The Rural Communities Institute
The Rural Communities Institute seeks improvement in the quality of life in small towns and rural communities through program development, research, continuing education and technical assistance to human service providers.
To seek improvement in the quality of life in small towns and rural communities through program development, research and outcome assessment for planning and evaluating, professional continuing education programs, and technical assistance to human service providers.
To enhance the quality of human services and social work services delivery provided in rural communities, with special attention to southwestern Pennsylvania. The institute is a vehicle for enhancing collaborative partnerships between social work academic and practice communities.
- To promote exemplary services by providing the knowledge, skills and resources of a collaboration of social work professionals with diverse skills and professional expertise to include program development, grant writing, evaluation and data analysis.
- To partner in the identification and development of collaborations within southwestern Pennsylvania's social and community support systems.
- To advance competence and knowledge of nonprofit boards, professional and volunteer staff by offering a spectrum of social work seminars and workshops within the community and provider agencies.
- To support program and community development by providing professional resources and coordinating the development processes through strategic assessment and evaluation.
Broad Categories of Service
- Continuing education and training: The institute provides continuing education seminars and training institutes related to effective delivery of human services in non-metropolitan communities.
- Program planning and evaluation: Faculty working in conjunction with the Institute provide assistance in the areas of program planning and evaluation.
- Technical assistance: The institute provides assistance in such areas as research, grant writing and organizational development.
- Policy development: From time to time, the institute will focus on an issue and resulting policy initiatives of relevance to southwestern Pennsylvania and other rural communities. Such topical research will result in periodic publications by the institute for dissemination throughout the region.
- Rural aging: The institute works across the spectrum of service needs in the region but has a specific focus on aging because of the populations needs in Southwest Pennsylvania. The specific focus in this area is competency based education, research and continuing education.
Contact the Rural Communities Institute through the Master of Social Work program at PennWest California.