Research and Engaged Scholarship

A Commitment to Engagement & Outreach

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The School of Human Ecology has a strong commitment to engagement and the Wisconsin Idea that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom. For institutions of higher education, engagement refers to a spirit of give and take with its partners. For the School of Human Ecology, an engaged approach means that we occupy the role of learner as well as teacher, interacting with community partners to address local, state, national, and global needs and issues. This engaged philosophy expands the learning and discovery functions of the School of Human Ecology, while simultaneously enhancing the capacities of off-campus partners to address and resolve the issues they confront.

Woman takes notes on whiteboard during meeting.Our partnership with UW Cooperative Extension connects to the Cooperative Extension Family Living Programs within the areas of:

  • Families and Communities. Creating strong families that serve as the foundation for community life by enhancing family relationships, parenting, child development and the community institutions that promote family well-being.
  • Food, Nutrition and Health. Promoting healthy, well-nourished families as they learn to manage food dollars, plan nutritious meals, and purchase, prepare, and serve food that is safe to eat.

Basket of vegetables in the sunlight

  • Family Financial Security. Helping families meet future needs while keeping pace with day-to-day expenses and addressing the basics of earning, spending, saving, investing, and housing issues.
  • 4-H. Primarily in the area of Youth-Adult Partnership, youth and adults working together in positions of authority to make decisions and take action to strengthen organizations, communities, and our democratic society.
  • Program Development and Evaluation. The Program Development and Evaluation Unit provides training and technical assistance that enables Cooperative Extension campus and community-based faculty and staff to plan, implement and evaluate high quality educational programs.

Male college student plays outside with childSoHE is the only academic unit at UW-Madison to have an Outreach Planning Council, further evidence of our commitment. The Council promotes, supports, and recognizes the engagement activities of faculty, staff, and students. It administers Beckner Outreach Grants and presents Excellence in Outreach Awards, recognizing significant engagement efforts of faculty and staff.