The Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC) combines the expertise of researchers from institutions of higher education and community partners in the Lehigh Valley to examine various issues (e.g., political, economic, social, health and environmental) and solutions in a regional context. Through its efforts, the LVRC provides Lehigh Valley governments, businesses, community groups, and citizens with services that directly contribute to the overall quality of life in the region. The cross-institutional collaboration of the LVRC also provides an opportunity to enhance the quality of college classroom teaching by providing access to better data, more resources in the form of improved student research assistantships and faculty awards for local research projects, and by bringing together faculty members from Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges institutions with similar areas of specialty to focus on regional topics. LVIAC institutions include Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College and Muhlenberg College. Lehigh Carbon Community College and Northampton Community College are affilated members of LVAIC.