to spur the development of their own rural teacher corps effort. The University used its planning grant to roll out the Appalachian Future Educator Scholarship Program.

Dr. Ralph W. Hamilton, superintendent of Morgan County Public Schools, visits with MSU’s Appalachian Future Educators

This program recruits students from MSU’s 22-county service region in eastern Kentucky, and provides them with a scholarship, mentoring opportunities, and other support as they progress toward becoming teacher educators in rural Kentucky. The program’s purpose is to enhance the pipeline of qualified educators and educational leaders.

Through this program the Volgenau College of Education is strengthening partnerships with school districts in identifying, recruiting, and mentoring students from the region so they can return and give back to their home communities as rural educational leaders.

Chasity Douglas - Surry County NC

Chasity Douglas

Teaching with Empathy and Determination

Educators are frequently the front line of support, encouragement, and empowerment for students to rise above their circumstances. Eighth grade English teacher Chasity Douglas from Surry County, NC, finds strength and power in knowing where she came from and working to translate that lived experience into a wellspring of support and care for her students.

Chasity shares, "All kids have to face some type of adversity; it just looks different for everyone. I want kids to face challenges with resilience, and so we as teachers have to model that."

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