From the youngest tots to world-renowned scholars, Auburn-Opelika has its eye on education. And with Auburn University leading the way, educational excellence is just a way of life here.
Parenting magazine named the Auburn City School district as one of the 100 best in the nation. The Wall Street Journal named it the best educational value in the Southeast, and Newsweek magazine named Auburn High School as the top non-magnet public high school in the state and one of top 30 in the country. Why all the accolades? Innovative programs such as Auburn High School’s advanced placement courses and international baccalaureate program helped it gain such national attention. And Edutopia, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, recognized the kindergarten-level Auburn Early Education Center as a model school because of its project-based curriculum and technological aids such as interactive whiteboards in every classroom. The Opelika school system places a strong emphasis on arts education.
The innovation coming out of Auburn University is being put to use around the world, even out of this world. In fact, AU has graduated six astronauts, and its students, graduates and researchers have worked on such groundbreaking projects as developing anti-terrorism programs, preventing mad cow disease and inventing new bulletproof material. AU faculty members even won an Academy Award in 2005 for inventing new technology that maps human motion, allowing filmmakers to create such movie characters as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The university also offers the only undergraduate wireless engineering program in the country. Achievements like these are one of many reasons that U.S. News & World Report ranked Auburn University as No. 38 on its list of the Nation’s Top Public Universities.
For students who choose the non-university route, Southern Union State Community College in Opelika offers programs in such fast growing areas as technology and health sciences. With so many educational options around, it’s no wonder that the Auburn-Opelika area is the educational hub of eastern Alabama.