The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently hosted eight Alfred State College students at the 18th annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) symposium.
Supported and organized by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, ATP is an applied-research training program for college and graduate students to design community-based economic development initiatives across the Appalachian Region as part of a school-based curriculum.
According to the ARC, 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 the goals outlined in ARC’s current Strategic Investment Plan. As a capstone to this work, student teams travel to Washington, DC, to formally present their research to other participating schools, community leaders, and ARC leadership.
The 2018 ATP symposium was held at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, VA, and featured 150 students representing 15 schools from 11 Appalachian states. The team from Alfred State included fourth-year students in Design Studio 5: Urban Studio.
The Alfred State students’ presentation centered on a project they undertook this semester involving a community visualization study of the village of Andover. The purpose of the study was to help residents and municipal officials envision potential strategies for preserving and revitalizing their existing business district. The research team was led by William Dean, a professor in Alfred State’s Department of Architecture and Design.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments, focusing on 420 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.
More than 2,250 students from 22 colleges and universities across Appalachia have participated in the ATP since the program began in 2001.