Community Engagement

Our commitment to the community

At SPEA, community engagement is part of the lesson plan. From capstone classes to volunteering, our students and faculty members are doing their part to help the Indianapolis community and its citizens thrive. More than 100 SPEA classes contain a community-based component.

During the past four years, 69 SPEA students have received more than $280,000 in Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarships. The Sam Jones program recognizes students who make exemplary contributions in the community and further develops them as civic-minded graduates and professionals.

Record-breaking numbers in 2015–16

60,367hours of engagement

828participating students

126community partners

Jessica Davis, winner of the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion

Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money, and at times this was a significant challenge for us. Community service was at first a way for me to explore. My first alternative break was in Washington D.C. From there, service became a way for me to get involved and connect with my community.

Jessica Davis, MPA’17, winner of the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion

Consistently recognized as leaders in community engagement

Each year IUPUI honors 50 graduates with the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion. The annual award is given to students who have excelled in their commitment to the community. SPEA graduates routinely win the award, including six graduates in 2017.

Read more about SPEAs winners
William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion

Preparing the next generation of civic leaders

Through the generosity of our community partners, SPEA launched the Community Corps program in 2016. The innovative initiative gives students the opportunity to partner with many of our communitys nonprofit, faith-based, and public organizations.

A new class, Indy Community Development Network, is the first of its kind on the IUPUI campus and introduces students to many of the tools utilized in community development. SPEA students who participate in the class are eligible to compete for one of three $5,000 fellowships offered by PNC Bank that support a paid internship at a program where they can have maximum impact on community development initiatives in the city.

Read more about the program
A group of SPEA students talk with a city leader.

Find your place in SPEA and Indianapolis.