By Cynthia Lundsford
In January 2020, The Appalachian College Association (ACA) packed its bags, trekked across the Cumberland Gap, and found a new home at King University.
The ACA is a partnership of thirty-five colleges and universities located in the central Appalachian Mountains region which provides resources and aids to make higher education possible for many students. Since the ACA is governed by many, they require a location that is relatively close to every institution. However, recently, the board’s location was in Richmond, Kentucky which was inconvenient for them when attempting to provide assistance. “King’s geographical location is right in the middle of their entire service area,” says Erika Brammer, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness.
“The ACA provides a way for colleges to come together and share many resources and assist each other in many ways and they have decided to come to our campus to have closer access to each college in the association,” says Dr. Jennifer Mongold, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice when asked what the ACA does and why they are moving to King University. Another thing Dr. Mongold mentions is that most people assume that the institutions involved in this consortium compete against each other; however, because they are all rather small institutions, we all come together as a community to help each other.
The ACA has many things to offer for students and teachers. When asked what they offer Erika Brammer says, “They offer quite a few professional development opportunities, trips abroad, and an annual conference…” Rebecca J. Thomas, King’s chief of staff, adds, “The ACA goes along King’s mission, which impacts not only the people here and people who didn’t think college was possible for them.”
The new location of the ACA will be extremely beneficial and convenient to the faculty as well as the institutions involve. Find out more information about the services and resources the ACA offers on their website or visit them in Nicewonder Hall on the Bristol campus.