ISU 4 U Promise-4

About the Partnership

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King Elementary Principal Peter LeBlanc stands with ISU preservice teachers after receiving an ISU 4U poster for the school. From left to right: Suzanne Mooney, Andy Sullivan, Principal Peter BeBlanc, Katelyn Holcomb, Brittany McCauley, and Libby Gazda. Click photo above to enlarge.

ISU students encourage Moulton Extended Learning Center and King Elementary students to seize the opportunity the ISU 4U Promise provides them. Click on video to enlarge.

Announced by Iowa State University President Steven Leath in his inaugural address, the ISU 4U Promise is an initiative focused on enhancing college access and affordability for youth and families who have historically been excluded from higher education. It is unique among early-commitment or “promise” programs. The distinguishing features include:

  • A focus on elementary education
  • Identification of two high-need elementary schools
  • Collaborative efforts with community-based partners serving youth and families in the identified school neighborhoods
  • Origin at a land-grant institution and, within the land-grant mission, the cooperative pairing of Extension and Outreach and School of Education colleagues as the designers, deliverers, and evaluators of in- and out-of-school instructional and educational resources

In the ISU 4U Promise partnership, the specific aims for Iowa State University are to:

  • Establish financial resource support for learners attending  King and Moulton elementary schools who fulfill Promise participation expectations and arrive college-ready at Iowa State;
  • Provide Iowa State’s pre-service teachers with experience working in culturally- and linguistically- diverse settings that reflect our changing state and nation
  • Enhance the ability of King and Moulton in-service teachers to prepare their learners for the social and academic needs of college-going
  • Generate cooperation and collaboration that will enhance college access for King and Moulton students through community-based learning opportunities.

The specific aims for youth and families are to:

  • Benefit from a tuition award to attend Iowa State
  • Participate in school-based learning activities that promote college-going knowledge, skills, and dispositions
  • Discover and utilize community resources to expand potential and improve individual and family life

The transformative goals (institutional, economic, and social) of the ISU 4U Promise initiative will be achieved through careful alignment of all activities and outcomes.


“The ISU 4U Promise provides a pathway for your child to be able to explore their interests, discover their passions, and earn a college degree in a supportive, welcoming environment unlike any other.” 

— Dr. Steven Leath, President Iowa State University

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