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Center for Community Research and Engagement

Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC)

Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) is designed to create and strengthen community-university partnerships throughout the Lowell community, with special emphasis on the Enterprise Community census tract areas. COPC’s Community Connections program seeks to help understand how University staff interacts with the local community and to find new, innovative ways to increase the University's contribution to the Merrimack Valley. To accomplish this, the Community Connections research group focused on eight signature areas.  The information will also end up in community archives and other places, and may be placed into a widely accessible clearinghouse.   Projects under COPC include:

COPC Advisory Board
The Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) Advisory Board brings together representatives of the community with those of UMass Lowell’s administration, faculty and staff . It is primarily composed of community representatives who serve in Lowell’s public and private non-profit service organizations, but also includes representatives from local businesses and labor organizations.   The long-term goal of the Board is to increase the number and quality of University-community partnerships and to help foster the University’s mission of addressing economic and social development in Lowell in partnership with community organizations and community members.

Community Connections Information Clearinghouse
The UMass Lowell Community Connections Clearinghouse ventures to make UMass Lowell’s resources more accessible to the greater Lowell community.  The site serves as a “gateway” through which its community groups and individuals can become aware of partnership opportunities with UMass Lowell students, staff and faculty.

After School Kids (ASK) After-School Program
The After School Kids program consists of homework clubs and computer drop-in centers for residents of Lowell's North Common Village and George Flanagan housing projects. UMass Lowell work-study and service learning students act as mentors and computer room monitors for elementary and middle school kids. The program is a partnership of Casey Family Services, Lowell Housing Authority, Boys and Girls Club and UMass Lowell's Center for Family, Work and Community.

Community Computer Center After-School Program
The ASK program engages inner-city youth in productive after-school activities such as “ScienceQuest” for the purpose of improving their literacy skills and their appreciation of the arts, sciences and technology, while at the same time having fun.  We help staff this project by the use of service learning and work-study college students who work alongside staff from the Lowell Housing Authority and Casey Family Services.

CITA Summer Research Project
Since 1997, the Committee on Industrial Theory and Assessment (CITA) has provided funds to students to involve them in an applied research project.  UML Graduate students, UML undergraduate students, and Lowell High School students are employed for the summer to work as a team.

University in the City Scholars
In April 2003, COPC solicited proposals from University Faculty to serve as a City Scholar for the upcoming fall semester. Community needs were identified through discussions with providers and a quick informal survey. Professor Diane Archibald, an English Department faculty member was selected. Diane has incorporated community writing projects into her course and will work with community agencies that are in need of writing resources.