Free Summer Learning Opportunities for Appalachian Students and Teachers

Applications for the 2021 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Summer STEM Programs and the Appalachian Entrepreneurial Academy are now available. Middle and high school students and high school teachers who attend a public school in Appalachian Ohio are encouraged to apply by the March 1 deadline.

“This program will give students living in Ohio’s Appalachian counties an eye-opening experience to learn about entrepreneurship and STEM careers,” said John Carey, director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia. “This is a great opportunity for students to receive mentorship from industry experts and help them discover their potential.”

The ARC/Oak Ridge Summer STEM Program is a residential learning experience connecting high school and middle school students, and high school teachers with award-winning scientists at

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Students will gain exposure to applied science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) while teachers will work to develop STEM-related curriculum. The program will take place June 19-July 2, 2021 for high school students and teachers, and from June 26-July 2, 2021 for middle school students.

The Appalachian Entrepreneurial Academy is designated for rising high school seniors to develop skills and promote creativity essential to entrepreneurial success. Through mentorships, industry tours, teambuilding and other curriculum components, students can discover innovative career paths and enhance their way of thinking. The Academy will take place in two phases: June 14-25, 2021 and July 12-30, 2021.

All major expenses, including lodging, extracurricular activities and transportation to and from the participant’s home, will be covered. Appalachian high school teachers who apply for the STEM program will receive a stipend for their participation. Both programs are planning for in-person components but are actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and prepared to make any necessary changes to ensure the safety of participants.

Those interested can learn more and apply at the Governor’s Office of Appalachia website. Applications are due no later than March 1, 2021.

Bi-term classes start March 15

ASHLAND, Ky. – Ashland Community and Technical College is accepting applications for spring bi-term classes that start March 15 and end on May 9.

Bi-term classes are eight-weeks long, half the length of traditional semester classes. They have the same content as semester-long classes, but cover the content in a shorter time.

In-person/Hybrid classes being offered are Power Plant Protection, Rotating Machinery and Lab, Surgical Tech Skills Practicum I, Circuits II, Electrical Motor Controls II and Lab, Safety Skills Training, Cooling and Humidification and Lab, Engineering Graphics, Construction Techniques, Architectural Design and Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab.

Online classes include Managerial Accounting, Switching and Routing Essentials, Introduction to Interpersonal Communication, Principles of Macroeconomics, Writing II, History of the U.S. Since 1865, History of the U.S. Through 1865, Developmental Psychology, and Introduction to Sociology,

Admissions forms and information are online at:

New students enrolling only in the bi-term session may be eligible for financial aid. To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Currently enrolled students are not eligible to receive additional financial aid for bi-term classes added to their schedules, and visiting students are not eligible to receive financial aid through ACTC.

For more information on bi-term enrollment, call (606) 326-2040.

River Connections Academy Opens Enrollment for the 2021-2022 School Year

Trusted public online school enters fourth year serving Ohio students in a fully virtual environment

COLUMBUS, OH (February 5, 2021) – Great River Connections Academy (GRCA), a tuition-free, full-time K-12 virtual school, officially opened enrollment for the 2021-22 academic year on February 3rd and invites families to enroll their students in the trusted online program.

Learning from home or anywhere there is an Internet connection, Great River Connections Academy provides students an online education that is tailored to their individual needs. The combination of state-certified teachers focused on academics and social and emotional well-being, a proven curriculum and a nurturing, safe academic environment prepares students to thrive in a changing world.

Great River Connections currently serves hundreds of students from all over the state who have a variety of needs. Some need more schedule flexibility due to health issues or activities outside of school. Other students benefit from the ability to work at their own individual pace with learning plans tailored to match their interests and capabilities. Through the personal, one-on-one attention they receive from teachers, students stay motivated and engaged.

“Our online school serves a unique population of students, and I’m grateful parents and caretakers in Ohio have found this highly individualized learning environment empowers their children to succeed,” said Jason Swinehart, Great River Connections Academy School Leader. “We are excited and proud to continue to provide our students the opportunity to thrive academically and grow socially and emotionally into well-rounded, confident adults.”

Throughout the pandemic, many families across the state turned to Great River Connections because they were concerned with how their traditional school district would provide continuous learning for their children while keeping families safe from exposure to the virus. Tabitha Harris, of Wilmington, enrolled her sons, Ethan and Parker, in GRCA for those exact reasons. As one of her sons suffers from asthma and she helps to care for her grandparents, limiting her family’s exposure was critically important.

“We needed to be in a stable learning environment where our sons would be engaged, and in a place where they were safe from exposure,” Tabitha said. “We absolutely love Great River Connections Academy because my sons now have time and space to investigate subject areas that really interest them, and their teachers are always available to encourage them. They didn’t have this flexibility in their traditional school and my sons are much happier. They both plan to stay through graduation.”

Great River Connections Academy is hosting online information sessions for families interested in learning more about virtual education. For more information about Great River Connections Academy or to begin the enrollment process, please visit or call (800) 382-6010.

2021 Scholarship Opportunities Available for Appalachian Ohio Students Pursuing Post-Secondary Education Deadline to Apply Is March 15, 2021

Nelsonville, OH – Students throughout Appalachian Ohio are getting ready to take the next step in their education by attending post-secondary colleges, universities, and trade school, and scholarships are vital to ensuring every student has the resources to pursue their dreams.

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is pleased to once again open scholarship applications for scholarship funds at FAO. FAO offers a variety of scholarships intended for students from different counties and with various interests and areas of study. Students can identify one or multiple scholarships suited to their educational plans.

All information on individual scholarship opportunities, including guidelines, eligibility, and how to apply, can be found on FAO’s website at Completed applications and all accompanying materials must be emailed to [email protected] by March 15, 2021, or mailed with postmark on or before March 15, 2021 to the Foundation’s office at PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764.

Each year, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio offers scholarships to students across the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. In 2020, 328 Appalachian Ohio students were awarded over $563,000 in scholarships from over 280 donor-established scholarship funds at FAO. For more information about how to grow scholarship resources for the region’s students, please visit or call 740.753.1111.