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Center for Collaboration and the Urban Child


The Center for Collaboration and the Urban Child (CCUC) has as its mission the creation and support of innovative programs and policies to improve the health, educational attainment, and socio-economic well-being of New Jersey’s urban children and their families. CCUC seeks to accomplish this through collaboration with families, community-based organizations, local governments, public schools, and other local institutions. CCUC does original research, conducts program evaluation, and provides technical assistance to groups seeking to improve the lives and futures of low income, urban children.


The Center for Collaboration and the Urban Child (CCUC) is an outgrowth of the Newark Schools Research Collaborative (NSRC), which was established in 2009 as a collaboration between the Newark Public Schools and Rutgers University-Newark. Since 2009, NSRC personnel have engaged educational research in Newark, Elizabeth, Camden, Trenton and Yonkers. In 2014, we renamed ourselves the Rutgers University Newark Education Research Collaborative (RUNERC) as a reflection of the expansion of our focus beyond Newark. Today, we are increasingly involved in a range of activities related to child health and socioeconomic wellbeing, hence the new name: Center for Collaboration and the Urban Child (CCUC). 


CCUC draws upon the interdisciplinary expertise of social scientists, program evaluators, educators and public health professionals to sponsor and support initiatives to improve the well-being of urban children. CCUC is involved in research activities related to needs assessments and program evaluations.  CCUC is active in furthering the goals of the Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood initiative, and also collaborates with the Elizabeth Public Schools to assess their ongoing educational innovations and reform efforts. We also work with the H.E.A.L. Collaborative (Rutgers Health, Education, Advocacy & Law Collaborative ) and the United Way ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Project on initiatives related to the health and wellbeing of children and their families.

Recent Reports
Contact Information

Jeffrey R. Backstrand, PhD

Alan R. Sadovnik, PhD
Associate Director