About

Engaging neighboring communities through research, teaching, service, and partnerships

The Center for Rural Engagement reimagines the relationship between the flagship campus of the state’s largest university and nearby rural communities in Southwest Central Indiana.

The center calls on the research, expertise, teaching, and service of IU Bloomington faculty, staff, and students to find solutions to the challenges these communities face and to enhance opportunities identified by the communities themselves.

The center will support and complement efforts of other regional organizations to develop approaches that are scalable, evidence-based, and exportable. In the process, IU students will benefit from high-impact learning and volunteer activities, while developing relationships with potential future employers in the region.

Goals

Improve

To improve the lives of the people living in the 11 counties of Southwest Central Indiana

Discover

To discover and deploy solutions to the problems facing the region

Build

To build durable and robust partnerships with regional communities, and to support and complement efforts of other regional organizations

Work

To work with our partners to develop a sense of a shared future in the region

Educate

To educate and mobilize an IU student volunteer force to serve the needs and support the goals of the 11-county region

Demonstrate

To demonstrate how a research university’s broad resources can improve the well-being of an entire region and the life chances of those who live there

Map of Indiana, with 11 counties highlighted

The 11 county partners of Southwest Central Indiana

  • Owen County
  • Greene County
  • Monroe County
  • Brown County
  • Lawrence County
  • Washington County
  • Orange County
  • Crawford County
  • Dubois County
  • Martin County
  • Daviess County

Focusing students’ volunteer energy to change lives–including their own

In fall 2015, a working group evaluated how to organize the immersive service engagement experiences on the IU Bloomington campus to make a meaningful and transformative difference in the lives of our students and the communities they serve.

After speaking with community leaders in the 11-county region, we recognized the potential for focusing a substantial amount of student volunteer effort in the goals and priorities of the center. In addition to serving these communities, students are able to add exponentially to their college experience.

45,000+undergraduate and graduate students at IU Bloomington

1,000’shours of student-based community service each semester

300+service-learning classes, programs, and student service groups

Featured initiative

Leadership development for health professionals

Recruiting and retaining high-caliber medical professionals of all kinds to hospitals that serve rural populations depends, among other things, on ensuring ongoing local opportunities for professional development.

IU’s Kelley School of Business and the IU School of Medicine will ensure that these leadership development opportunities are available to medical professionals in the Southwest Central Indiana region.

See more initiatives

Help us create a shared future for Southwest Central Indiana.