Faculty & Staff

Joan Arches, PhD

Professor of Human Services and Youth Work, College of Public and Community Service
Program Coordinator of Human Services and Youth Work


photo of Joan Arches

Areas of Expertise

Social Work; Youth Work; Community Practice; Service-learning; Community-University Partnerships; Civic Engagement and Social Change; Community Building; Participatory Action Research; Promoting the Pipeline to Higher Education; Community and Youth Development; Analyzing Issues of Urban Youth and Urban Education


PhD, Sociology and Social Work, Boston University
MSW, Boston University
BA, Sociology, Boston University

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Professor Joan Arches is co-program coordinator of the Undergraduate Human Services and Youthwork Program at the College of Public and Community Service. Arches has been engaged in numerous service-learning and grant-funded community-university partnerships, including innovative initiatives of working with youth at Harbor Point on the Bay. She has developed and continues to run a tutoring and youth enrichment after school program called HPOP (the Harbor Point Outreach Partnership).  

In 2015, Arches spent a semester conducting research and working with programs in community engagement and youth work with two universities: Australian Catholic University and University of Western Sydney. In 2009 and 2010, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement, recognized the Harbor Point Outreach Partnership as one of two university-community partnerships for which the University of Massachusetts Boston was recognized.

Professor Arches received University of Massachusetts Boston Office of Global Programs funds for faculty study abroad (2010) for work to support youth partnerships, civic engagement, and service-learning with the Dominican Republic and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

In fall 2007, Arches was a visiting professor at Chaminade University of Honolulu, assisting with their service-learning accreditation and working with youth in a local school. In 2001, Arches was a visiting professor at DeMontfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom, researching and working with community-university partnerships with youth.

In recognition of her accomplishments in regard to linking action research and teaching in service of the community, she was a 2005 recipient of the University of Massachusetts President’s Award for Public Service.

Examples of the grants and partnerships that Arches has overseen over the years include: the Boston EITC project, funded by the Department of Commerce, to do outreach to recipients of the Earned Income Tax in partnership with Community Technology Centers; New Directions for Columbia Point, a HUD grant aimed at addressing urban issues through a community university partnership center; a capstone project in collaboration with youth at Harbor Point Housing Development and HOPE (the Hispanic Organization for Planning and Evaluation); co-leader of the original Harbor Point Collaborative Project, which led to the development of the Columbia Point Community Partnership in 2000; board advisor to CIRCLE (The Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Leadership and Empowerment); presenter at Jeremiah E. Burke High School and Harbor Point Housing on service-learning participatory action research projects.