The role of partnerships in delivering a children's university program: a case study of the McMaster Children and Youth University
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The McMaster Children and Youth University (MCYU) was founded with a vision to develop family-based educational engagement through community partnerships. The cornerstone of the program is the MCYU’s credo, Question Discover Create. Question your environment, Discover your potential and Create a brighter future. The MCYU has developed partnerships with community organizations, University organizations, parents and the youth to facilitate its two primary outreach efforts. The first arm of the program, the on-campus lecture series, has reached more than 6000 young people and their family members over the last 7 years. This component of the program allows attendees to engage with the University faculty through family friendly lectures and provides an opportunity to pose Questions. The MCYU also provides inquiry-based workshops in public schools, libraries and community centers which are facilitated by multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from the McMaster University. These workshops allow the youth to experience the feeling of Discovering new knowledge and Creating solutions. In the 2017–2018 academic year the MCYU workshops connected with 964 unique individuals through 101 workshops. Many of those young people attended several workshops demonstrating the MCYU’s success at sustainable educational engagement. Taken together, the MCYU’s mission is to foster more engaged citizenship in our youth.
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