United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County (UWABC)/University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) logo

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and University of North Carolina Asheville Community Schools

Asheville and Buncombe County Community Schools and the aligned youth development network are a partnership between Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, UWABC, UNCA and more than 50 health, social service, and youth services partners. With UWABC as the backbone, this partnership supports five community schools with strategic expansion plans underway. UNCA provides integral leadership and support. Examples include: Discover UNCA afterschool program, education classes held on-site at a community school, faculty serving on cross-sector working groups, federal work-study students supporting data and evaluation efforts, participation in college and career events, service-learning classes, and student government support for community schools.

Research and Evaluation

We use the Results-Based Accountability framework to align program-level work with shared progress on community-wide indicators. This allows us to systematically work towards a community goal of 95% of students graduating reading for college/career and community. The Early Warning and Response System automatically pulls attendance, behavior, and course grades data so that teams of teachers, counselors, and social workers – and with parental consent, out-of-school-time providers –  can immediately identify students who are slipping off track, identify the underlying causes of why a student is off track, put in place targeted within-school or beyond-school interventions, and track progress.

Partnership Highlights

At Asheville Middle School (AMS), students identified the need for a student government, and UNCA’s student government was key in designing an equity-focused process. Alongside AMS students and staff, university students helped to design the structure, gave candidates campaigning tips, attended candidate interviews, got candidates excited for election week and supported the elected members on an ongoing basis to help them run a smooth and effective student government. Launching this at AMS helps to increase student voice and leadership on matters that are important to students. UNCA students were able to be the guides and mentors throughout the whole process. 

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