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UNG students conduct needs assessment for Forsyth County

2020-03-16-Forsyth County and Students 1
Two UNG classes collaborated on a community-needs assessment of the former elementary school and presented their findings and recommendations before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in February 2020. The work earned them credit for the class that incorporates experiential learning.

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners had a situation before them. The county owned a historic building that could prove useful to county residents, but it needed to find the best use.

Forsyth County Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills reached out to the University of North Georgia (UNG) for help. She received more than she expected.

Two UNG classes collaborated on a community-needs assessment of the former elementary school and presented their findings and recommendations before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in February 2020. The work earned them credit for the class that incorporates experiential learning.

"The students went to the site, toured it, conducted a statistical analysis of the surrounding Matt Community, conducted interviews from stakeholders, and held two focus group sessions," said Dr. Sarah Young, assistant professor of political science at UNG. "Finally, they conducted an evidenced-based review of local government innovations and made recommendations to Forsyth County Board of Commissioners on how to use the space."

The presentation was a success for students and the county commissioners. Young said the commissioners pointed out the students' work saved taxpayers money on what would have been significant consultants' fees. She added the commissioners are moving forward with many of the recommendations.

"And now my students have a work product to show in their portfolio and connections to commissioners," she said.

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