The Program: A Commitment to Coös

March 17th, 2011 by Alice

Coös County is a special place: rich with natural resources and beautiful landscapes; boasting a history of sophisticated and diverse cultural offerings; and featuring a work force whose skills and traditions reflect the evolving regional narrative.  As the industries, employment opportunities, and demographic profiles shift, new challenges and opportunities arise.  During such circumstances, the presence and capacities of comprehensive university can be used in service to the needs and aspirations of communities and organizations to the benefit of the county.

Recognizing that rural colleges and universities are unique and enduring anchors in communities and regions experiencing tremendous change, the Center for Rural Partnerships (CfRP) at Plymouth State University (PSU) saw an opportunity to fulfill a portion PSU’s outreach commitment by creating a functional method by which Coös County communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals can gain access to the intellectual, educational, research, and facilitating capacities of the University.  This concept became the Coös County Outreach Initiative (CCOI), which cultivates partnerships between Coös communities, organizations, and individuals and Plymouth State University (PSU) faculty, staff, and students.

CCOI projects cover a wide range of categories, including economic development, cultural heritage, education, physical research, and public health.  The success of the program’s projects suggests that the Center’s deliberate posture of engagement–one in which the community partners and their expressed desires and priorities lead the project development and fulfillment–affirms two of our operating assumptions: approaching communities in a manner opposite to traditional university/community projects is a much more effective way of serving the surrounding region, and often the best ideas for problem-solving or enhancement exist within the minds and hearts of the resident population.  Indeed, sometimes, all that’s needed is a catalyst, faciliator, or partner.


On the pages of this website, you can read news and events, a more comprehensive description of the program’s history and direction, and details about specific projects.  If you have questions, or other feedback, please email us at:  Welcome!

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