The mission of the James Center for Student Success and Advising is to promote, uplift, and amplify the voices of all students, specifically those whose voices are and have traditionally been silenced in our communities, in a way that respects the identity, dignity, humanity, and positionality they bring to the education preparation space. Our diversity is reflected by differences in race, culture, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and numerous other social identities and life experiences. The James Center supports an inclusive learning environment in which diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, valued, and celebrated. Additionally, we seek to provide an inclusive space grounded in equitable practices that supports the development of equity-minded teaching professionals in all teacher education programs. Furthermore, we will prepare globally and sustainably oriented pre-service educators through advising, professional development, and student-focused programming.


The vision of the James Center for Student Success and Advising is to be a space in the Reich College of Education that espouses a commitment to the growth, development, and well-being of education practitioners at Appalachian State University so they can reimagine a sustained vision of a transformed education system, culture, and climate for the districts, schools, classrooms, and -- most importantly -- students they will serve throughout their professional lifetimes.

Core Values

As a core value, the James Center for Student Success and Advising recognizes that Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) practices are essential for the service of students, faculty, staff, and the education profession as a whole. We commit to student development practices rooted in equity and the formation of meaningful relationships. We provide a safe space to build and facilitate community by deeply listening and intentionally discussing diverging views, so that all teacher education majors develop their authentic selves, grow as individuals and professionals, and are prepared for inspirational, creative, and visionary teaching, learning, and community advocacy in their education careers.


The James Center for Student Success and Advising is named for the James'.  

  • Steve and Judy James were honored in 2022 as the Reich College of Education's Distinguished alumni and they are proud to support education majors on the campus of Appalachian State.
  • The daughter of a teacher, Judy James spent 29 years in public educaiton in Guilford County after graduating from Appalachian State University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in ELementary Education. Steve James retired after a 30-year career as a systems designer of voice and data networks for BellSouth Telecommunications, now AT&T. Steve received an Honorary Alumni of Distinction citation from Appalachian State University in 2022.
  • The Jameses' philanthropic efforts reach across North Carolina, providing scholarships for teacher education, an endowment for the App State Alumni Association and the founding of the Appalachian Community of Education Scholars Endowment.