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Appalachian creates online directory of community outreach programs and activities

Communitylogo_t.jpgBOONE—Appalachian State University has unveiled a Web site designed to help members of the region learn about the various educational, economic development, cultural and community service outreach programs available to them.

Appalachian has more than 80 programs, centers, institutes and initiatives that engage in community outreach and partnership activities.

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The searchable Web site,, evolved from and replaces the Directory of Community Service, Cultural and Educational Outreach and Economic Development published in late 2007 by the Office of the Chancellor.

“This Web site, designed specifically with the regional community in mind, is an invaluable resource for those seeking information about university services and programs that support economic development and outreach related to education, cultural activities and health services,” said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock.

“Todd Mortensen came up with the idea of a community engagement Web site after looking at ways other universities communicate with their communities,” said David Haney, vice provost for undergraduate education. “This idea is very much in keeping with Appalachian’s long-term commitment to serving the local and regional communities.”

Mortensen is associate director of community partnerships within the university’s volunteer clearinghouse Appalachian & the Community Together (ACT).

“The community engagement Web site offers both a window into learning more about university resources and a door by which to access them,” Mortensen said. “Engaging with the community is equally valuable to the university. Our students, staff and faculty, and our teaching and research are enlivened when we partner in mutually beneficial ways. We encourage everyone to visit the site, see what we have to offer, utilize the resources available, and let us know how we can serve and partner with you better.”

The online directory lists business and economic development outreach, such as the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the Appalachian Enterprise Center. Other categories are community-based research; museums, performances and speakers; workshops, classes and camps; and volunteers and interns.

Included within those listings are:

  • The Office of International Education and Development outreach programs, which serve as campus and community resources on global education and connect Appalachian students who have studied or lived abroad with area K-12 schools
  • The Public School Partnership, which promotes collaboration among area public schools and between schools and Appalachian
  • The university’s sustainable development outreach, which includes a teaching and research farm that works with area farmers to develop crop alternatives to tobacco as well as other agro-ecology focused programs
  • A calendar of events that highlights the university’s arts and culture outreach and other events open to the public
  • Workshops, classes and camps for youth and adults

Appalachian has long been a leader in providing community outreach and support in the region and state. In late 2008, the university received the “community engagement” classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. To date, more than 100 colleges or universities have received the designation recognizing that they have internalized and sustained their commitment to collaborate with communities through teaching, research and outreach.

“This Web site is an appropriate complement to our recent Carnegie Community Engagement classification and will help us respond to the increasing complexity and rate of public requests, especially during these difficult economic times,” said Stan Aeschleman, Appalachian’s provost and executive vice chancellor.

For more information about this new resource, visit or contact Mortensen at 828-262-3032.