Under the guidance of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and the Academy for Research on Community Health, Engagement, and Services (ARCHES), UNC Charlotte has created an innovative platform for facilitating partnerships with organizations throughout the UCity Family Zone. The CommUnivesity prototype was tested from 2015-2018 at the Camino Community Center (Camino) located in University City two stops away from UNC Charlotte on the Blue Line Light Rail. Camino is a trusted resource providing comprehensive health and social services to over 20,000 low-income mostly Latinx immigrants annually. Building on the Camino experience, the CommUniversity provides a platform for combining the expertise and training needs of UNC Charlotte faculty and students with the programming and measurement needs of community organization
The Community Action Research Scholars (CARS) program provides UNC Charlotte undergraduate and graduate students with instructional training, community-engaged research, and service-learning experiences. Studentsreceive training in understanding the social determinants of health, community-based participatory research (CBPR), cultural diversity and humility, and community program evaluation. Partner organizations offer host sites for CARS students, who then provide service and conduct mentored program evaluations that contribute to building the capacity of the host organization.