VPEO Strategic Initiatives

March 3rd, 2014

As part of our program portfolio we initiate programs that strategically integrate resources across the university and land-grant system and are multi-disciplinary, diversified, and address signature issues. Through the Vice President for Extension and Outreach Strategic Initiatives process, funding is provided to innovative projects and programs which through their development will strengthen our overall portfolio.

To receive funding, projects or programs must address statewide needs identified during our recent needs assessment: Strengthening Families, Economic Development, or Youth Development. They must go beyond the fundamental program areas funded with our base budgets to truly allow us to meet the needs of ISU Extension and Outreach clients moving forward. The following three proposals have been accepted for 2014 funding.

Art Extension 2015–17: This proposal includes a new tenure-track arts extension position and incorporates art as a means of broader community development for youth and adults. The first year (summer–fall 2014) will focus on generating support for an ISU Extension and Outreach community art program in Ames and Story County. Using what is learned from the initial Story County program, in spring 2015 the Extension and Outreach artist will focus on developing similar programs in Sioux City, Perry, and Dubuque. All three communities have ISU College of Design outreach centers to support the program’s diffusion. Working with Community Economic Development specialists and 4-H staff during summer 2015 and beyond, Extension and Outreach art programs in community development and youth art education will be made available throughout the state. For more information, contact Tim Borich, director, Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach.

Gateway to STEM — Collaborations to Enhance STEM Education for Iowans: The project team will build a state-of-the-art STEM learning center on the Iowa State campus designed for broad utilization for science, engineering, design, and entrepreneurship learning for K-12 youth, ISU students, ISU faculty/staff, and the public. This space, dedicated to active learning, will meet NSTA safety guidelines and model an effective K-12 science education learning space. The space will be jointly maintained and used by the Center for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CESMEE) science teacher education program and ISU Extension and Outreach activities that require child-friendly, safe access to science classroom and laboratory facilities. For more information, contact Jay Staker, director, Extension Science, Engineering, and Technology Initiative.

Integrated Latino Youth, Family, Community, and Business Development: This project integrates Community and Economic Development (CED) and Human Sciences (HS) Extension and Outreach programming focused on Latino populations in Sioux City, Perry, and West Liberty across two colleges, nonprofit partners, and county extension districts that have significant Latino populations. The project plans to initially build on HS and CED Extension and Outreach programming focused on Latino youth, families, communities, and businesses, including Juntos, a family education and youth mentoring program that promotes academic success and higher education attainment among Latino youth; Latino student recruitment to ISU and higher education; Latino Entrepreneurship Program; Exito en el Norte, a DVD-based education program that guides Spanish-speaking Iowans to meet daily challenges related to employment, access to education, healthcare, etc.; and Latino Energy Conservation, a partnership with Alliant Energy focused on research and outreach to Latino residents, businesses, and building contractors. For more information, contact Deb Sellers, director, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

These three proposals address real needs in the here-and-now by providing education, while also generating knowledge that can be used in the future and making the most of our resources. We congratulate these teams and look forward to their impact, making a difference for Iowans.

The objectives of the VPEO Strategic Initiatives are to create opportunities to encourage innovative projects and programs which through their development will strengthen the overall portfolio of Extension and Outreach and focus on signature issues and operational efficiencies.  These initiatives are primarily directed at executing sustainable improvements in our program that will

  • enhance the quality and accessibility of research-based education,
  • improve efficiency of implementation,
  • build productive collaborations and economies of scale, and
  • support programmatic success along the needs assessment, program development and design, implementation, and impact evaluation chain and professional growth of our organization.

2013 VPEO Strategic Initiatives Progress Reports
(Projects funded in 2013; Reports posted in January 2014)

2012 VPEO Strategic Initiatives Progress Reports
(Projects funded in 2012; Reports posted in January 2014)


  1. Melissa O’Neil
    | #1

    Just curious if anyone has heard any news on the 2013 Funded projects?

  2. Rebecca Christoffel
    | #2

    Will there be a call for proposals this fall for 2014?

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