Kendra Cotton is a Project Director with the Community-Campus Partnership Program.
On January 27, 2010, campus and community stakeholders came together to discuss the objectives of the Community-Campus Partnership (CCP). Approximately 20 local leaders from Caswell and Lenoir Counties came together with UNC faculty and staff to discuss the goals and intended impacts of the CCP project in an effort to ensure that the partnership’s assessment plan incorporates input from both community and campus stakeholders. This meeting marked the first time that both campus and community stakeholders met jointly to discuss the purpose of the partnership.
The number of community partners and range of projects and activities occurring in both Lenoir and Caswell Counties make it important for CCP to have a focused evaluation plan that not only considers the question “why are we entering this partnership?” but also systematically answers “if we achieve our goal, what has changed?”
The illustration below is a very simplified, cause-effect model that was used to guide the conversation and describe the CCP change process. It was effective in graphically communicating CCP’s role in the expected path toward positive change in Caswell and Lenoir Counties.
Ultimately, the group decided upon four broad goals for the partnership:
- Build community capacity (civic, economic, human, planning & social)
- Improve livability/viability of community
- Improve the capacity of a research university to partner effectively with economically distressed communities.
- Improve the coordination of community assistance efforts from UNC and other regional/state partners.