Extension and Outreach


As a land-grant institution, Iowa State University and the College of Human Sciences are dedicated to extending research to the people of our communities, state, nation, and world. We do this in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Programming from Iowa State University Extension
  • 4-H Youth Development
  • Community restoration
  • Community education
  • International outreach partnerships
  • Study abroad trips to the far regions of the globe

Our research starts in labs located in Ames, Iowa, but truly knows no boundaries, as alumni, students, faculty, and staff work the world over to bring improvements to people’s lives.


Curriculum and Instruction graduate students are working with area school children to improve their literacy and reading skills through the Fred Duffelmeyer Reading Clinic. This donor-supported center offers tutoring for the children who need it most, advancing their skills and improving their chances of academic success.


Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is the outreach arm of the College of Human Sciences. One of its hallmark programs, The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) was named the most effective program for decreasing the onset of drug and alcohol problems in youth out of 6,000prevention and intervention programs. The Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations has adapted SFP 10-14 for use in other countries.

Community engagement

On any given day, our students are working with members of society through internships at local retirement homes or the revitalization of a downtown community through the MainStreet Iowa initiative. Faculty members are teaching students the fundamentals of applying research concepts to different populations, with the outcome of enhancing lives and overcoming challenges.


Extension and Outreach News

About a dozen probation and parole officers from Sheldon and Sioux City in October received “Your Money, Your Goals” financial education training from ISU Human Sciences Extension and Outreach specialists. Photos by Cindy Gannon.New toolkit helps Iowans better manage their finances

Iowa social service workers have a new way to help their clients with financial issues, thanks to a nationally recognized toolkit being offered by Iowa State University’s Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

The Peterson family of West Des Moines said the Strengthening Families Program 10-14, a preventative program offered by ISU Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, brought them together as a family. Photos by Ryan Riley.
Program creates healthier outcomes for families with pre-teens

With their three daughters soon to be teenagers, Pam and Chad Peterson of West Des Moines decided to seek help.

They turned to the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14, a seven-week, preventative program aimed at helping families as their children approach adolescence. The evidence-based program is offered by Iowa State University’s Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.

“We were looking for answers and found them,” Chad Peterson said. “When it comes to building a foundation for your family, a lot of times, the well-lit path is the good one.”

Michelle Hanson and her son Nash, 8, make dinner using tools and skills from the Kids in the Kitchen summer program. Photo by Ryan Riley. Nutrition education program teaches kids about healthy eating

Michelle Hanson and her son, Nash, are cutting fruit. Correction — Nash is cutting fruit with the help of a non-slip, fruit-shaped cutting board and a plastic safety knife. Hanson looks on with pride.

Constance Beecher (right), an assistant professor and state extension and outreach specialist in the School of Education, shows Adrien and Nate Logsdon and their son, Leo, the vest and device that will be used to record words heard by babies. Photos by Ryan Riley.Addressing wellness through early childhood literacy

Being healthy and well starts at birth.

That’s why Iowa State University is helping families improve the quantity and quality of language in their homes.

Under a new outreach project called “Small Talk Story County,” Iowa State is partnering with the Ames Public Library and Raising Readers in Story County to improve early childhood literacy — thus improving overall outcomes and success rates for those children.

Michelle Maynes, a family life extension educator in the Polk County Extension and Outreach office, works with Latino middle school youth in the Juntos college readiness program. Contributed photo. 
Human Sciences seeks new efforts in extension and outreach

Suzanne Bartholomae is well-versed in the benefits of extension and outreach.

Bartholomae, a state extension and outreach specialist and adjunct associate professor in human development and family studies, spearheaded delivery of a health insurance literacy curriculum to address confusion about the Affordable Care Act.

Human Sciences Week will from Oct. 12 to 16 celebrate the ISU College of Human Sciences\' unique, innovative, people-oriented programs and its rich traditions with food, dance, speakers, and philanthropic events. File photo.Human Sciences Week celebrates college’s commitment to expand human potential, improve people’s lives

The Iowa State University College of Human Sciences will come together to celebrate its unique, innovative, people-oriented programs and rich traditions with food, dance, speakers, and philanthropic events during the first annual Human Sciences Week, Oct. 12 to 16.

New 2015-2016 Faculty


Food Science and Human Nutrition Human Development and Family Studies 
Education  Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management 

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act, helping adults live in the community of their choice for as long as possible. Photo by Ryan Riley.ISU gerontology program carries out goal of the Older Americans Act

In the spirit of the Older Americans Act, Iowa State University’s gerontology program helps older adults to age actively in the community of their choice.

Students with ISU 4U Promise, Iowa State\'s partnership to make college more affordable for students at King and Moulton elementary schools, will take part in a DAVinCI Flight Camp this week. Here they are at an earlier event building dream catchers. Photo by Ryan Riley. ISU 4U Promise students to attend DAVinCI Flight Camp

A group of ISU 4U Promise students will get to design and build model gliders as part of a week-long DAVinCI Flight camp at the Grubb YMCA in Des Moines.

A business start-up idea for a pancake house called “Stacks on Stacks” won Best in Show at this year’s Entrepreneurship Showcase at Iowa State University. Students Katie Speer and Jessica Florac took home the top prize of $200. Photos by Blake Lanser.
Pancake house, pharmacy win top prizes at Entrepreneurship Showcase

A pancake house/restaurant with a contemporary twist took the top prize at this year’s Entrepreneurship Showcase at Iowa State University.

  • Service learning in Uganda

    Darrin Vander Plas, a senior double-majoring in kinesiology and agronomy, has embraced study abroad and service learning opportunities at ISU to work in nations such as Uganda. Video »