Strengthening community assets to shape a positive future for Appalachia
The Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) engages students and regional citizens in posing answers to the question, "How can we build a sustainable future for Appalachian communities?" Supported by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the ATP is a highly successful collaboration between the ARC, Appalachian colleges and universities, and local community partners.
As part of the Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP), each participating institution offers at least one for-credit course during the 2022 Fall Semester which students address the question, “How do we support community economic development to help build a sustainable future and close the socioeconomic gap between Appalachia and the rest of the nation?”
Administered by East Tennessee State University's Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services, the ATP engages students from up to 16 colleges and universities in place-based learning experiences in which they practice community economic development firsthand. Following completion of their community-based research project, the ATP provides an annnual forum in which students share their work with their peers, with ARC administration and staff, and with invited guests, including community partners and university administrators.
Through this model, the ATP directly invests in one of Appalachia’s most precious resources: its future leaders. By promoting student engagement with Appalachian communities, fostering leadership development, and bringing students, faculty, and leaders together to share their ideas, this project directly supports ARC’s mission to “Innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.” Since the first ATP was held in November 2001, 29 colleges and universities from 12 Appalachian states and more than 2500 students have participated in the program.
The ATP is funded in part with ARC grant funds and in part with in-kind contributions made by each participating institution