3C Institute

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3C Institute is a private, for-profit research and development company based in Durham, North Carolina.[1] The company partners with researchers, program providers, non-profits, and companies to develop customized digital information delivery systems, such as personalized games, e-training courses, and web-based assessments.[2] 3C Institute also develops evidence-based social emotional learning products for children, adolescents, and parents.[3]


3-C Institute for Social Development was founded in 2001 by clinical psychologist Dr. Melissa DeRosier.[4] The organization changed its name to 3C Institute in 2013.[5] Dr. DeRosier received her doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1992 and completed a two-year fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.[2] She then worked on a five-year federal grant examining bullying and violence prevention in the Wake County Public School System.[2] She observed that teachers and schools were using non-evidence-based programs to improve social and emotional skills and founded the company to address this research-to-practice gap.[3] The company sought Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding for the development of its products.[6] Since 2001, the company has expanded to 75 employees [4] and received $25 million in SBIR funding from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[7] A corporate spin-off, Personalized Learning Games, was founded in 2014 to commercialize 3C Institute's social-emotional learning games. [8]


3C Institute was recognized with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tibbetts Award in 2011 [9] and received a special Award of Excellence for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in 2014 from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which highlights entrepreneurs who find unique and novel solutions to social problems.[2]

Products and Services[edit]

3C Institute has developed web- and game-based interventions to address children and adolescents’ behavioral and social problems.[4] The company’s flagship product, Social Skills Group Intervention (S.S.GRIN), received recognition from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a mental health promotion winner in 2010.[10] The effectiveness of S.S.GRIN was proven by tracking 1,500 students over three years in 10 schools.[10] S.S.GRIN for High-Functioning Autism is listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices [11] and the National Autism Network.[12]

In November 2014, the company released Zoo U, an evidence-based social-emotional learning and assessment game for elementary school students. [13] The game was developed with SBIR funding [14] [15] and received a Games for Change nomination for "Most Significant Impact" in 2015. [16]

3C Institute is developing other social-emotional learning games including Stories in Motion, intended for elementary school students with high-functioning autism, [17] and Hall of Heroes, intended for middle school students. [18]

3C Institute also works with outside clients to develop programs to help researchers collect and translate data better.[1] 3C has developed training models for school psychologists and others to help them apply the interventions more accurately and effectively.[1] A notable project has been the Student Curriculum on Resilience Education (SCoRE), which helps first-year college students adjust to the unique stresses of college life and was created in partnership with Leading Education and Awareness for Depression (LEAD).[19][20][21]


  1. ^ a b c deBruyn, Jason (August 3, 2012). "With tricky name, 3-C ISD hauls in grants for growth". Triangle Business Journal.
  2. ^ a b c d Bridges, Virginia (March 10, 2014). "Cary Company Uses Federal Grants and Research to Improve Lives". The Raleigh News & Observer.
  3. ^ a b "SBIR Leading the way in Social Development with 3C Institute". Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer.
  4. ^ a b c "3C Institute". Small Business and Technology Development Center.
  5. ^ "3-C ISD Changes Name to "3C Institute"". 3C Institute.
  6. ^ Wagner, Michael (January 16, 2006). "Social Studies Lesson". Triangle Business Journal.
  7. ^ "SBA Region 4 News To Share". U.S. Small Business Administration.
  8. ^ Huffman, Amy (April 27, 2015). "Gaming Startup Brings in the Big Guns, Changes Its Name". ExitEvent.
  9. ^ Byrne, Dennis. "SBA Announces Winners of 2011 Tibbetts Awards". U.S. Small Business Administration.
  10. ^ a b deBruyn, Jason (May 17, 2012). "3-C Institute moving education tools to classroom with help from SBIR grants". Triangle Business Journal.
  11. ^ "Social Skills Group Intervention (S.S.GRIN) 3-5". National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
  12. ^ "3C Institute". National Autism Network.
  13. ^ Svoboda, Elizabeth (June 7, 2015). "The Rise of the 'Gaming for Good' Movement". Newsweek.
  14. ^ Sparks, Sarah (June 5, 2013). "Education Department Invests in Education Business Research". Education Week.
  15. ^ Metz, Edward. "Connected Educator Month: Game-Based Learning". U.S. Department of Education.
  16. ^ "BBC World Business Report". BBC World Service. May 1, 2015.
  17. ^ Vander Ark, Tom (September 4, 2012). "It's Time for a Special Needs App Fund". Education Week.
  18. ^ Lee Ark, Ellen (May 18, 2015). "Building Social Skills, Alone at a Computer". Bright.
  19. ^ Gordon, Samantha (May 16, 2013). "Stress Plagues Millennials in College". U.S. News University Directory.
  20. ^ Bill, Zlatos (April 28, 2013). "Colleges address depression, stress with curriculum aimed at emotional health". Pittsburgh Tribune.
  21. ^ "SCoRE Gets Online Press". 3C Institute.

External links[edit]