If knowledge is power, then Asheville packs a powerful punch in the education department. With multiple options for quality public and private education, the city scores at the top of its class.
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 more than degrees and certificates in more than 60 disciplines, including sustainable technologies and information systems security. The college also offers continuing education courses and career development services, as well as business development resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Asheville is also home to several public and private four-year colleges and universities, including the University of North Carolina at Asheville, a liberal arts university offering more than 30 undergraduate degrees; Warren Wilson College, a private liberal arts college that promotes community service in addition to academic excellence and 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 offer students flexibility with evening and weekend classes.
Asheville's high achieving public school systems are an asset that continues 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. Buncombe County Schools, one of the state's largest school systems, incorporates a STEM focus in its schools' curricula. The Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. Discovery Academy introduces high school students to STEM careers that are in high demand in the Asheville area.
Both school systems are part of the North Carolina New Schools Project, which works to reform and improve the state's public high schools and increase graduation rates.
Private and faith-based education options are 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 and offers several Advanced Placement and college preparatory courses. Established in 1900, Asheville School, a boarding school for coeds in grades 9 through 12, is the oldest private school in the region. Other private school alternatives include Rainbow Community School, which features a holistic education approach, New Classical Academy and The Learning Community School, which offer experiential learning and multi-age classrooms.
For working parents and students, Asheville offers more than 20 childcare facilities. They include A-B Tech Early Education Center, Mountain Area Child and Family Center, Asheville Jewish Community Center, Asheville City Schools Preschool, YWCA of Asheville, Fairview Preschool, Eliada Child Development Center and Swannanoa Valley Montessori School.