University of Pennsylvania - Netter Center

About University of Pennsylvania - Netter Center

Founded in 1992, the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships is Penn’s primary vehicle for bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve the complex, comprehensive, and interconnected problems of the American city so that West Philadelphia (Penn’s local geographic community), Philadelphia, the University itself, and society benefit. The Netter Center is based on three core propositions:
- Penn’s future and the future of West Philadelphia/Philadelphia are intertwined.
- Penn can make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life in West Philadelphia/Philadelphia.
- Penn can enhance its overall mission of advancing and transmitting knowledge by helping to improve the quality of life in West Philadelphia/Philadelphia.

Three key strategies underpin our work. The first is academically based community service (ABCS), service rooted in and intrinsically connected to research, teaching, and learning. The second is university-assisted community schools (UACS), which educate, engage, empower, and serve not only students, but also all other members of the community, providing an organizing framework for bringing our programs, including ABCS courses, to West Philadelphia schools. Third, we view ABCS and UACS as core to a comprehensive anchor institution strategy in which universities engage in sustained, mutually beneficial partnerships with their communities. These strategies are shared with others across the country and around the world, serving as a model for democratic university-community engagement.


UACS Support Staff

June 2019 - July 2019 Philadelphia, PA
“I really loved interacting directly with the kids. I spent half my day as a teacher's assistant for a class of about 15 1st graders. It was chaotic and exhausting but incredibly rewarding. I was given a new level of responsibility and independence that I had not experienced before and it was so helpful to learn through direct experience. The second half of my day was assisting with the cheer and dance group of 6-8th graders. I was really heartwarming to see how important these creative and fun outlets are. ”


June 2017 - August 2017 Philadelphia, PA
“It was a great way to connect with kids”
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