MSU launches Appalachian Future Educators Scholar Program

This article originally appeared in the Morehead State University news webpage and is reprinted with permission.

Dr. Antony Norman

Since its founding, Morehead State University has always prioritized training teachers and serving the Appalachian region. Both priorities have come together in the development of the Appalachian Future Educators (AFE) Scholars program.  

Created by Dr. Antony Norman, dean of the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education, the AFE Scholars program encourages qualified students from MSU’s 22-county service region to enter the education profession through scholarship, support, and mentorship. The program will enhance the pipeline of qualified educators and educational leaders by strengthening partnerships with school districts in identifying, recruiting and mentoring students to return and give back to their home communities as rural educational leaders. 

“The AFE Scholarship is different from other scholarship programs through its cohort-building model. Additionally, there is a significant ‘growing in leadership’ component built into the program,” said Dr. Christopher Beckham, AFE Scholars director and assistant professor of education in the Department of Foundational and Graduate Studies in Education. “AFE students will have service-learning experiences and have the chance to network with mentors who are established professionals in their field.”  

“In my conversations with P-12 school leaders, I have consistently heard they are desperate for good teachers and they have confidence in the quality of teachers Morehead State produces,” Norman said. “To me, a first good faith effort to support our region is to help schools identify their most promising future educators among their own students and then to make the pursuit of an education degree more affordable for these students through the Appalachian Future Educators Scholars Program.”  

High school graduates who express the intention of pursuing educator preparation degrees or programs within Volgenau College of Education are eligible. In the pilot program, 22 students will be selected as scholarship recipients and program participants. To identify these students, the Volgenau College of Education dean and AFE Scholars program director, in consultation with Morehead State Enrollment Services and the MSU Foundation, will work with P-12 school district leadership in Bath, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Rowan and Wolfe Counties.   

One qualified student from each county will be selected to receive a $1,000 annual scholarship. As long as recipients remain in good academic standing, continue toward completing an educator preparation degree or program, and participate in AFE Scholars program requirements, the scholarship will be renewable up to three times.  

Preference will be given to students with a high school 3.0 or higher, evidence of leadership potential, first-generation college students, members of an underrepresented minority group, and those in financial need.  

For more information on the Appalachian Future Educators Scholar program, visit or contact Beckham, director of the AFE program, at 606-783-2538 or