IUPUI-WESCO Community-University Partnership
Beginning in 1996, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) made a concerted effort to reduce historical tensions between the university and the Near Westside Community (i.e., WESCO). The Office of Neighborhood Partnerships in the Center for Service and Learning supports the relationship between the campus and WESCO and leverages university resources to build upon the IUPUI-WESCO Partnership. In 1998, the IUPUI-WESCO Partnership was awarded a Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) grant from the HUD Office of University Partnerships.
Initially, the IUPUI-WESCO Partnership focused on three areas of work: organizational development, educational policy and programming, and economic development. As the Partnership has evolved, it has branched into other areas allowing faculty, students, and staff from the university with opportunities to work on real life issues that challenge the every day lives of WESCO residents. Project examples include: the Westside Education Task Force which worked with public school officials, community leaders, and residents to leverage the opening of a community school in WESCO (i.e., George Washington Community School); America Reads Tutoring Program that annually places IUPUI work-study students in the community as reading tutors for 350 children; multiple service learning courses that place IUPUI students in WESCO-based organizations (e.g., B104: Intro to Psychology, R345: Crime and Society, P540: Community and Neighborhood Planning); Community Service Scholarships to support IUPUI students while they volunteer their time in WESCO-based organizations; and the development of multiple economic development assessment reports.
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