ECU partners with Duke, NCCU to assist public schools in North Carolina

A partnership between East Carolina University, Duke University and North Carolina Central University to provide resources to local schools launches Wednesday.

The three universities were selected by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania to serve as the sixth regional technical training center, the Southeast Regional Coalition for University Assisted Community Schools (SRCUACS). This is the first regional center that is anchored by more than one university.

In the university assisted community schools (UACS) model, universities serve as the lead partner in providing support for public schools that offer services and support to fit each neighborhood’s needs. UACS operate on four pillars: engaged communities and families, collaborative leadership, enriched and extended learning experiences and integrated student health supports.

“We can’t begin to prepare public school students to be active learners if we don’t ensure they have their basic human rights met. To meet their basic human rights, we need to think about the university’s resources inside and outside schools of education,” said Alec Greenwald, associate director for strategic and special initiatives to the dean of academic affairs at Duke and a SRCUACS team member.

The Rural Education Institute (REI) at ECU has created a UACS at P.W. Moore Elementary in Elizabeth City.

“At P.W. Moore, our primary focus this first year of the grant is to increase parent and community participation in the school while also addressing sustainability,” said Dr. Amy Swain, teaching assistant professor at ECU and SRCUACS team member. “We have established partnerships with local civic groups, municipal government agencies, the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools’ district administration, Sentara Healthcare, and more than 50 local businesses.”

The partnership with Duke and NCCU will build on work already started by the three universities and will seek to educate other universities on the UACS model.

For more information on ECU’s role, contact Dr. Amy Swain at


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