Mitchell County Education

STEM project-based learning will improve test scores and better prepare students for future employment.

STEM education consists of a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines - science, technology, engineering and mathematics - in an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides hands-on and relevant learning experiences for students.

STEM education is vital to Mitchell County because the majority of industry and business in our area need and require employees with STEM skills.

Growth in STEM-based jobs was three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs over the last 10 years nationwide.

Workers with STEM education and experience enjoy higher earnings and are less likely to experience joblessness.

With the Golden LEAF STEM grant and partnership with local businesses, Mitchell County schools will provide more opportunities and training in STEM education.

STEM project-based learning will improve test scores and better prepare students for further education and future employment.

Local business will benefit from more qualified local and loyal employees coming from our school system.

In turn, with better prepared students showing a positive effect with existing businesses, new businesses will be enticed to begin or relocate in our area and improve the overall economy and broaden the tax base.

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Education in Mitchell County

The Mitchell county public school system has six schools in the system: one high school, two middle schools, two elementary schools, and one primary school

The system serves 1,950 students and is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Mitchell County Ranked as One of Top Ten Best School Districts in NC

Best Public School Districts ranks 8,738 school districts based on dozens of key statistics and 4.6 million opinions from 280,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly. Congratulations to the Mitchell County Schools who rank number #9 out of 100 districts in NC through this study.

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Colleges and Universities

Mitchell County is located within an hour's drive of six institutions of higher learning including:

Mayland Community College

Mayland Community College serves a tri-county region - Mitchell, Yancey, and Avery Counties. The Mitchell County campus is located on the Avery/Mitchell County line approximately 3-miles northeast of Spruce Pine. Mayland offers 29 curriculum programs including college transfer options; continuing education courses; Basic Skills and GED Programs with distance learning opportunities. The College serves approximately 7,000 persons, representing more than 16% of the adult population within its service area.

Mayland Community College National Rankings
1st ranked two-year school on the Best in North Carolina for 2015
4th ranked community college in the nation by for 2015
10th ranked college on the 50 top community colleges by (2015 & 2014)
32nd ranked college in the top 50 community colleges by Washington Monthly (2014)
9th ranked college in the nation's top 10 community colleges by Bankrate, Inc. (2014)
16th ranked college by Create A Career's Top 25 Community Colleges in the United States (2014)
Mayland Community College Ranks in top 1% in the nation
Mayland Community College has ranked in the top 50 community colleges for the second time
Mayland Community College Ranked # 16 out of the 25 Best Community Colleges in the United States

Appalachian State University

Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University has four colleges and a School of Music, offering more than 140-degree programs and 1,500 courses. With an enrollment of 17,000 students, the school averages a student/teacher ratio of 17:1 with an average class size of 25. In 2008-09, a total of 3,603 degrees were awarded.

Lees-McRae College

Located in Banner Elk, North Carolina, Lees-McRae College offers a four-year liberal arts education with 25 majors in Arts and Sciences and a Professional Studies Program. The college enrollment is 700 full-time students from 39 states and 19 foreign countries. The student/teacher ratio is 13:1 with an average class size of 15. The college is Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission accredited.

University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC-A)

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, the University, has more than 3,400 students and 341 full and part-time faculty. Offering over 30 majors, it is the only designated liberal arts institution in the 16 campus University of North Carolina system. UNC-A is a member of The Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

Montreat College

Located in the Town of Montreat, The College has an enrollment of 1,145 students and is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It offers undergraduate programs in The School of Arts and Sciences' accredited programs for masters degrees in The School of Professional and Adult Studies, and a Professional Development Institute for groups and corporate training.

Warren Wilson College

Located near Asheville in The Swannanoa Valley, Warren Wilson is a liberal arts college with an enrollment of 946 students and an average class size of 17 students. It offers 40 majors and concentrations and 27 minors with dual degree programs. All resident students are required to work 15 hours a week in the daily operation of the campus that is applied in credit toward the cost of attendance. Community service in the amount of 100 hours over four years is required of each student offering service learning opportunities locally and internationally.

East State Tennessee University

ETSU offers Mitchell County residents in-state tuition. It is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system of colleges and universities, the nation's sixth largest system of public education.

East Carolina University School of Dentistry

Mitchell County and the Town of Spruce Pine became home for a full service dental clinic beginning in 2014. The facility trains residents for private and public practices and provides a full range of services to patients. The facility will train residents for private and public practices and provide a full range of services to patients.

Penland School of Crafts

Penland School of Crafts located in central Mitchell County is a national center for craft education. Penland offers one, two, and eight-week workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking, textiles, and wood. The school sponsors artists' residencies, community education programs, and a craft gallery. Begun in 1920 as a cottage industry for weaving, the school now as approximately 1,200 students annually and another 14,000 pass through as visitors. The school is a focal point for a lively community of artists in its programming, which has encouraged many artists to settle in the area.

Online Colleges in North Carolina

Comprising some of the best private and public schools in the state, over 100 postsecondary schools in North Carolina offer distance learning programs. North Carolina is also a member of the Southern Region Education Board (SREB), a compact of southeastern states.

School Directory

Primary Schools

Greenlee Primary (K-2)
2206 Carters Ridge, Spruce Pine NC 28777

Gouge Elementary (K-5)
134 Laurel Street, Bakersville, NC 28705

Deyton Elementary
308 Harris Street, Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Middle Schools

Bowman Middle School (6-8)
410 S. Mitchell Avenue, Bakersville, NC 28705

Harris Middle School (6-8)
121 Harris Street, Spruce Pine, 28777

High School

Mitchell High School (9-12)
416 Ledger Road, Bakersville, NC 28705

Early College

The Mitchell County school system is a participant in the Early College, which is a non-traditional high school experience for students in a smaller, nurturing, yet academically challenging environment. At the end of the five-year experience students have the opportunity to graduate with a high-school diploma and an associate's degree or credits that transfer to a four-year institution. The school is located on the Mayland Community College Campus. It was initiated in 2009 with an enrollment of 36 students from Yancey, Mitchell, and Avery Counties.

Montessori School

Spruce Pine Montessori School was founded in 1972 by parents who sought a creative, active learning environment for their young children. Spruce Pine Montessori School has grown for four decades into a highly respected center for pre-school through sixth grade. The school prides itself on the integration of the community and its cultures. The school focuses on the Montessori approach to child-centered learning.

Christian Schools

Mitchell County has several Christian schools that serve students grades K-12.