Since its inception, CRECS has made valued and substantive contributions to social betterment, especially for those communities whose members are vulnerable or have been historically marginalized, through the improvement of policies, programs, services, and practices in the education, social service, health, and government sectors.

History

The forerunner to CRECS was a research unit in the School of Psychology known as the Community Services Research Unit (CSRU), created in 1996. This research unit provided an initial portal for community organizations to connect with the University of Ottawa faculty and students and to collaborate on research projects that contributed to the development and improvement of health and social services. In the fall of 1999, the CSRU received official status as a research centre at the University of Ottawa and became the Centre for Research on Community Services in the Faculty of Social Sciences. In 2006, an agreement between the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Education to co-sponsor the Centre established it as the first bi-faculty research centre at the University of Ottawa, renamed as the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services. 

Since its inception, CRECS has made valued and substantive contributions to social betterment, especially for those communities whose members are vulnerable or have been historically marginalized, through the improvement of policies, programs, services, and practices in the education, social service, health, and government sectors. Through research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization, training and capacity building, and community engagement, research-based knowledge and evidence have been collaboratively produced and leveraged into actionable influences.

Read about Lessons Learned During CRECS’ First 15 Years (PDF, 137KB).

CRECS logo

Mission

The Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) collaborates with community partners in the education, social service, health, and government sectors to co-create and mobilize knowledge to improve policies, programs, services, and practices. Our work emphasizes social inclusion and focuses on applied research, evaluation, and training.

Vision

Inclusive knowledge, better society

Social betterment. Our research and activities focus on improving educational, social, health, and government policies, programs, services, and practices to create better outcomes for communities, especially for those community members who are vulnerable or historically marginalized.

Inclusion. Our research and activities emphasize social inclusion. We support the participation of people who are historically marginalized in research and evaluation, and in decisions about the policies, programs, services, and practices that affect their lives.

Collaboration. In designing and conducting our research and activities, we work to build trust and to articulate common goals with the actors and organizations involved. We aim to ensure the benefits of research and evaluation are shared equitably. 

Crossing boundaries. We work across disciplinary, institutional, and sectoral boundaries to co-create and mobilize knowledge that leads to better outcomes for communities.

Integrity. We pursue our work with respect for our partners, academic rigour, and a professional ethos that reflects our mission and guiding principles.

CRECS’ collaborations and partnerships are supported through three interrelated pillars of expertise and activity:

  1. Research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization
  2. Training and capacity building
  3. Community engagement

Word from the Director

Dear friends of CRECS,

When I joined CRECS seven years ago as a Senior Associate and at the start of a transition to an academic career, little did I know how pivotal the CRECS community would be in inspiring me to work with heart in addition to head and hands. The collegial relationships and shared values comprising the CRECS community have provided a sense of home; and the interdisciplinary collaborations have been stimulating and rewarding.

I am thus grateful and honoured to have recently been afforded the opportunity to serve as Director of CRECS. I thank the Deans of the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, the Associate Vice President of Research Promotion and Development, and members of the CRECS community for expressing confidence in my ability to serve in this role. I look forward working alongside dynamic colleagues, partners, and collaborators to ensure that CRECS nurtures productive relationships across university faculties and between researchers and community members to pursue our vision of “inclusive knowledge, better society”.

During 2019-2020, the CRECS management team and community developed a strategic plan for the next five years. This plan reaffirmed our mission to work with community partners in the education, social service, and health sectors to co-create and mobilize knowledge to improve policies, programs and services through applied research, evaluation, and training. Over the next year, this plan will see us focus on renewing our governance and membership processes, the Graduate Diploma in Program Evaluation, and the supports, activities and services offered to the CRECS community. As always, we will also focus on community-centered research, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization activities—supported through professional development and training—that will have a positive impact in and beyond the university.

I look forward to an exciting and productive year. If you have questions about CRECS, please get in touch at [email protected].

Peter Milley CRECS Director
Peter Milley, CRECS Director

Our team

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