Appalachian State University “Honors College” Essay
Prompt: Briefly tell us why you wish to join The Honors College and how will it advance your personal and professional goals? (short answer: limit 350-500 words)
With a risky “Undecided” major on my application (and yet a heart full of ambition), I may, at first glance, seem a weak candidate for an honor as prestigious as the Appalachian State Honors College; on the contrary, I find myself to be one of the most promising candidates. Allow me to explain; I have not yet declared a major for the simple reason that being seventeen, almost eighteen years old and in a small North Carolina high school, my view of the world and its opportunities is quite limited. How should one in my position be expected to make a sound, definitive decision about the rest of one’s life without first being adequately informed? I want to, not only thoroughly explore all of the many distinguished programs at Appalachian, but also explore them in a way that is specialized and enriched…an exploration that can only be provided by the Honors College.
Throughout my life, I have strived to learn and to challenge myself intellectually and personally. For example, this summer I was nominated and accepted in the North Carolina Governor’s School where I spent almost my entire summer taking specialized classes and seminars between six and seven days a week. I can honestly say that those weeks challenged me, and yet allowed me to thrive more as a person and as an intellectual human being more than any other experience ever has. I long for a collegiate career that will push me in similar ways and in areas that I have yet to fathom. I want to be surrounded by professors and students who will always push me to question, to explore, and to grow continually throughout my life.
While I am not yet sure of my specific professional plans (because of my disconnect to firsthand information), I do know that I want to have a career steeped in passion that produces the ripest first fruits of community impact. As I learn and grow throughout college, I want to be in a program that will give me the head start I need to attend graduate school if I so choose, or to simply be an efficient, impactful professional. I am so full of life and ambition, and I deeply desire to be part of a program that will truly teach me the skills and knowledge I need to apply that passion and curiosity to my future career and life.
From its name alone, you can tell that Appalachian State University has an intimate connection with nature. The university's mission is to prepare students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens. With sustainability as a central focus of Appalachian’s 2014 strategic plan, the Office of Sustainability created a Teaching Fellow position to examine how sustainability can be further integrated into academic programs. The university also hosts the Appalachian Energy Summit, an annual gathering for the University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge in which campus leaders across the state convene to share best practices. Appalachian has seventeen renewable energy installations on campus including North Carolina’s largest installed wind turbine. Sustainability measures saved the university $3.25 million in energy costs in fiscal year 2012–2013 alone. Transportation alternatives include free mass transit, car sharing, and ridesharing. Composting capabilities expanded in 2011 from 100 to 275 tons with the addition of a state-of-the-art composting facility. Compost from this operation is used in campus landscaping and on the 369-acre agroecology teaching and research farm where students enhance their classroom lessons about agroecology, agroforestry, and sustainable farming practices through experiential learning. For more than twenty years, Appalachian has offered graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustainable development and appropriate technology. More than 70 percent of departments offer sustainability-related or -focused courses, totaling more than 20 percent of all courses offered. Sustainability education is part of the university’s general education curriculum. The engaged students have the opportunity to participate in more than forty sustainability-based clubs. Research opportunities abound with more than 80 percent of departments and nearly 50 percent of faculty engaged in research as it relates to sustainability. Notably, Appalachian was one of three universities from the United States selected to participate in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, and placed ninth out of 110 participants.
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Sustainability-focused degree available
School employs a sustainability officer
Public GHG inventory plan
% food budget spent on local/organic food
Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
School Developed Bicycle Plan
School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.
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