Top navigation start

Opportunities in Appalachia
The AEW Network Blog

Five Appalachian community college students and their instructor work in a computer classroom. banner image

Increasing Opportunities in Appalachia -The AEW Network Blog

Increasing Opportunities in Appalachia -The AEW Network Blog

AEW Network Home | AEW Network Conference | ARC Education & Training Resources | AEW Network Contacts | About AEW NetworkAEW Network Blog

Increasing Opportunities in Appalachia is a blog written jointly by IEL staff and local practitioners whose work provides post-high school education and training opportunities in the region. The blog shines a light on successful initiatives and provides readers with information about implementation challenges. For readers interested in learning more about the opportunity being highlighted, information on how to contact the “actors” is also provided.

A young adult apprentice learns manufacturing skills from another worker.Manufacturing Matters in Appalachia

Institute for Educational Leadership Blog by Pam Streich, Director of Strategic Planning and Project Management at Workforce Solutions for North Central Pennsylvania - 4/5/2019

Manufacturing is still the greatest wealth-creating tool in the United States. This is why Workforce Solutions for North Central Pennsylvania participates in the What's So Cool About Manufacturing Video Contest. READ MORE...

Blue Ridge Scholars pose for a photo outdoors.Higher Education: Engaging Community & Addressing Critical Issues in Appalachia 

Institute for Educational Leadership Blog by Andrew Pearl, Director of Academic Engagement and Nathan Price, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of North Georgia; and Sherry Morris, Director, Fannin County Family Connection) - 9/26/2018

The Blue Ridge Campus of the University of North Georgia (UNG) ― is serving the postsecondary education needs of students in the state’s Appalachian region through high quality public higher education.  The campus’ calling card is community engagement as exemplified by one of its flagship initiatives ―the Blue Ridge Scholars (BRS). READ MORE...

South Webster High School in southern Ohio.Students Talk about the Opioid Crisis

Community Schools Blog by Martin Blank - July 24, 2018

A site visit to South Webster Junior/Senior High School in Appalachian Ohio reveals what high school students have to say after learning more about the opioid crisis in their community. READ MORE...


South Webster High School in southern Ohio.Courageous Leadership in Appalachia

Community Schools Blog by Martin Blank - July 23, 2018 

The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that frightens one,” and “strength in the face of pain or grief.” Courageous is the word that best describes the local leaders in South Webster, Ohio (and in the many other communities across the country) as they deal with the opioid crisis. READ MORE...


Two men unveil community development plans in rural Appalachia.Playbook for Promoting Prosperity in Rural Places

Institute for Educational Leadership - June 8, 2018

Learn about 10 recommended actions to promote prosperity from the Appalachian Higher Education Network report, Opening Doors, Changing Futures. The recommendations are aligned with priority actions in a key report from the president’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Together, these two reports offer a framework to help rural communities address barriers and promote prosperity. READ MORE...


Students organizing outdoors in their community.Combating Opioids: Students Learn and Take Action

Huffington Post - November 2, 2017

The students at South Webster High School used a problem-focused approach to learn about the opioid crisis in their community. Working with their teachers, they read Dreamland, an award winning analysis of the opioid epidemic, followed current media, met with local officials, explored policy solutions, and talked with their parents and friends. Equally important, the students identified ways they can play a role in addressing the crisis in their community. READ MORE...


South Webster High School in southern Ohio.Teaching the Opioid Crisis

NPR – Weekend Edition Saturday - September 30, 2017

Read the transcript of National Public Radio’s visit to South Webster High School in southern Ohio to learn more about how teachers there are helping students understand the opioid crisis that has unfolded around them and their families. READ MORE...


Ian Stewart(NPR), Bill Raison (Portsmouth Fire Chief), and Scott Simon (NPR) pause for a photo inside South Webster High School. Photo by Raegon Cooper (SWHS Student).Are You Listening?

Portsmouth Daily Times (Ohio) - September 13, 2017

Teachers and parents sometimes feel young people live in a dreamland because they don't seem to be listening or paying attention. But at South Webster High School, the students were not in dreamland. They were attentive and involved and wanted to find out how to make a difference in their community. READ MORE...


Close up white opiod pillsTeaching about the Opioid Crisis in Public Schools: Bringing Community Problems into the Classroom

Huffington Post - August 3, 2017

The worsening of the opioid crisis sweeping across Appalachia was affirmed when a majority of the participants in the Appalachian Higher Education Network’s conference raised their hands when asked, “Is there a drug problem in your community?" Learn how two teachers engaged high school students through classroom lessons about the ongoing drug crisis at South Webster Junior-Senior High, a 650-student school in Scioto County, Ohio. Many consider the county to be the epicenter of the opioid crisis in the region. READ MORE...

A group of Appalachian Higher Education Network annual conference attendees post around conference signage.Strengthening Postsecondary Education Attainment in Appalachia

Institute for Educational Leadership - July 6, 2016

Over the past decade, more and more first-generation students in Appalachia are attending two- and four-year colleges and universities, participating in certificate programs, and joining the military. A key driver of this progress is the Appalachian Higher Education Network, a peer learning network of regional program and information centers supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The centers provide supports focused on high school transition and postsecondary success. READ MORE...