Academy for Better Communities

Barry University School of Social Work

The Academy for Better Communities was established in 1994 by the Barry University School of Social Work with the vision of bringing the University's resources - its expertise, students, and faculty - to bear in the communities of South Florida in order to solve pressing social problems. Students and faculty deepen their understanding of social problems and how to solve them from their experiences. The Academy invests in people, strengthens communities, and proposes effective innovative solutions to our social problems.

The Neighborhood Technical Assistance (NTA) Program represents a collaborative effort between Barry University School of Social Work and Miami -Dade County. As a Community Service component of the School of Social Work, the NTA Program provides various partnering community agencies with Technical Assistance, Capacity Building, and Program Assessment services under the guidance of Dr. Tisa McGhee, School of Social Work faculty member. These three critical services are intended to support partnering agencies as they enhance their resources to better strengthen neighborhoods in order to meet critically identified neighborhoods’ desired outcomes.

The NTA Program also offers Barry School of Social Work Students’ Field Placement experiences within the partnering agencies that further their professional growth in their clinical skills and broader community-based perspective.

The NTA Program network consists of 15 participating social service agencies across Miami-Dade County.

Technical Assistance

  • Define training needs and theme for Training
  • Develop and execute 3 professional development seminars with partners.
  • Provide 150 hours of Technical Assistance to include attendance at partnership meetings, consultations with agencies, program staff, and partners.

Capacity Building

  • Establish student learning labs at the most critically identified agencies to provide support and capacity building opportunities through the internship placement of Master of Social Work (MSW) students.
  • Design and create development of web-based platform to increase participation by partners and provide additional resources for capacity building and training.

Program Assessment

  • Development of community-based needs assessment for critically identified agencies.