The College of Health & Human Services
The College of Health & Human Services (CHHS) is a premier teaching institution at Long Beach State University, boasting 11 distinct departments and schools that offer 13 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs. Under the leadership of Dean Monica Lounsbery, CHHS works with community partners and faculty to build the infrastructure needed to promote interdisciplinary education and pioneering research that can tackle pressing problems within our community.
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Through our partnerships, the college brings together faculty and valuable community members to improve health disparities, reduce the prevalence of homelessness, meet the needs of older adults and improve clinical service and prevention practices in our surrounding communities.
With over 1760 community partner affiliation agreements, CHHS faculty and students have a substantial and systemic footprint in our community. These agreements are initiated at the individual faculty and program levels within schools and departments and therefore, span many areas of focus and functions and are largely aimed at providing students with experiential and transformational education. In many instances, different faculty and programs have affiliation with the same community partner, yet multi-disciplinary student experiences and sustained focused research and scholarly activities have not been realized. Additionally, the direction of the California State University system and our University campus signals a need to foster interdisciplinary education and research and the expansion of new and existing community partnerships.
Hence, during the 2016-2017 academic year, CHHS began exploring ways in which faculty may have an interest in working more closely together with our community partners to better optimize talent, time, and resources and to realize the greater impact on our students and the communities we serve. We began this work by conceptualizing an event in which our primary purpose would be to provide the very large and very diverse CHHS faculty an opportunity to convene and intellectually engage with one another and with our community partners to have a common experience – all as a prelude to strategic planning.
The intellectual engagement with one another and with our community partners took on the form of a roundtable discussion event – Optimizing Collective Impact: Innovations in University and Community Partnerships. To ensure the event was well planned and resulted in meaningful outcomes for everyone, we assembled a planning team comprised of leaders from the College and from our community.