UNC Class Leads Asset Mapping Project in Local Refugee Community

Twelve students in a University of Northern Colorado honors class are working this semester with members of the local refugee community to identify resources that are available to help refugees' transitions into their newly adopted culture.

Three teams, each comprised of three or four students and two members of the refugee community, are canvassing neighborhoods in Greeley and Evans and researching organizations and other resources throughout the region that are part of the refugee community.

The teams are using a community asset mapping model developed at Northwestern University as an alternative to the more typical "deficit-based" community needs assessment.

In asset mapping, the community self-evaluates its available resources and assets - identifying institutions and individuals who play leadership roles and can be further developed - rather than identifying what's missing.

The class will present its results April 18 to community stakeholders.

UNC's Honors Program received grants through the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Colorado Campus Compact to support the design and implementation of the course and service learning project.

The course, Honors Connections II: Global Citizenship in your Backyard, is co-instructed by UNC Honors and Scholars Director Loree Crow and Sarah Wyscaver, an Honors program faculty member.

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