Academic Innovation Conference

Engineering Innovation for the Future

academic_innovation_signsm.pngAcademic Innovation is not just a theme for the Appalachian State GEAR UP Partnership, it is the philosophy in which they guide their practice and relationships with stakeholders. Likewise, innovation comes in many forms and is cultivated through persistence, dedication, and open sharing of perspectives, stories, and vision. The building of these relationships is essential in the process and success of the federal grant outcomes.

The Academic Innovation Conference, held annually in the summer, brings together superintendents, district directors, teachers, counselors, coaches/specialists, and partners to collaborate and network with the shared vision of building effective and inclusive school environments that foster innovation and exploration for all students, families, and communities.


Save the Date

June 18th - 19th
Appalachian State University

Register FREE on the conference website!
2024 Conference Website 


Conference Benefits

  • Travel Reimbursement from your district coordinators*
  • Attendance Stipends*
  • Teachers are eligible to earn up to 2.5 CEU's*
  • Opportunities to win door prizes daily
  • Interactions with professional vendors and higher education partners
  • Engagement with innovative colleagues from across WNC
  • Time to talk and plan with your district coordinators
  • Space to discuss challenges and victories with innovation you have experienced

*Reimbursements, Stipends, and CEUs are relative to your district.


Academic Innovation Conference 2023
Exploring the Global Impact of Innovation Outside Our Own Walls

On June 12, 2023, ten cohort LEA districts, eleven third-party organizations, and cohort higher education partners sent over one hundred representatives to the Academic Innovation Conference (AIC) 2023 held in Asheville, NC. The ultimate outcome resulted in illuminating western NC's accomplishments of scholars and communities in academics through the lens of global innovative strategies, experiences, and cultures.