Supporting activities

Some of the programs that support the ISU 4U Promise include:

Young Scientists and Ambitious Teachers Improving Health in an Urban Ecosystemuep-logo-web

This 5-year project, called the Urban Ecosystems project for short, is funded by the National Institutes of Health  (Science Education Partnership Award). The Urban Ecosystems project is aimed at interrupting the reproduction of educational and health disparities in a low-income, urban context, through participatory inquiry focused on mosquitoes and human health. The work is centered in the ISU 4U Promise school communities, as part of our partnership to enhance college-going for students historically excluded from higher education. In addition, the project aims to provide pre-service teachers with understandings of ambitious and authentic science teaching through a community-based model that engages stakeholders in participatory action research and citizen science.
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Design Dialogues: Planning with African-American and Latino Youth and Parents for Educational and Environmental Developmentdesign-dialogues-logo

The purpose of Design Dialogues was to provide opportunities for youth served by schools and organizations in the River Bend and King-Irving neighborhoods to share knowledge about their community spaces and learning places that could help guide the development of several ISU projects, including the ISU 4U Promise, in those contexts.  Design Dialogues served youth at Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) in Fall 2015 and at Callanan Middle School (CMS) in Fall 2016. Learn more >>

ISU 4U Promise Volunteer Program

The ISU 4U Promise volunteer program recruits, trains and places ISU students in King and Moulton classrooms. Volunteers help classroom teachers by reading with students, helping them with assignments, and talking about college. The goal of the program is to provide role models for college-going and promote an ISU 4U Promise Scholar identity at a young age.

ISU College Partnerships

In an effort to teach King and Moulton students more about the breadth of careers available to them at ISU, grade levels at each school have been paired with an undergraduate college at ISU. Our goal is to connect resources from each college, such as fun, career exploration activities, with its partnered grade level. The pairings are:

  • Kindergarten/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • First Grade/College of Design
  • Second Grade/College of Business
  • Third Grade/College of Human Sciences
  • Fourth Grade/College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Fifth Grade/College of Engineering

College Night

This annual event promotes college-going at Iowa State University for students at King and Moulton, as well as for older 6-12th grade ISU 4U Promise-eligible students and their families. ISU student organizations and academic units showcase their work through age-appropriate activities.

12th Grade Outreach

Students in the first ISU 4U Promise twelfth-grade cohort receive support through meetings and monthly social events. In addition, ISU Admissions supports these students through outreach-based assistance.

College-Going Curriculum

In 2017 a small curriculum was developed for teachers at King and Moulton to support their efforts to talk about college in the elementary classroom. Lessons in this curriculum explore college basics, and an activity at each grade level explores careers related to a particular ISU college.

King and Moulton Teacher Liaison Teams

Teachers at King and Moulton provide vital input and feedback about the progress of the ISU 4U Promise initiative. Through regular meetings with the ISU 4U Promise Program Coordinator, these teachers take the lead on promoting college-going and the ISU 4U Promise in a variety of ways throughout their schools.

Third Grade Girls Mentoring Program

The ISU 4U Promise twelfth grade women have started a volunteer project within their community. Each week, these twelfth graders go to Moulton after school to work with third graders, who, when they graduate from 5th-grade, will also be eligible for the ISU 4U Promise tuition award. They design and implement fun, age-appropriate activities focused on self-esteem, friendship, and planning for the future.

Community Alliance

The Community Alliance provides a structure for community-based collaboration in support of the ISU 4U Promise. It consists of leaders from Iowa State Extension and Outreach, and ISU 4U Promise partner community organizations, agencies and businesses. Learn more >>

Practica Supports

Elementary education majors at ISU have the opportunity to do their field experiences at King or Moulton elementary schools. This opportunity includes additional supports and resources for pre-service teachers interested in becoming effective urban educators.


ISU’s Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) is the evaluator for the ISU 4U Promise. RISE’s goal is to document and describe the implementation and impact of the ISU 4U Promise.

Teacher Education Students

Elementary education majors at ISU have the opportunity to do their field experiences at King or Moulton elementary schools. Currently, this opportunity includes additional resources for pre-service teachers to learn about urban education, such as an overview of the communities, neighborhood walks, debriefing conversations and work in community organizations.


ISU’s Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) is the evaluator for the ISU 4U Promise. RISE’s goal is to document and describe the impact and implementation context of the ISU 4U Promise.