The Monsignor John J. Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships (UECP) plays a central role in advancing DePaul faculty and student engagement with public agencies, nonprofits, and community-based organizations and schools.
Through innovative scholarship, technical assistance and educational partnerships, UECP addresses critical social issues in Chicago. The Office directly builds on the prior work of the Egan Urban Center and the life's work of Monsignor Egan who dedicated himself to social and racial justice in Chicago.
Central to UECP's approach is building on individual and community strengths through developing authentic, long-term partnerships. The Office draws on Asset-based Community Development (ABCD) methodology as its central approach to fostering the the capacity of Chicago residents to engage in neighborhood transformation and problem solving.
Innovative Community Engagement Tools
As an epicenter of innovative program and project development at the Steans Center, UECP seeks to further Monsignor Egan's work for social justice and strengthen DePaul's educational connections to the City of Chicago and surrounding municipalities. UECP strategically focuses on primary and secondary schools (public and private), adult and continuing education, community engagement training with public and nonprofit agencies, veterans education, vocational and post-incarceration projects, violence prevention projects, projects supporting early intervention, special education, and people with disabilities, and parent education projects.
Through grant-funded technical assistance, research, and training projects and various school partnerships, UECP deepens DePaul's engagement in Chicago communities.
Technical Assistance, Research and Training
UECP collaborates with public and nonprofit agencies on technical assistance, training, and research projects that draw on the expertise of DePaul faculty across ten colleges and schools. Drawing on participatory and asset-based approaches to community and school development, UECP staff work with community partners from project development and design phases through project reporting and evaluation. Projects that result in program implementation benefit directly from follow-up support by some of the thousands of DePaul students who participate in academic service-learning (ASL) courses each year.
Catholic Schools Partnerships (CSP)
UECP partners with Big Shoulder Fund to support Catholic schools that serve students from low-income Chicago households. The core of the partnerships are paid DePaul student tutor/mentors and interns that serve the educational needs of Catholic school partners. These tutors and interns are trained to recognize the potential to introduce new resources to the school in support of student learning. The DePaul students, in turn, enroll in the Community Service Studies course Catholic Social Teaching Reflection where they learn broader theoretical and conceptual understandings related to their work in the schools. In turn, the tutor/mentors provide opportunities to work on deeper partnerships with the schools, including providing additional support from students from ASL courses.
Public School Partnerships (PSP)
PSP draws on DePaul's wealth of educational resources to provide support of targeted Chicago Public Schools. As with CSP, the core of these partnerships are DePaul tutor/mentors who receive scholarship funding to work in schools to enhance student learning and to support and build community-school partnerships. PSP tutor/mentors are trained in asset-based approaches to community development and to identify ways in which DePaul and other organizations can support school and student success.
Early Education Partnerships (EEP) - Jumpstart
A national AmeriCorps program, Jumpstart trains DePaul students to deliver an innovative early education program via yearlong one-on-one relationships with preschool children from low-income households. Participants work with children on language, literacy, and social and initiative skills for a commitment of at least 300 hours during the academic year.