A Foundation of Strengths. A Vision of Justice. A Mission of Change.

The Center for Community Engagement and Collaboration (CCEC) will work collaboratively with stakeholders across systems to pursue collaborative projects and invest in organizational capacity, with an aim of promoting social, economic, and environmental justice. The Center will partner with the community to transform practice and policy through evaluation, training and technical assistance, and professional development. The School already has multiple projects that fit within the scope of CCEC and has recently fielded several new requests for this type of work. As such, we believe that this Center has the potential to institutionalize quickly and to begin promptly to make significant contributions to the community, the regional social work field, and the School. 

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AGENCY

CAPACITY-BUILDING &

COMMUNITY EVALUATION

DIVISION

Associate Director: Melinda Lewis (mlewis@ku.edu)

The agency capacity-building and community evaluation division of the Center will focus on supporting social service agencies’ needs for capacity-building and collaborative evaluation, as well as on the broader community’s interests in evaluation and strategic partnerships. In addition to direct contracts with government and nonprofit agencies, this work may also include partnerships with local and regional foundations, which have identified needs in their grantees around evaluation, training, and strategic planning. Projects undertaken within this division’s scope of work may include training and convening around critical or emerging social issues, evaluation of community interventions, assessment of community strengths and needs, allying with other university departments to insert social work perspectives and priorities into community-based research or leadership efforts, and/or augmenting agencies’ internal evaluation capacities with technical assistance from the KUSSW. Also potentially falling under this division is the reigniting of prior arrangements through which the KUSSW offered trainings for entities such as the Kansas Association for Community Mental Health Centers, the Department of Children and Families, and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. Central to the division’s approach is a commitment to participatory and empowering alliances, accountability and transparency in process and dissemination, intentional orientation to transformative practice, and rooting in the KUSSW’s values.

Projects:

Stakeholder Perception Study for the Kauffman Foundation: CCEC is conducting telephone interviews with grantees of the Kauffman Foundation to assess their perceptions of the Foundation’s understanding of grantees’ perspectives and needs and conducting at least one focus group to engage in iterative analysis, which will inform the final report and recommendations to the Foundation.

PROFESSIONAL

EDUCATIONAL DIVISION

Associate Director: Robin Nelson (nelsonr@ku.edu)

The professional education division of the Center will focus on the professional development and education needs of social workers and other human service sector professionals in the community. This Center would revive our professional continuing education offerings but will also explore new, innovative methods of professional education appropriate for the fast paced, technology driven, resource sparse environment of the human service sector.  Additionally, this division will develop alterative educational opportunities for professionals such as non-degree seeking certificates and skill or knowledge badges. This division will also work closely with community professionals and agencies to identify and develop more specialized education and workforce development trainings or courses needed by the community workforce (e.g. job readiness, medical social work). The division will be responsive to the educational needs of our local communities and the broader field while being rooted in the mission and values of the KUSSW.

CCEC LEADERSHIP

Amy Mendenhall, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research, CCEC Director

Amy Mendenhall

Scholarship Focus
Children’s mental health including serious mental illness, service utilization, parent and child education and the impact of mental illness on children and their families.

 Grand Challenge
Achieve equal opportunity and justice. Close the health gap. Ensure health development for all youth.

Melinda Lewis, Associate Professor of the Practice, CCEC Associate Director

Melinda Lewis

Scholarship Focus
Poverty & economic inequality, asset-based financial aid, strategies for effective nonprofit policy advocacy, social change, advocacy evaluation & capacity-building for individuals & social service organizations.

 Grand Challenge
Achieve equal opportunity & justice. Reduce extreme economic inequality. Ensure healthy development for all youth. Build financial capability & assets for all.

Robin Nelson, CCEC Associate Director

Robin Nelson

Continuing Education Focus
The professional education division of the Center will focus on the professional development and education needs of social workers and other human service sector professionals in the community. This Center would revive our professional continuing education offerings but will also explore new, innovative methods of professional education appropriate for the fast paced, technology driven, resource sparse environment of the human service sector. Additionally, this division will develop alterative educational opportunities for professionals such as non-degree seeking certificates and skill or knowledge badges.


Contact Us
Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration
ccec@ku.edu
 
Amy Mendenhall
CCEC Director
amendenhall@ku.edu 
785-864-4792
 
Melinda Lewis
CCEC Associate Director
mlewis@ku.edu 
785-864-1047
 
Robin Nelson
CCEC Associate Director
nelsonr@ku.edu 
785-864-5975

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