2007 Project of the Year: University of San Diego -UCSD Assessment and Counseling Clinic


Winner: Urban Corps of San Diego

After months of sharing ideas, visiting each other’s campuses and planning, the Urban Corps of San Diego and the University of San Diego (USD) have partnered to create the Urban Corps Assessment and Counseling Clinic (UC-ACC).

This collaboration provides Urban Corps participants the opportunity to receive both personal and career counseling services from Graduates Students in USD’s Leadership Program. Under the supervision of Dr. Ronn Johnson; Licensed Clinical Psychologist and head of the counseling department; these USD students come to the Urban Corps of San Diego on a daily basis to assess and counsel corpsmembers in the on-site UC-ACC office.

The UC-ACC program is now written in to Dr. Johnson’s course curriculum syllabus and enables him to place his students in a working clinical environment, exposing them to practical (non textbook) situations involving real young adults facing real-life issues.

As one can easily see the beauty of this collaboration is the experience that it provides these master’s level USD students while giving Urban Corpsmembers and the organization a valuable service that neither the corpsmembers nor a typical Corps program (non-profit) could afford on a full time basis.

Another phase of this collaboration, will involve the same USD students, working under Dr. Johnson’s supervision, conducting staff training seminars for supervisors, managers, and directors at Urban Corps of San Diego to assist them in acquiring a better understanding of the skills necessary in dealing with and serving the needs of these young adults in their quest for education and job training. Most of the young people entering the Corps face problems so overwhelming that they are unable to function within the established parameters of the program, and often exit prematurely.  As the staff at the Urban Corps participates in these USD-led training seminars and adds these skills to their repertoire of techniques in dealing with young people, the organization will be better equipped to continue its mission to successfully develop these young adults who face multiple barriers to success.

There is enormous mutual benefit in this collaboration for both participating organizations and it has great potential to evolve into other areas that benefit both the young people at USD and the young people at the Urban Corps of San Diego.