Andrea Martinez recently transitioned to becoming the Director of Pre-College Outreach in the Office of Admissions at UNC Asheville. Andrea is the PI responsible for the coordination of UNC Asheville's GEAR UP college access grant, which serves 11 school districts in Western NC to promote college readiness, awareness, and post-secondary degree attainment. Additionally, Andrea supervises the coordination of the Junior Bulldog Program, the university’s signature college readiness program for engaging middle school students, and the ¡Vamos! Program, a college access & high school dropout prevention program for Latina/o youth.
Previously, Andrea worked at UNC Asheville as the Director of Teacher Recruitment and Retention, as well as the Director of the University School Teacher Education Partnership. During her tenure with UNC Asheville's Department of Education, Andrea worked to recruit and retain smart, creative educators into NC public schools, as well as coordinated the department's formal partnerships and memorandums of understanding with six public school districts in the surrounding region. She, additionally, administrated a college access grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission and the North Carolina Appalachian Collaborative for Higher Education (NCACHE) in partnership with Appalachian State University and Western Carolina University.
Andrea graduated magna cum laude with a bachelors degree in Dance and is the former Artistic Director of Miami DanceArts, the former chair of the Dance Department at Savannah Arts Academy and the founding chair of the Dance program at Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School. She also holds an M.Ed in Educational Leadership, and taught high school for seven years in both alternative and Title I settings, as well as being a licensed school principal in the state of Georgia. Andrea worked extensively in college access programs including the Gear Up program at Savannah State University and the Upward Bound program at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, Andrea is a experienced registered yoga teacher (e-RYT) having taught over 4000 hours of yoga.
Andrea continues to focus her work on identifying, assessing, and disseminating practices that improve college access and student success throughout the Appalachian region. Raised in Western NC and a first generation college graduate herself, she is committed to equity at all levels of education. She remains dedicated to the ideal that public schools are still an avenue of social mobility and that public universities, like UNC Asheville, have a valuable role to play in opening doors and providing resources to first-generation, college-bound students. Andrea is excited to guide the university through this ambitious and multi-layered project.