SERCH Institute

Service • Education • Research • Community • Hope

S.E.R.C.H. defines what the UNT Dallas Urban Institute is all about. The words Search, Education and Research define what we do. Community communicates where we focus our efforts. Hope is what we aim to provide through the work we do in partnership with our neighborhood leaders.


The service component of the Urban SERCH Institute is focused to provide the university with one-time and sustained service project initiatives geared toward improving our community. From park restoration events and blight reduction projects (house painting, neighborhood murals, tree planting, etc.), to aiding in the cultivation of a neighborhood community garden or helping unemployed citizens apply for jobs, service is a way for SERCH to bring the university in direct contact with members of the community in the hopes of fulfilling its mission to transform lives


Through eduction, the Urban SERCH Institute will help build the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities through workshops, training programs, and other engagement methods by using the expertise of UNTD’s human capital. Given the vast number of academic programs on campus, SERCH aims to translate these fields of study into consumable, skill building initiatives for non-degree seeking members of the community, with the ultimate goal of empowering them to improve their individual, organizational, or community well being.


Research is one of the core competencies of any university and its faculty by engaging in research projects that have both academic and social impact. Using comprehensive qualitative and quantitative methodologies that fit any organization’s data needs, the Urban SERCH Institute helps derive the information to assist municipal, nonprofit, or community entities fulfill their mission to provide for the citizens of the Dallas region. Program evaluations, community needs assessments, and other impact/effectiveness studies that are critical to data driven organizations are executed by subject matter experts with the help of UNT Dallas students engaged in undergraduate and graduate academic programs.


The residents in many southern Dallas neighborhoods are hardworking, respectable citizens doing their best to build better lives for themselves and their families. What they often lack is a clear vision and the means of support to make significant and lasting change. The Urban SERCH Institute helps neighborhoods define and articulate their needs. It also helps civic and community leaders create strategies, marshal resources and capabilities, and work effectively in concert with each other. Through Service, Education, and Research the southern Dallas Community now has Hope for real solutions that impact lives