Ball State Selected as Finalist For Community Engagement Scholarship Award

Ball State University Campus. Photo by: Mike RhodesBall State University Campus. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Marc Ransford—

Muncie, IN—In recognition of its extraordinary community outreach initiatives, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today selected Ball State University as one of four regional winners of the 2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

As regional winners, Ball State, University of Florida, Texas Tech University, and Virginia Tech will represent and compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced during the APLU Annual Meeting November 11-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award includes a sculpture and $20,000 prize. The three other regional winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement, scholarship, and partnerships of four-year public universities. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities. The national award, which includes a sculpture and $20,000 prize, is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005. The three other regional winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000 to further their engagement work.

“We’re grateful to APLU and proud to see Schools Within the Context of Community, or SCC, receive this recognition,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “This partnership between Ball State, Muncie’s Whitely neighborhood, Longfellow Elementary School, Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, and Roy C. Buley Community Center enhances children’s education and empowers elementary education majors to be culturally responsive. We plan to replicate SCC’s success throughout Muncie. SCC is one of many examples of how Ball State University serves the community.”

“Community engagement is at the heart of public universities’ mission,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “We congratulate this year’s Magrath Award finalists and exemplary designees. What sets their community engagement efforts apart is their exceptional partnerships with community organizations to identify, address, and overcome challenges facing their regions.”

A team of community engagement professionals judged this round of the award. A second team will pick the national winner following presentations at the 2018 National Engagement Scholarship Conference in September.


Ball State’s Nominated Program: Ball State University’s Schools Within the Context of Community (SCC) program takes a unique approach to teacher education to help prepare culturally responsive and community-engaged teachers. Launched in 2009 as a partnership between Ball State and Whitely Neighborhood of Muncie, SCC immerses education students in low-income, predominately African-American communities where they’re matched with community mentors who educate student-teachers on the community’s values and strengths. As part of the initiative, Ball State faculty designed a research agenda examining the impact of community-engaged teacher preparation on aspiring teachers, children, and the wider community. Researchers working on the project have produced 12 peer-reviewed research papers, a co-authored book, and a wide array of national presentations – all while leveraging over $3 million in funding to support programming for children in the community. Working with community partners, the program has helped prepare nearly 200 culturally-responsive, equity-focused future teachers.