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Our Work

Partnering as Economic Engines for Success

APLU and its members are working with communities, businesses, government, and others to ensure public institutions serve as regional and national economic engines.

Photo Courtesy of North Carolina State University

Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities

The IEP designation program helps universities better know, measure, tell, and enhance their economic and community development impact while recognizing institutions with a commitment to and strategy for regional economic engagement, growth, and economic opportunity. 

Photo Courtesy of University of California Riverside

Integrating Industry Certifications with Degrees

Nearly 11.2 million adults whose highest degree is a high school diploma also hold a professional certification or license. APLU and USU are examining how these credentials can also achieve better educational outcomes for graduates of four-year universities. 

Economic Engagement Framework

Economic Engagement Framework

APLU developed this framework to help universities focus their efforts on telling their economic engagement story. The framework is the foundation of a number of APLU projects and programs in economic and community engagement.

Rural scene

Rural Engagement for Resilient Communities

APLU members are working with rural communities across North America to improve educational options, economic vitality, and quality of life. This includes efforts to close the digital divide; build capacity for rural community and economic development; engage rural students; and connect Cooperative Extension to rural communities.

University of Mississippi Manufacturing Center

Advancing Manufacturing Innovation Through the MEP Network

Manufacturing Externship Partnership (MEP) Centers are federally supported hubs for manufacturers. APLU is helping MEP Centers advance their work to help identify and meet manufacturing needs so they have research and services they need to innovate and grow.

Photo Courtesy of University of Rhode Island

Technology Transfer Evolution Working Group

APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement’s Technology Transfer Evolution Working Group explored the ways research universities are integrating the efforts of universities’ technology management offices into the broader engagement activities of institutions.

Photo Courtesy of UMBC

Public Impact Research

Public Impact Research (PIR) is any research benefitting the public, including everything from developing new medications to understanding environmental challenges to examining disparities in education access and economic development.

Magrath Awards Photo

C. Peter Magrath & W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Awards

Since 2006, the APLU C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award has provided national recognition for the outstanding community-university engagement work of public universities.