Morrill Act of 1862 created America’s unique system of land-grant colleges and
universities. Land-grants are national leaders in research productivity and
undergraduate and graduate education, and also serve as engines of growth for
state economies. For the past 150 years, these institutions have undertaken a
critical role in expanding access to higher education for traditionally
underserved populations. In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act attached the Cooperative
Extension Service to land-grant colleges and universities as a permanent arm of
outreach to rural and underserved communities. The land-grant complex is a
distinctive higher education model that has been studied and imitated across
the globe, as leaders strive to leverage the teaching, research, and service/engagement
missions to address critical issues like food security, poverty, rural
community development, health, environmental degradation, economic development,
technology and innovation, and educational access and equity.
The Center for the Future of Land-Grant Education (“The Land-Grant Center”) will be officially launched in 2017, and will be the only higher education research center in the country focused exclusively on land-grant institutions, policies, access and success, leadership, and engagement. To produce high-quality scholarship and influence higher education policy, the faculty affiliates of The Land-Grant Center will partner with researchers from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), the Rural Trust, the University Engagement Consortia, the National Rural Education Association, and higher education scholars from across the country.
The goal of The Land-Grant Center is to be a national leader in the advancement of knowledge within the following areas:
Land-Grant and Public Higher Education Policy and
Student Access, Retention, and Success
Higher Education Engagement, Community Outreach, and
- Land-Grant Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness
The Land-Grant Center is affiliated
with three graduate education programs at West Virginia University aimed at
creating future leaders and scholars of higher education that have a unique
understanding of public higher education issues and the land-grant
institutional context. These include the Master of Arts in Higher Education,
the Doctorate of Education in Higher Education, and the Doctorate of Philosophyin Education with a specialization in Higher Education.
The Land-Grant Center will be located in 501 Allen Hall on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.