The University of Iowa

Public research universities evolve by addressing the needs of each generation in each state. We will expand our public engagement to contribute to economic and cultural vitality and to the health and quality of life of the people of lowa. We will help place-bound Iowans achieve their educational aspirations. We will align University resources with important state needs.

--Renewing The Iowa Promise, The University of Iowa Strategic Plan for 2010 to 2016 

In the spring of 2012, the Office of the Provost put out a proposal for initiatives to enhance University outreach and engagement activities--in support of the fourth "pillar" of the University's strategic plan, "Better Futures for Iowans." Faculty and staff submitted 28 proposals; the following 13 were funded.

College of Nursing/Visiting Nurses Association Community Outreach Collaboration

The purpose of this proposal is to provide access to primary care to the residents of Johnson County who are uninsured or underinsured working poor, those receiving government funded health care, and those with difficulty accessing health care. The project seeks to establish a nurse practitioner managed clinic, staffed by the nurse practitioners in the College of Nursing Faculty Practice, to provide primary health care services in partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association of Johnson County.

Expand Life-Long Learning Continuing Dental Education Offerings

The purpose of this project is to expand life-long learning Continuing Dental Education offerings through distance education and live presentations throughout the state and beyond. The project will allow the College to a) purchase a videoconferencing cart to provide distance Continuing Dental Education, b) purchase an inVisionCam to provide live streaming of surgical procedures, and c) offer Continuing Dental Education Courses throughout the state as needed.

FUTURE in Biomedicine Program

The Carver College of Medicine will expand the FUTURE in Biomedicine (Fostering Undergraduate Talent - Uniting Research and Education) program. The goals are a) to host fellows and students from all institutions of higher learning in the state of Iowa; b) to plan and conduct new activities that will further promote a statewide network of highly motivated scientist-educators in biomedical fields interacting with the University of Iowa and each other; and c) enhance awareness and effective use of existing UI research resources, training programs, and clinical care.

Expanding and Enhancing STEM Initiatives within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

This project will enhance the effectiveness of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) outreach and education in departments and centers within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), including the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Biology, Delta Center, Optical Science and Technology Center, and Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute. New and expanded hands-on outreach activities will be developed for faculty in these departments and interdisciplinary research centers. Better coordinating STEM efforts within CLAS will allow faculty to advance STEM activities more effectively by sharing best practices for educating K-12 students (and their parents) about STEM.

Cultivating the Future in Iowa: Librarians for Twenty-First Century Schools

There is a serious shortage of qualified librarians in Iowa school districts, especially in rural parts of the state. With a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Studies, the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) over a three-year period developed and implemented a distance education program and delivered the degree throughout the state, eventually graduating 39 students, 35 of whom have accepted positions in school libraries. Better Futures for Iowans Initiative funding will allow SLIS to implement this program on a permanent and self-sustaining basis.

Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities v.2.0

The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) works with communities in Iowa to identify, design, and implement sustainability-focused planning projects pairing graduate students in the School of Urban and Regional Planning with partners throughout those communities. IISC 2.0 will involve more departments across the University. The first step will pair IISC’s current partner city of Dubuque with the Colleges of Education, Public Health, and Law; the School of Art and Art History; and possibly some additional units in FY13. The plan is to create a model that the University can take to other Iowa communities in FY14 and beyond.

Growing Voices--Cultivating Iowa's Valuable Crop through University of Iowa Language Arts and Educational Outreach

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Frank N. Magid Undergraduate Writing Center will conduct a two-year pilot program of collaborative community outreach in partnership with the Iowa Youth Writing Project (IYWP), a dynamic new nonprofit that provides writing, tutoring, and publishing opportunities (at little or no cost to participants) to youth across the state of Iowa. The IYWP brings unique literacy and language arts programs to some of the state's most at-risk youth via after-school and in-school support and mentorship, as well as a diverse range of extracurricular writing workshops.

Project SEALED (Service, Engagement, and LifeCareer Education in Dentistry)

A community partnership with Allamakee County, Project SEALED has two aims. The first is to deliver on-site educational programs to elementary and middle school students and their parents, with the goal of increasing students' interest in pursuing dental careers and ultimately increasing the diversity of Iowa's dental workforce. The second aim is to provide on-site, community-based "service learning" educational and leadership experiences for UI dental students while improving oral health and access to oral health care for children in an underserved population.

The Iowa Assistive Technology Professional Development Network

The Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) will create the Iowa Assistive Technology Professional Development Network, which will provide professional development opportunities via distance education to professionals who work with people with disabilities, parents of individuals with disabilities, and individuals with disabilities across the state of Iowa.

Dual Language Future for Iowans: Schools and Radio in Support of Balanced Bilingualism

Linguists use the term "balanced bilingualism" to refer to individuals who are culturally and linguistically bilingual and able to function equally well in both languages. Often, children who acquire a second language in childhood do not become fully literate in their first language, and may lose their knowledge of the first language through a process of language attrition. The Departments of Spanish and Portuguese and Communication Sciences and Disorders will serve Spanish-speaking Iowans by putting the latest research on language acquisition into the service of active educational community outreach.

Opening New Doorways to Discovery for the Citizens of Iowa

The UI Pentacrest Museums (the Museum of Natural History and the Old Capitol Museum) will partner with the Office of the State Archaeologist and UI Paleontology Repository to create three inter-related "Doorways to Discovery" to enhance on-and off-campus engagement and outreach.

Preparing Iowa’s High School Students for the Global 21st Century Economy by Increasing Access to and Success with World Languages

This project—a partnership of the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education, and multiple units from the Division of World Languages in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—will increase Iowa high school students’ access to Advanced Placement (AP) coursework and exams in World Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese) through distance education and on-site courses.


ArtsShare is an outstanding University of Iowa arts outreach organization that shares the creative resources of the Division of Performing Arts, the School of Art and Art History, and the Writers’ Workshop by bringing the highest quality arts experiences to K-12 schools; colleges; and community organizations such as librariesand museums, hospitals and nursing homes, and local arts councils. Better Futures for Iowans Initiative funding will help ArtsShare continue to strengthen the arts across Iowa, especially in underserved areas.