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Community Research and Technical Assistance Initiatives (CRaTAI)


The mission of the NCCU Department of Public Administration is to prepare public administration students to be ethical public service leaders and managers.  We believe that it is essential that our students supplement their academic training and development with “real-time, real-world work” experiences in governmental and non-governmental organizations. The Community Research and Technical Assistance Initiatives program was created in the Public Administration Department in 2004 with the following goals:
  • Increase the learning opportunities for North Carolina Central University Public Administration students (Student Portfolio Learning Requirements)
  • Provide students with guided and structured opportunities to work and  interact with current public administrators, nonprofit organization leaders, government officials, and policy makers
  • Provide technical assistance and research support to client organizations that increases their organizational capacities
  • Develop partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations that promote excellent public service administration and leadership

As a supporter of applied research, CRaTAI seeks to involve students in “real world” work assignments that increase students’ experiences and exposure to public, private, and developing organizations and communities. Specifically, these learning assignments are designed to give students the opportunity to explore the multi-faceted issues of governance, economic viability, and leadership in contemporary organizations.

CRaTAI Features

  • Students are assigned to “real-world” work projects and assignments in local, state, and nonprofit organizations.  CRaTAI assignments are different from the traditional student internship because each student’s work is guided by a Scope of Work Agreement in which they are expected to produce tangible work products such as specific program components, documents, and analyses.  Students may use a CRaTAI assignment to meet a requirement in other MPA courses.
  • Students assigned to some CRaTAI assignments may be paid stipends up to $15 per hour through grant funding when available.  Students may receive reimbursement for travel while assigned to CRaTAI.
  • Upon graduation student assignments in CRaTAI often lead to professional employment in public administration areas such as program planning, human resources, transportation, local and state government, and social services.
  • Students receive individual instruction and guidance from the CRaTAI Director and Field Coordinators to ensure that students are learning and making expected progress.
  • Students must apply for a CRaTAI assignment with the CRaTAI Director.
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