Approach

Developmental, Dynamic, and Systemic

University-Community Partnerships (UCP) adopts a developmental, dynamic, and systemic approach to partnerships. Over the years, UCP and community partners came to understand that the challenge of ascertaining tangible improvement to whole communities demands a level of community-university collaboration focused on the entire community, which can only be achieved through institutional relationships.

Systemic, dynamic and developmental partnerships are characterized by striving to understand the supportive factors for healthy development and the risk factors that hinder healthy development across all dimensions or systems. It is then imperative to look for interrelationships across systems and examine how each sector or organization's actions or influence changes the rest of the system. These partnerships are geared toward the long-term and seek to identify the slow, subtle, and often hard to detect changes that over time can have powerful implications.

Community-Based Participatory Research

UCP adheres to notions of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) which help create an environment that is conducive to systemic partnerships. CBPR, as practiced at UCP, refers to research and collaboration in which the community is integrally involved in the project and, most importantly, included in decision making. Our CBPR projects are driven by the community and facilitated by faculty. In this way, community capacity is developed and dialogue fostered that proves helpful in understanding community needs.

Also important to UCP is the sharing between the university and community in terms of research, goals, inquiry, and the building of trust and mutual agreement between both parties. In combination, these models and practices form the foundation upon which university-community partnerships are built at MSU's UCP.

Learn more about UCP:

About UCP | Approach |Staff