Trailhead Academy Philosophy

Trailhead logoThe purpose of the Trailhead Academies is to bring together an interesting, talented,and motivated group of incoming first-year students and introduce them to

  1. Each other
  2. Appalachian
  3. A model of contribution and service.

Trailhead is based on this idea: the most important quality a leader needs is the ability to see the world through the eyes of others. This requires self-evaluation, reflection, and openness to other points of view. At Trailhead, we discuss this simple but critical idea and its components: empathy, humility, reflection, flexible reframing, and engagement with each other. We introduce ideas that might be uncomfortable at first, but will eventually become the foundation for students who want to contribute to the lives of others and the quality of their communities. We ask participants to be honest, open, patient, and courageous. We ask those students who talk a lot to be quiet, and we ask quiet students to speak. We have lots of fun and we're sometimes very serious.

We believe that students who want to contribute should be intentional about how and how much they will contribute, and should make a thoughtful commitment to participate in the ASU community. We believe this is the way we leave our legacy.

Academy attendees will be encouraged to apply their new knowledge in the clubs and organizations at Appalachian State and with other service based organizations. Links to many of these organizations are listed on the leadership resources page.

Who attends Trailhead Academy?

Entering first year students at Appalachian that exhibit emerging leadership characteristics, a desire to make a difference, and an inner drive for leaving their mark are invited to start college in a big way. All sessions take place on-campus, and participants stay in residence halls during the academy.

Please note that Trailhead is an ON-CAMPUS summer leadership program. While we will have some fun outdoor activities, the program is not focused around outdoor programs. If you are interested in outdoor leadership check out the First Ascent  website.

Trailhead Dates

The dates for the 2017 Trailhead Academy have not yet been set. These dates will be released in the Spring of 2017. These dates will fall during the month of June.

How do I Apply?

For information about the application process, check out the "How to Apply" link.
Cost to Participate: $60 fee due after acceptance to program.

Contact Kim Mitchell in the Office of Leadership Development in the Department for Student Engagement & Leadership with Questions at (828) 262-6252.

Get Involved

Want to get involved at Appalachian?

Visit us in the Lee H. McCaskey Center, located at 244 Plemmons Student Union.

Contact Us

Rm. 244, Plemmons Student Union
263 Locust Street
Boone, NC 28608

Phone: (828) 262-6252


Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm

Any questions about Trailhead Academy? 

Contact Kim Mitchell, Trailhead Program Director.