The University of Iowa

For Communities


Do you want your community to be considered for an IISC partnership? Complete this short online form to get started.


IISC is the premier interdisciplinary community-engagement program at the University of Iowa.  We enhance the capacity of rural and urban communities in Iowa to address the environmental, equity, economic, and cultural issues you face today and to help you plan for a sustainable future.  Building sustainable communities requires a collaborative spirit, and we are a partner for local governments, non-profit organizations, local businesses, and educational institutions.  We believe these partnerships are the heart of our mission to serve our state and teach out students.

IISC invests University of Iowa faculty and student time to increase the capacity of Iowa communities to accomplish meaningful projects.  By taking students out of the classroom and into communities to complete real-world projects, IISC accomplishes two university-wide goals: building up communities across the state and transforming teaching and learning at the University of Iowa.



IISC matches university students and faculty with community partners to develop and implement projects that will advance the community’s sustainability and vitality. University faculty and students take part in this initiative through semester-long or year-long courses where the IISC project is a focal point of the course.  IISC works almost exclusively with graduate and advanced undergraduate courses, typically consisting of 5 – 25 students each. Depending on the number and scope of projects, 200 or more University of Iowa students and faculty can be involved in IISC each year.

The University of Iowa partners with one Iowa community each academic year for the IISC partnership.  The special partnership involves UI students, faculty, and staff working alongside leaders and residents in your community to complete 15 to 20 community-based projects. Because IISC works with students and faculty across a wide range of disciplines, projects can range from Engineering to Planning to Marketing & Branding, just to name a few.  You tell us about the issues and opportunities in your community, and we find the campus partners best suited to accomplish shared goal.



PDF iconWhat does an IISC community partnership look like?

PDF iconWhat types of projects are included in an IISC partnership?

PDF iconHow do communities identify local projects?

PDF iconFrequently Asked Questions

Download an editable Resolution template authorizing the IISC partnership


Does a partnership with the University of Iowa through IISC seem like a good fit for your community?  IISC is currently accepting Letters of Interest for the 2022-23 academic year.  Selected communities will be invited to submit a full proposal.  To be considered for the IISC partnership, complete a short online questionnaire.