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Fostering Student Achievement at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

As a regional UACS professional development site of the Netter Center, Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement in the Office of Community Engagement at IUPUI provides an array of services to support schools, neighborhoods, institutions of higher education, and other key stakeholders in implementing community school strategies.

Since 2011, IUPUI has provided school communities professional development and technical assistance focused on the development of community schools, such as partnerships facilitation, community council development, and university engagement. Services include workshops and training, one-on-one consultation, project evaluation, connections to health, human services, and workforce readiness opportunities, and asset/needs assessment.

The work draws upon decades of community school engagement on the Indianapolis Near-Westside and Near-Eastside, including three USDOE-funded FSCS projects. IUPUI’s FSNE also facilitates an Indiana Community Schools Network of stakeholders statewide in sharing best practices, advocating for community schools, and promoting related policy interests.

Research & Evaluation

A Community Engaged Research Group (CERG) of faculty, staff, and students from multiple schools across campus contribute to urban community wellbeing by critically approaching community engaged research, community-based participatory research, and creative activity with community residents and agency stakeholders. The multidisciplinary group revokes research that forms a colonizing stance towards partners and, instead, discusses its values of democratic voice, equity through ethical reciprocity and social justice, community self-determination, and the need for shared spaces for dialogue and effective mentoring.

Co-created knowledge is disseminated from ENGAGE!, an IUPUI journal that publishes community engaged scholarship through a magazine format, committed to advancing the field of community engaged research and community-based participatory research across the state and beyond. It features discussion and development of empirical, conceptual, and theoretical articles that make substantial contributions to the field in all areas of community engaged research, evaluation, and assessment. The journal also provides a forum for community scholars and university scholarly exchange of research findings and ideas that advance knowledge to make a societal impact.

Partnership Highlights

University students huddle at cubicles with headphones and computer screens, talking with middle- and high-school students across the state in evening homework help and mentoring activities. The room in Hine Hall on the IUPUI campus looks like a call center, and that is what it is for more than 2,000 tutored secondary students in Indiana. Called Indiana Kids, IUPUI manages the no-cost online service with Indiana University campuses throughout the state. Funded primarily by a multi-year grant from Serve Indiana, an affiliate of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Indiana Kids illustrates UACS activity among many at the comprehensive urban campus of more than 30,000 college students in the heart of the Hoosier state capital.

John Boner Neighborhood Centers

IUPUI has had a longstanding partnership with the John Boner Neighborhood Centers on the Near Eastside. The center provides multiple services for the community, and schools and units across campus are partners through work study jobs, community-engaged research, service learning and more. Together, the community and IUPUI work to address significant challenges in the Near Eastside, including education, health and community development.

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