Sustaining Hoosier Communities

Strengthening Indiana community by community

Sustaining Hoosier Communities partners local communities with Indiana University faculty, students, and staff to improve and enrich the health, prosperity, and vitality of our region.

Sustaining Hoosier Communities nurture a diversity of individuals and perspectives, fostering a strong social fabric and culture of equitable civic engagement. These communities demonstrate a lasting commitment to their people, economic opportunities, and places.

Description of the video:

The IU Center for Rural Engagement and Indiana's rural communities are connecting hundreds of IU students and their faculty with leaders and residents to work together on local projects as part of the award winning Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative. We were the second county to become involved with the new Center for Rural Engagement program when it started several years ago. They have become engaged with us in so many ways and the beauty of CRE is that they have remained engaged with us. Our community has accomplished a lot in partnership with the Sustaining Hoosier communities program from the Center for Rural Engagement. My expectations were always exceeded in working with IU and the Center for Rural Engagement and the Sustaining Hoosier Communities. I tell people that when IU shows up, they do not disappoint. Together, we create thriving arts and culture, placemaking, health and wellness, community resilience, and youth opportunities. We are forging professional pathways for IU students in rural Indiana. We are improving and enriching the help, prosperity and vitality of Indiana. Center for Rural Engagement has had a tremendous impact on the town of Paoli and Orange County as a whole. Just in the few short years we've been working together, I can only imagine what we might be able to do in years to come. When Hoosiers work together, we all shine.

Daviess County is the next Sustaining Hoosier Community

Daviess County is the next community to partner with the Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative, which is entering its sixth year. This expanded partnership builds upon years of collaboration between Daviess County and IU.

See a list of proposed projects

The SHC Process

Communities apply to partner with SHC

  • SHC selects partner community
  • Community identifies project ideas
  • Community identifies project leads and liaisons who will lend their time and talents to projects

SHC matches courses to projects

  • Community and SHC identify possible outcomes
  • Community and faculty develop and agree on scopes of work
  • SHC seeks resources for projects not matched with courses

Faculty and students work on projects

  • Classes complete work and presentations to the community
  • All reports are compiled and presented to the community
  • The center can continue work with the community

Get involved

Build new relationships with Indiana University faculty, students, and staff while collaborating on projects important to you and your neighbors. Projects can address a range of economic, environmental, and social sustainability opportunities, and project leaders come from all walks of life—from residents to elected officials.

A request for proposals is released and closed in the fall.

See an example request for proposals

Address real-world issues and opportunities with your students through transformative community partnerships. Engaging through Sustaining Hoosier Communities gives students a high-impact learning experience.

Sustaining Hoosier Communities staff will facilitate connections to projects and support you with logistics, such as transportation, meeting spaces, hospitality, assessment, and media relations during your collaboration.

 Download the faculty resource guide

Impact Indiana communities while you gain invaluable academic and professional experience. Sustaining Hoosier Communities, courses span the disciplines and carry credit you can apply towards your degree. Engage in thought-provoking work that addresses the issues and opportunities facing our Hoosier neighbors.

Contact us to get recommendations on coursework

The EPIC-Network

Sustaining Hoosier Communities is based on the community engagement model championed by the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Community Network (EPIC-N), which universities across the nation have adopted, called The EPIC Model.

Build stronger rural communities together