The AASIS program, funded by a private benefactor, was designed to achieve two goals: the first - to encourage promising young Southwest Virginia students to pursue higher education; the second - to give these students an opportunity to learn more about the culture of the Appalachian region.
The 14 high school teachers participating in AASIS collaborate to prepare lessons for their classrooms on Appalachian studies. Each teacher also chooses 10 AASIS Scholars, high school students identified by their teachers as "college-able, but not college-bound."
Each student participating in AASIS became a Mentor to two AASIS Scholars. Mentors visit their AASIS Scholars' school twice during the school year to make presentations about college life and about Appalachian studies They also act as hosts and tour guides for their AASIS Scholars during two field trips to the Radford University campus. Mentors and AASIS Scholars get to know each other and keep in touch throughout the year via letters and e-mail. The AASIS Scholars finish up the year by making presentations in their schools and communities about what they learn from the AASIS program.
To become a mentor, just fill out an AASIS application [DOC] and ask two of your professors to fill out a mentor recommendation form [DOC]. If you have any questions about the application process, please call the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center at (540) 831-5366.