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Clark collaborates with a variety of partners who, like us, believe that engaged scholarship paired with effective practice can create positive, lasting change.

Our fruitful partnerships have helped Clark earn a national reputation for transformational work in urban education. With community partners, we have taken effective steps to reduce youth violence, promote improved public health, and conduct essential research into economic growth and well-being in midsize cities. Alliances are at the heart of these endeavors and provide opportunities to blend scholarship with practice as we expand the impact of our research with the community.

University Park Partnership

Clark University has been a national leader in the development of successful university and community partnerships since 1985. Alongside the Main South Community Development Corporation, residents, local businesses, the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, and faith-based intuitions, we have revitalized the neighborhood surrounding Clark and helped establish the city as a place in which young professionals want to live and work.

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Clark Innovation School Initiative

Working with Clark’s Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice and Hiatt Center for Urban Education, four nearby partner schools have qualified as “Innovation Schools.” Made possible by a recent Massachusetts law, this designation allows these schools to act with greater autonomy to establish new structures and practices that will increase student achievement, with support from Clark.

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Academic Health Collaborative of Worcester

Clark and the city of Worcester have collaborated to create the Academic Health Collaborative of Worcester. This partnership pairs students and faculty members with public health professionals to improve health outcomes in lower-income neighborhoods — for example, by conducting critical analyses of the commercial sex industry or examining patterns of opioid-related overdoses.

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Working Cities Challenge

Clark University is the research partner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on the bank’s Working Cities Challenge, which advances collaborative leadership in Massachusetts cities and supports work to improve the lives of low-income people in these urban areas.

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Clark Science-Math Teaching and Education Partnership

In 2013, the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice, along with the departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to recruit, prepare, and sustain teachers in the sciences and mathematics, with a focus on preparing them to teach in high-need schools.

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Shannon Community Safety Initiative and Worcester ACTs

Clark researchers have partnered with the city of Worcester, Worcester Police Department, and Worcester Community Action Council to research and evaluate gang violence prevention and develop an intervention known as Worcester ACTs (Addresses Childhood Trauma). Generous funding from the Senator Charles E. Shannon Community Safety Initiative supports this groundbreaking work, which serves as a national model for other cities to consider.

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Mandaean Community Temple

Worcester is home to a 2,500-person Mandaean community, a culture with fewer than 60,000 members worldwide — and that number continues to decrease. Clark University is working with Mandaean community leaders to create a nonprofit organization to fund the construction of a temple that would help preserve their way of life.

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Community and Global Health Program

In 2017, Clark launched the Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Master of Health Science in Community and Global Health program, which requires that students not only gain a deep knowledge of community health issues, but also work hand-in-hand with stakeholders through partnerships with faculty members, students, community organizations, and affected populations.

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Healthy Cities

As part of a First-Year Intensive course called “Healthy Cities,” Clark undergraduates partnered with the Worcester Division of Public Health and Worcester Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation to analyze opioid abuse and sexual exploitation in the city, and developed proposals to combat these issues.

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Family Impact Seminar

Clark University’s Mosakowski Institute for Policy Enterprise has hosted the annual Massachusetts Family Impact Seminars at the Massachusetts State House since 2010. The 2018 event focused on research and policy approaches related to youth trauma, and engaged a broad swath of legislators, community members, staff members, and students.

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Pleasant Street Neighborhood Analysis

Clark offers studio courses through its International Development, Community, and Environment Department that allow students to work with Worcester Common Ground CDC on this multiyear project, which is focused on civic investment and neighborhood development. In 2018, students analyzed neighborhood housing and proposed new affordable housing projects on several sites in the Pleasant Street area. The studio further engaged state and local officials in lectures and review sessions.

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Worcester Community Development Corporation (CDC) Initiative

Clark faculty members collaborated with the Mass Housing Partnership and Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation to plan a series of workshops targeted to Worcester CDCs. These sessions covered topics such as financial management and board development with the goal of improving performance, building confidence, and inspiring continued public investment in affordable housing projects.

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Refugee Housing Internships and Research

In collaboration with Ascentria Care Alliance and the City of Worcester, this project aims to identify barriers to housing stability for refugees, determine the causes for these barriers, and develop recommendations for policy changes to address them. Clark students have taken the lead in developing a methodology, coordinating with Ascentria, and collecting and analyzing data.

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Our Stories

Stakeholders laud students' tree research

HERO Fellows contribute 'valuable work' to state initiative

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Fluid research with definite impact

Researchers publish findings of community's drinking-water sources

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From Clark campus to the State House

Clark students make an impact during state public health seminar

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