It started with a simple question: “How does the University of Georgia improve our capacity to respond to Georgia’s community and economic development needs?”
The answer that emerged is what we now know as the Archway Partnership, a unit of Public Service and Outreach created to enhance the University of Georgia’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, and service while addressing self-identified community issues in geographically dispersed locations across the State of Georgia.
Founded on the principles of collaboration and knowledge-based decision-making, the Archway Partnership empowers communities to address long-standing and critical self-identified community and economic development needs. Our Archway Partnership communities have addressed issues related to economic development, education, workforce development, leadership, health and welfare, overall quality of life, and more.
In each of our active communities, an Archway Professional works closely with an Executive Committee of local leaders to set priorities around complex locally identified needs and issues. As priorities are identified, the Archway Partnership connects the communities with appropriate University of Georgia and other higher education resources.
The Archway Partnership embodies the University of Georgia’s three-part mission by serving communities across the State of Georgia, supporting critical faculty research, and enhancing student instruction through real-world learning opportunities.
The Archway Partnership began in 2005 as a two-year pilot project in southwest Georgia’s Moultrie, Colquitt County, to assist that community in solving issues related to rapid growth. During that pilot phase, Archway Partnership tackled issues such as land-use planning, workforce housing, and the needs of a growing Latino population.
Since 2005, the Archway Partnership has served 12 Georgia communities.
The key to the success of the Archway Partnership is the direct link that it provides for faculty and students to be active in addressing serious issues in communities across the state. Collaborative projects have utilized resources from each of the eight diverse University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach units, including the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, and Small Business Development Center, and faculty and students from all 17 University of Georgia Colleges and Schools. Archway Partnership has also connected communities with 14 of the 31 University System of Georgia institutions, 11 of the 24 technical colleges, and four private universities. Since 2005, over 900 students, nearly 200 faculty members, and hundreds of community leaders have participated in projects in Archway Partnership communities.