Coronavirus information:
The university remains open, with emergency management protocols activated and operational modifications and precautions in place. Instruction has transitioned online for summer sessions. Read the latest update posted 6/2/2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Read the Student Affairs Covid-19 Response. Updated March 31, 2020 at 9:20 a.m.

ASCEND Supplemental Orientation





ASCEND Quick Facts:

  • Early Move-In for all participants!** 
  • Location- Appalachian State University Main Campus (Boone, NC)
  • Length- August 10-13, 2020* 
  • Who Can Apply?- Any first-year App State Student who holds marginalized or historically underrepresented identities (New Transfer students are welcome and encouraged to apply! Please rember that a condition of participating in the ASCEND program is the ability to be present at all events. If you are living off-Campus, you will be responsible for your own housing needs and transportation to campus.)

The ASCEND Program is an engaging, intentional, high-impact supplemental orientation program* targeting first-year Appalachian State University students from marginalized and historically underrepresented backgrounds. The ASCEND Program is based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and establishes a solid foundation for new students to feel a sense of belonging and community, be empowered to succeed with knowledge, connections and resources, and to explore and give back to their new home-away-from-home. Highlights of the ASCEND Program include:

  • Exploration of ASU Traditions and History, and understanding what it means to be a Mountaineer
  • Informal meetings with ASU Faculty and Staff that will support your success as an App State Student
    • Students who are "Undecided" or "Still Deciding" will meet staff from the Career Development Center, Student Learning Center, and University College Academic Advising
  • A day of service to the Boone/Watauga County community

Each participant will be assigned a Peer Mentor who will reach out to them before the program begins to answer any questions, lead small group activities and discussions, and will be a continued support throughout the Fall semester. Additionally, each participant will be assigned a Staff/Faculty mentor to help encourage and connect them, challenge them, as well as hold them accountable. Participants in the ASCEND Program will also recieve:

  • Early Move-In privilege*
  • All meals for the duration of the program

The deadline for completed applications is July 6th, 2020 @ 5:00pm.


*ASCEND orientation was created collaboratively by Staff of the Office of Intercultural Student Affairs (ISA) and Students, to support the needs of marginalized/underrepresented students at Appalachian State University. This program is a supplement (in addition) to the Freshman Orientation program that occurs in the summer and is hosted by the Orientation Office. Before being accepted to ASCEND, ISA will confirm that you have registered for New Student Orientation. Every new student must register for and attend New Student Orientation. To register, please visit

**The experience of each of our Participants is our first priority in all our programming. Therefore, by applying for the ASCEND program, you are agreeing to fully participate and engage in all activities-- even those that may be new or uncomfortable for you. In order to assure equity and integrity in our selection process, any student found to not be present throughout the ASCEND program will be held financially responsible for the cost of their early move in.

Questions can be sent to Jerisha Farrer ( or Kendall Rankin (