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Morehead State’s Craft Academy continues to grow

Morehead State’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is capping off another year of achievements by adding 14 students to the incoming Class of 2023, expanding its roster from 132 students to 146.   

In addition to increasing in size, the Academy has earned numerous accolades this year. It was named among the top elite public schools in the nation by The Washington Post Education Editor Jay Mathews. The Academy also was certified by Cognia, the leading provider of accreditation and certification, assessment and improvement services, as an elite STEM program.   

Launched in 2015, The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is a dual-credit academy for academically exceptional Kentucky students. Craft Academy provides students with a postsecondary residential experience to complete their junior and senior high school years by enrolling in college courses. It was initially funded by a $4 million donation from Dr. Joe Craft and former U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft and a $2.3 million annual appropriation from the Kentucky Legislature. In 2019, the Crafts pledged an additional $3.5 million over five years to fund the Academy. The Crafts’ contributions to the Academy represent the largest donation in MSU history.  

As the Academy has grown, so too have the achievements of its students. Craft Academy graduates have gone on to attend some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities, including Yale, Georgetown and MIT. This year, Cameron Snowden of Jackson will be the first Craft graduate to attend Harvard University, where he will major in political science and English.   

“In the short amount of time since our inception, our student successes have been many,” said Dr. Carol Christian, director of the Craft Academy. “This program provides more access, opportunity and options to the high achieving students across the Commonwealth, particularly students from East Kentucky.”  

Students from the Craft Academy have also been awarded several prestigious scholarships. Senior Maiqi Qin from Salt Lick was recently awarded a $20,000 Coca-Cola Scholarship after being selected from more than 90,000 national applicants. Several National Merit Scholars have also attended the Academy. Christian said the success of the students is a reflection of the quality education offered at MSU.  

“It says that Morehead State University prepares our graduates to be competitive in any arena. Our students are prepared to go forth and ‘Imagine, Invent and Impact Kentucky and Beyond.’ These next-generation leaders are going to be the entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow,” she said. “Our first few classes are just now completing their undergraduate degrees and entering the workforce or further advancing their education in medical school and law school. Our students are landing internships at NASA and working alongside renowned professors on groundbreaking research.”  

As for what the future holds for the Academy, Christian said it will continue to educate Kentucky’s elite STEM students to help the Commonwealth prosper.  

“Our successes will guide our growth and the accolades have come in warp speed. The best is yet to come,” she said. “Kentucky should strive to keep this intellectual property in our great state. It is our goal that Craft Academy students advance the economic development of our state and improve the lives of Kentuckians.”  

To learn more about the Craft Academy, visit, email or call 606-783-2093.