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Weber State University
Project Title:Youth Impact Partnership Project (YIPP) Institution Name:Weber State University Innovation Category:Research and Regional Stewardship Project Director:Brenda M. Kowalewski, DirectorContact Information:(801) 626-7737, bkowalewski@weber.eduWebsite:http://www.weber.edu/CommunityInvolvement/Supplemental_Pages/Youth_Impact_Partnership_Project.html
Project Description:The Youth Impact Partnership Project (YIPP) is a collaborative community-based learning project between the Youth Impact program, a youth development program located in inner-city Ogden, UT, and multiple Weber State University (WSU) entities - faculty members and students from various academic programs, the Education Access and Outreach office, and the Community Involvement Center.  This reciprocal partnership has a positive impact on inner-city youth attending the Youth Impact program and Weber State University students.  There are four central elements to YIPP: a) WSU students serving as mentors/tutors; b) WSU students teaching social skills classes; c) WSU students developing and facilitating clubs and activities; and d) WSU students conducting program evaluation research with and for the program to inform program changes. 
Objectives:
  1. Conduct research with and evaluate the program’s impact on its participants in four outcome areas: academic performance, social skills, emotional well-being, and behavioral problems. Use the findings of the research to help staff implement changes to strengthen the program.
  2. Mentor and tutor at-risk youth through extra-curricular clubs, study hall, arts and crafts, gardening, games, sports, social and behavioral skills classes, health and nutrition etc.                                                               
  3. Enhance the learning experiences of WSU students both in and out of the classroom in an effort to develop more civically-minded graduates and professionals.
Outcomes:
  1. Averages of 200 WSU students volunteer each year in some aspect of YIPP.
  2. 13 research projects have been conducted for the program by WSU students and faculty. These findings have been used to make decisions regarding programming and to help Youth Impact secure funding for the program from Ogden City and other granting agencies.
  3. Numerous Youth Impact participants have enrolled at WSU after graduating from high school.                               
  4. Programming options have increased and diversified for participants at Youth Impact.                                                            
  5. Weber State MBA alumni have made financial contributions to Youth Impact for the last two years totaling $20,000.
Evaluation Approach:Weber has conducted a 20-year longitudinal study to identify strengths and weaknesses in the youth development program that also serves as a way of measuring some of the outcomes of YIPP.  WSU students in a research methods course conduct the needed research with the guidance of WSU faculty.  Research findings are used to inform changes in the program and secure funding via grants.
Potential for Replication:A university or college could replicate such a partnership project with any organization in their community that has an interest in building a deep and sustainable partnership with the university/college.  The community organization has to be seeking or open to university/college assistance in developing their program through multiple means, one of which is research with and for the organization.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Charles A. Wight , Presidentcwight@weber.edu
(801) 626-6001
Date Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011