Governor’s School applications now available at ETSU | Sunday Stories

The Governor’s School for the Scientific Exploration of Tennessee Heritage, offered by the East Tennessee State University Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services, is now accepting applications for summer 2021. It will take place May 30-June 25.

Students live on the ETSU campus and earn three hours of college credit. Rising juniors and seniors in Tennessee high schools or home schools are eligible to apply, but applications must be submitted through the school counselor. Interested students should see or contact their school counselor as soon as possible.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 15.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this important program once again,” said Dr. Ron Roach, chair of the Department of Appalachian Studies and director of the Center of Excellence.

The Tennessee Governor’s Schools provide challenging learning experiences for rising 11th and 12th grade students nominated by high school faculty. In 1987, the Appalachian Studies Governor’s School was the fifth Governor’s School to be chartered and is now one of 11 Governor’s Schools in the state.

The ETSU Appalachian Studies School is the only Governor’s School dedicated to studying the history of Tennessee, and the only one focused on the Appalachian mountain region. Students participate in a wide range of learning experiences, including paleontology, environmental studies, pioneer life, traditional music and dance, and the history of the diverse cultures and peoples who have inhabited this region for years. In order to accomplish this, the Appalachian Studies program collaborates with several other departments, as well as with state parks and historic sites, including The ETSU Natural History Museum and Gray Fossil Site, ETSU College of Public Health, Roan Mountain State Park, Rocky Mount State Historic Site, Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park and Fort Loudon State Park.

“These students get to experience college life, be challenged academically and also learn about the beauty and history of the Appalachian region. We still have slots available and encourage students to see their guidance counselors and apply,” Roach added.

If COVID-19 prevents an on-campus experience, plans are in place to offer an online school, like in 2020.

Dr. Rebecca Adkins Fletcher, assistant professor in Appalachian Studies, will direct the 2021 Governor’s School, assisted by Dr. Scott Honeycutt from the Department of Literature and Language. All students in the School will earn three college credits in the History of Tennessee, taught by Senior Lecturer Melanie Storie of the ETSU History Department.

Students interested in participating in Governor’s School should contact a high school administrator, school counselor or other faculty member. More information is available online at the Tennessee Governor’s Schools website (

Visit or call the Appalachian Studies office at (423) 439-7995 to learn more about the program.

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