With multiple options for quality public and private education, Asheville scores high marks for quality and choice in the education department.
In addition to sharpening the minds of its students, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College helps boost the business community's bottom line by supplying a pool of highly skilled workers for new and existing industries. The college offers degrees and certificates in more than 60 disciplines, including sustainable technologies and information systems security. In 2017, the college broke ground on a new $18.5 million building to house its engineering and arts and sciences programs.
The University of North Carolina at Asheville, a liberal arts university offering more than 30 undergraduate degrees, is also undergoing expansion. The school was named one of the 381 best colleges in 2016, by the Princeton Review. Warren Wilson College, a private liberal arts college that promotes community service in addition to academic excellence, requires students to perform service duties around campus. Montreat College and Mars Hill University both offer a faith-based college experience, while Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies and the Asheville campus of Western Carolina University give students flexibility with evening and weekend classes.
Asheville's high-achieving public school systems continue to attract families to the city. The Asheville City Schools system operates two high schools, two middle schools, five elementary schools and one preschool facility. The system's School of Inquiry and Life Sciences infuses a rigorous academic curriculum with hands-on learning and technology-based instruction. The school system also plans to open the Montford School in 2017. The sixth-12th grade school will be housed in the former William Randolph Elementary School. Dickson Elementary School also moved into a new building in 2016. Buncombe County Schools, one of the state's largest school systems, incorporates a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) focus in its schools' curricula. The Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. Discovery Academy introduces high school students to STEM careers. which are in high demand in the Asheville area.
Private and faith-based education is also plentiful in Asheville. Asheville Christian Academy, Emmanuel Lutheran, Asheville Catholic School, North Asheville Christian, Nazarene Christian School and Providence Christian Academy, and Christ School, an Episcopal boarding school for boys, all offer faith-based instruction. Carolina Day School, which serves students in pre-K through 12th grade, touts its rigorous academic program that includes several Advanced Placement and college preparatory courses. Established in 1900, Asheville School, a coed boarding school for grades nine through 12, is the oldest private school in the region. Other private schools include Rainbow Community School, which features a holistic educational approach, New Classical Academy and The Learning Community School, which offer experiential learning and multi-age classrooms.