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Craft Academy Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held

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Officials of Morehead State University along with members of its Board of Regents, local and state legislators held a ribbon cutting ceremony today (Thursday, Aug. 27) for the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. ( View gallery )

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics was designed to meet the unique educational needs of academically exceptional high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. A college-level curriculum will allow students to finish high school while also completing up to two years of university coursework.

"In my 11 years here at MSU, I think the Craft Academy may be the most transformational activity that has occurred," said Wayne D. Andrews, MSU president. "Our goal is to attract students who may want to stay in Kentucky or come back to the state to contribute to the economic health and vitality in the future."

 

A total of 60 students moved in earlier this month and next August another 60 will begin classes.

"The Craft Academy is a great opportunity for the students, but also a great opportunity for Morehead State University," said Rep. Rocky Adkins, House Majority Floor Leader. "I think it raises the bar for MSU as far as how others look at this institution.

"I am so happy that I got a chance to work with Sen. Robert Stivers, President Andrews and Joe Craft on accomplishing the Academy. This is an historic day."

State lawmakers budgeted $2.3 million to establish the Academy. Businessman Joe Craft pledged $4 million during the next several years in support of the Academy. Craft's gift is the single largest cash gift in the history of MSU.

The Craft Academy will offer unique, project-based STEM+X courses that will enrich educational experiences and develop competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.

Students live on campus in Grote-Thompson Hall, which was remodeled with meeting and social space and 24/7 staffing. Counselors and advisors also are available.

"A lot of people had a lot to do with the Craft Academy, on both sides. I am happy to have a little part of it," said Sen. Stivers. "This can be big for not only students in East Kentucky, but students in all of the state. There are children not born yet that will benefit from the Craft Academy here at Morehead State."

Students were selected based on ACT and SAT scores, academic grades from their first two years of high school, interest in advanced STEM careers, responses to application essay questions, interviews by the Academy selection committee and recommendations from teachers and others who could attest to the student's need and preparedness for the program.

"This is a special day," said Craft. "There are certain days in your life that you will remember forever and this is one of them for me."

Craft met the students and told the crowd that he had challenged the first class to make the Academy the best high school in the nation.

"I believe the students came here because they wanted that challenge (of being number one). You have to have high expectations and high standards. They have that and now they just have to work towards that goal."

At the end of two years, students will have earned a minimum of 60 credit hours, finished high school and have the opportunity to further their education at MSU or transfer to any other college/university in Kentucky or elsewhere.

"We are honored to be a part of this historical moment at MSU in opening the Craft Academy. These talented young people are excited and ready to accept the challenges this opportunity provides. We at MSU look forward to unlocking the talent within each of the Craft Academy students as they go forth and use their gifts," said Dr. Carol Christian, director.

The application process for the second class began Aug. 1 with the deadline of Feb. 1, 2016.

Additional information on the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics  is available by calling Dr. Christian at 606-783-9025 or at www.moreheadstate.edu/craft-academy .

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