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University-Assisted Community Schools Network


With the increasing number of colleges and universities mobilizing their resources to develop university-assisted community schools (UACS) and innovative university-community partnerships, the Coalition for Community Schools and the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships have organized a University-Assisted Community Schools Network with the goal of connecting these leaders across the field to further strengthen the movement. The University-Assisted Community Schools Network launched in February of 2015, with participation from over 20 Universities facilitating University-Assisted Community Schools. The network hopes to work with a unique niche within the community schools field by working with a network distinctly devoted to UACS policy and practice.

Network Goals:

  • Exploring current models of university-assisted community schools.
  • Join faculty members, administrators, and practitioners to share best practices.
  • Identifying the varying definitions and stages of UACS work.
  • Placing UACS in the current policy and reform landscape, and fitting UACS work within current education and school reform initiatives. 

Consistent with these goals, the specific objectives of the Network are:

  • Defining the university's role as a lead partner, intermediary, or initiative leader.
  • Connecting academia to regular school day and after school programming, through both scholarship and research. 
  • Funding and sustainability. 
  • Identifying platforms to share resources and best practices. 
  • Exploring areas of collaboration among different UACS models and initiatives, including a consortium model for UACS implementation. 
  • Research and Evaluation. 
  • Management of undergraduate and graduate resources. 
Membership: The University-Assisted Community Schools Network includes over 30 leaders and more than 20 universities, including: Ball State University, Binghamton University, Columbia University, Drexel University, Florida International University, Goucher College, Higher Education Forum of Oklahoma, IUPUI, Lafayette College, Montclair State, Ohio State, PHENND, Rutgers-Camden, University of Central Florida, University of Connecticut-Storrs, University of Maryland School of Social Work, University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of New Mexico, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Toledo, and Widener University. The network hopes to convene higher education leaders – specifically involved in university-assisted community schools and university-community partnerships – to discuss and advance their work.  

Meetings: Conference calls are held once a month, generally on the second or third Monday. 

Interested in joining this Network: 
Contact Joann Weeks, Associate Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at or Denzel Cummings, Emerson National Policy Fellow at



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