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

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.

School fitness screenings give parents the information they need to help their children stay healthy, said Gregory Welk, a kinesiology professor at Iowa State University and scientific director for FitnessGram. Photo by Meg Brown.Iowa State professors offer advice on fitness screening in schools

Iowa State University experts say the practice of measuring students’ height and weight at school can be beneficial, although they warn that fitness screenings should keep the focus on health and respect students’ privacy.

Emilio Estrada (right) is helping to train Spanish-speaking food service workers who would have a more difficult time getting trained otherwise. The program is offered by specialists in nutrition and wellness with Iowa State University’s Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. Photo by Meg Brown.Food safety training brings Spanish speakers to the table
As a restaurateur, Emilio Estrada knows the importance of food safety. Even small mistakes can expose people to harmful foodborne illnesses.

Iowa State President Steven Leath talks to students at Moulton Extended Learning Center after first announcing the  ISU 4U Promise in 2013. File photo by Bob Elbert.Iowa State expands college opportunity through ISU 4U Promise

Iowa State University and the Des Moines Public Schools are working with families and neighborhood organizations to make college more accessible and affordable for students at King Elementary and Moulton Extended Learning Center.

Thanks to an anonymous endowed gift, Pamela White is the inaugural holder of the Dean\'s Chair in the College of Human Sciences.Anonymous donors establish endowed Dean’s Chair in the College of Human Sciences

An anonymous gift to the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University will fund a new endowed Dean’s Chair. The gift will allow Pamela White, who will become the inaugural holder, unrestricted use of earnings toward the college’s priorities.

The PROSPER program developed at Iowa State University reduces substance abuse and other behavioral problems among youth. PROSPER is gaining momentum on a national scale. iStock photo.PROSPER youth program gains momentum for nationwide expansion

After 24 years of research, an Iowa State based youth program for healthy youth development is taking flight nationally as an innovative and effective system for creating positive societal change.

New 2014-2015 Faculty


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

Dr. Constance Beecher, an extension and outreach specialist in the School of Education, will work to increase school readiness in children in all of Iowa’s 99 counties. School of Education has a new extension and outreach specialist

Constance Beecher is dedicated to providing young children across Iowa with quality early learning experiences.

  • 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 »