The Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) was founded in 1938 as the University Center in Georgia. Today, ARCHE is a council of 20 public and private institutions of higher learning in the greater Atlanta region.
Founding members of the organization were Agnes Scott College, the Atlanta College of Art, Columbia Theological Center, Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. They formed the University Center in Georgia to share resources, avoid duplication, and facilitate collegiality among faculty.
In 1998, the organization embarked on a change in focus with a new name, the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education, and a new leader, Michael Gerber ARCHE changed the name from "Consortium" to "Council" in 2005.
Building on the traditions of the preceding six decades, ARCHE's board of member-institution presidents adopted a blueprint for change that expanded the organization's mission and revitalized activities to serve the membership. In the past decade, ARCHE has launched an external communications agenda to strengthen public support for higher education. It collects data and information about the collective enterprise of higher ed and works to help opinion leaders recognize and leverage the size, scope, impact and value of the colleges and universities in the region.
ARCHE brings its members together to collaborate in many ways. Hundreds of students each year register for courses on other member campuses via ARCHE's cross registration program, which offers students the opportunity for expand their horizons in other fields of study or campus settings.
ARCHE's interlibrary sharing program allows members to share to the collective resources of all member libraries. ARCHE provides a van that transports library exchange items to campuses every business day on a priority status. In addition, students and faculty at ARCHE institutions may visit libraries at other members to gain immediate access to materials that do not circulate.
ARCHE also operates a cooperative purchasing program to leverage the market size of its members to offer discount pricing on a wide variety of goods and services. This helps members focus resources and dollars on their educational missions.
In 2011, ARCHE launched a new sustainability initiative to foster increased collaboration among its members around this topic, share best practices, and engage students.
The Council has a full-time staff of one and is located in downtown Atlanta.
A History of Higher Education in the Atlanta Region (links offsite)