ARC Hosts 21st Annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) Featuring Economic Development Research Conducted by Region’s College and University Students

150 Students from 15 Colleges and Universities in 10 Appalachian States to Participate in Online Symposium 

WASHINGTON, D.C.November 30, 2021—This week, from Tuesday, November 30 to Friday, December 3, 2021, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will host 150 students from 15 Appalachian based colleges and universities at the 21st annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) Conference.  

ATP is an applied-research academic program training college and graduate students to design community based economic development initiatives across the Appalachian Region. As part of ATP, students enroll in a for-credit course and conduct field research to identify and solve a community development issue during the fall semester. As a capstone to this work, students present their work to other student delegations from ATP participating institutions, ARC leadership, and community leaders in a formal peer-to-peer conference setting hosted by ARC. Normally, this conference is held in Washington, D.C. where students use the trip as an opportunity to meet with policy leaders and learn more about the city. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATP Symposium is being held online again this year. 

“Appalachia needs young leaders, like those participating in the Appalachian Teaching Project, to bring forward-thinking economic development plans to life,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “This group of change-makers is capable of creating positive impacts in our communities, and I am excited to see the lasting effects these innovative projects will have on the Region long-term.” 

Student delegations from the following schools participating in this year’s ATP will give presentations focusing on addressing community needs and challenges, economic development, tourism, and capacity building: 

Alfred State College, Alfred, New York 

Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 

Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 

East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee 

Fairmont State University, Fairmont, West Virginia 

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania 

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 

Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky 

Radford University, Radford, Virginia 

University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama 

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

University of Pittsburgh – Bradford, Bradford, Pennsylvania 

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 

Young Harris College, Young Harris, Georgia 

Since 2001, over 2,650 college and graduate students from across Appalachia have participated in the Appalachian Teaching Project. Many ATP alumnae have gone on to careers in public service, community development, and other related fields across the Region. Summaries of each research project are available at ATP is one of four academies and institutes sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Through these experiential learning opportunities, participants build networks, hone skills, and cultivate an enduring commitment to Appalachia’s future. 

Supported by ARC and organized by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), students receive college credit for participating in ATP, and schools participating in ATP offer a directed seminar guiding students in developing and executing field-based research projects specific to the needs of their surrounding communities and in alignment with ARC’s investment priorities

About the Appalachian Regional Commission 
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.