Advancing P-12 Engagement through Data: An Indiana University System Approach

Lauren Wendling, Customer Success Manager, Collaboratory, Dr. Kristin Norris, Assistant Director of School Partnerships, Indiana University System of Higher Education, Dr. Ellen Szarleta, Director, Center for Urban and Regional Excellence, Indiana University Northwest, Cathy Valcke, Director of External Relations and Public Affairs, Indiana University Kokomo, and Dr. TJ Rivard, Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Indiana University East.

In Fall 2020 community engagement professionals across eight Indiana University (IU) campuses established a system-level working group to collect and leverage community engagement data to better understand how IU is addressing P-12 education initiatives throughout the state, specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Data is being collected to inform the following questions at both system and campus levels:

– How is Indiana University collectively serving P-12 education to raise educational attainment in the state?

– How is Indiana University responding to the pandemic, specifically through P-12 partnerships?

-How is Indiana University partnering with community to address a broad range of intersectional issues (P-12 education, systemic racism, poverty, etc.)?

In this Spark Session, participants will learn from a panel of community engagement professionals within the IU system who are involved in this initiative.  Presenters will share the background of the system-wide initiative, how they are aligning their individual campuses to contribute, internal and external stakeholders involved, and the data collection and dissemination processes.  Participants will join presenters in walking through an exercise to assist with the identification of their internal and external stakeholders’ data needs, and how to begin a similar initiative on their campus.  This session will provide insight into how the collection and dissemination of community engagement data can inform institutional strategy, deepen the involvement of all stakeholder groups, ensure transparency of efforts, identify gaps, strengthen efforts, and understand impact.”

2020 has created unprecedented challenges for higher education and our communities.  This new landscape requires innovative strategies and approaches for our institutions to succeed and strengthen campus-community partnerships.  A better understanding of the ways institutions are working with community to address the myriad issues facing our society is fundamental to the future success of university-community partnerships.  This prompts institutions to ask questions such as:

– During these challenging times, how do we deepen partnerships?

– How do we leverage data about our campus-community partnerships to achieve common goals?

– How do we tell a robust story of our community engagement?

Articulating and operationalizing these questions first requires strategic and intentional reflection from diverse stakeholders.  In Fall 2020 community engagement professionals across eight Indiana University (IU) campuses established a system-level working group to collect and leverage community engagement data to better understand how IU is addressing P-12 education initiatives throughout the state, specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Data is being collected to inform the following questions at both system and campus levels:

– How is Indiana University collectively serving P-12 education to raise educational attainment in the state?

– How is Indiana University responding to the pandemic, specifically through P-12 partnerships?

– How is Indiana University partnering with community to address a broad range of intersectional issues (P-12 education, systemic racism, poverty, etc.)?

This initiative and data collected seek to inform institutional strategy, deepen the involvement of all stakeholder groups, ensure transparency of efforts, identify gaps, strengthen efforts, and understand impact.

The intended audience for this session includes community engagement professionals, faculty, and senior administrators, and is open to participants with any level of experience.”