Lessons Learned From 30 Years of a University-Community Engagement Center

Christina J. Groark, Robert B. McCall


The University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development (OCD) has practiced university–community engagement activities for 30 years. This has included hundreds of specific projects conducted with community partners, all funded by outside grants. Based on our experience, we describe some lessons learned regarding the operation of a university–community engagement unit, the conduct of community-engaged scholarship, and some of the challenges that the engagement endeavor poses to traditional research universities. These themes are discussed in the hope that other engagement units can benefit from these experiences.


university–community engagement; collaborations and partnerships; research and practice projects; nonprofits; translational projects; implementation

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