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Appalachian Teaching Project Impact

Appalachian Teaching Project

ATP Student
The Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) gives college students the opportunity to engage in research and community-centered projects to address challenges facing Appalachian communities. Led by the Consortium of Appalachian Centers and Institutes, and funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, (ARC), the program involves active student research and participation with community partners in issues related to building a sustainable future for Appalachian communities.   Faculty, students, and community partners develop projects tailored to the needs of targeted communities, many of which are in economically distressed counties.  Students from throughout the member institutions come together to present their reports once a year in Washington, DC.
This interdisciplinary program teaches real-world leadership skills, taking students out of the classroom and into their communities. The research conducted helps guide communities toward local solutions that help solve significant problems in a sustainable way. The research presentations also challenge the ARC to take a fresh look at issues and solutions in the Appalachian region.  Since the program’s inception in 2001, projects have addressed such issues as heritage tourism, preserving Appalachian agricultural heritage, local leadership development, regional history, promoting community assets, community health initiatives, environmental issues, and building community through the arts.
ATP student poses with new signage
a group of ATP students wearing red shirts posing for a photo
Recent Fairmont State University projects have allowed students to partner with local institutions and organizations such as the Marion County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marion County Parks and Recreation, and the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery Board of Trustees. Students have engaged in research and oral history collection. The projects have culminated in signage for the Marion County Rail Trail as well as audio and video stories about local history that were posted on social media.