Who we are

The Children, Youth and Environments Center for Community Engagement (CYE) is part of the Environmental Design Program at the University of Colorado.

Since its founding in 2004, CYE has moved to the forefront of efforts in the design professions and allied disciplines to promote the health, safety and welfare of children and youth. Working in collaboration with community partners, CYE supports meaningful participation by young people in the creation of thriving communities for all people.

The Center undertakes interdisciplinary activities in research, teaching and community outreach to improve young people's environments. It focuses in particular on children and youth in environments of disadvantage and those with special needs.

The Center also serves as the Secretariat for the CYE Journal, an independent publication that is the premier online source for authoritative research articles, in-depth reviews, cutting-edge field reports, critical book reviews and the latest news on children, youth and their environments. The Journal offers one-stop access to a growing audience in more than 150 countries. It links research with practice and supports the free sharing of knowledge across disciplinary and national boundaries.

What we do

CYE works in six focus areas:

  • Research to evaluate policies and programs and to develop innovative solutions for problems facing children and youth today through empirical studies, critical analyses, and participatory action research.
  • Dissemination of research findings to share expertise, support the exchange of experience across communities and draw lessons that will guide future work through professional and general media.
  • Application of research findings to improve young people's quality of life through collaborative, community-based outreach and intervention.
  • Knowledge and skill development of students and practitioners through teaching, service learning, internships, practical training, professional development other educational activities.
  • Capacity building through the formation of strategic partnerships and synergistic networks of researchers, practitioners and community stakeholders, including young people, as well as actors in the public and private sectors.
  • Advocacy and awareness raising on behalf of policies, programs and actions that benefit children and youth through white papers, recommendations to decision makers, expert witness testimony, and other forms of advice and influence.

Organizational Structure

The Center is governed by an Executive Committee, chaired by the director. The Board of Directors helps connect the Center to key stakeholders and assists with fundraising. It also provides guidance for strategic directions of development and offers feedback on Center activities. Projects involve faculty affiliates, research affiliates, research associates, PhD students, and interns.


The Center hosts the CYE Journal, an independent peer-reviewed publication with a multidisciplinary audience. The Center also publishes fact sheets, a newsletter, and an annual report, among others.

Information Resources

The Center maintains several interactive and searchable databases, including a news archive, a Directory of Organizations, a Directory of Experts, a Calendar of Events and a Bibliographic Database. It also manages an online forum. All of these resources are freely accessible.


Center staff are involved in the delivery of undergraduate and graduate level for-credit courses at the University of Colorado, related to young people and their environments. In addition, the Center is able to offer workshops and professional development courses.

Financial Support

The Environmental Design Program funds the Center's core operations. Grants and donations from various sources fund specific Center projects. The Center is not a grant-awarding organization and welcomes donations of any size.