Community Issue Corps Call for Applications

eXtension is excited to announce the first Community Issue Corps opportunity specifically targeting Communities of Practice and Learning Networks. This Community Corps will identify and engage eXtension community-issue-corpsCommunities in a Design Event supporting projects targeting local, area, state, or national audiences to make a visible and measurable impact at the local level. During the Design Event, eXtension will assist project teams in the refinement of their plans and provide access to resources and people (Key Informants) that will help shape the project’s design and potential impact. We are prepared to accept up to 10 projects/programs from existing or new eXtension Communities to become the first Community Issue Corps.


concept mapping SAAn eXtension Issue Corps project can be made up of a small or large team of individuals who have a common interest in solving a local problem or addressing a local issue. This is an opportunity for a Community to tackle a NEW topic or goal with NEW strategies for execution and evaluation that can then be applied to future projects and programs. A Corps project is a way to narrow a Community’s focus on key competencies/deliverables and design the educational outreach as an experiment/research project in order to determine local impact and effectiveness while establishing communication and marketing strategies to broadcast success stories. The Design Event can take a GOOD IDEA and make it a GREAT IDEA that results in a pitch for seeking support, funding, and resources needed to carry out the activity. Corps projects can be thought of as pilots and those findings could be used to expand to larger scales once a tested methodology is established for the specific purpose. Scan projects from our first Issue Corps at i-Three Issue Corps Project Map of 2016.

Starter Ideas for Community Corps Projects:

  • Develop a locally-targeted social media campaign around a desired public behavior change
  • Provide a civic engagement toolkit that can be used to spearhead a local change initiative
  • Modify a successful program to better reach a culturally diverse population and test locally
  • Use multimedia storytelling to raise awareness of a local emerging issue or successful strategy
  • Host an innovation contest to generate new solutions to an identified local issue
  • Demonstrate a new way to visualize local data generated within your content area
  • Create a Citizen Science project that engages the public in helping to solve a local problem
  • Test a new online education delivery method with a local-level target audience


Readiness criteria important for successful leadership of Issue Corps projects.

  • Takes initiative

  • Perceived as influential

  • Curious teachable spirit
Good storyteller and communicator

  • Open to new ideas

  • Flexible and adaptive to change

  • Ability to get things done

  • Enjoys collaborating
Uses mobile technology such as a smartphone or tablet for their work
  • Perseverance to overcome obstacles and modify strategies


eXtension Foundation will cover the following onsight expenses:

  • Hotel room nights
  • Event scheduled meals and breaks
  • Meeting space
  • Event design and facilitation
  • Key informants, coaches, and support throughout your Corps experience

i-Three Issue Corps Project Members should be prepared to cover transportation expenses:

  • Travel by plane or car to Detroit, Michigan
  • Travel from the airport to the hotel if applicable
  • Meals on your own
  • Any incidentals

paul coachingProjects should result in the ability to impact the target audience at a local level even if the activity is designed and delivered for a state, a region or nationally. Execution of projects must be accomplished in a short timeframe concluding in late spring or early summer.

Innovative approaches to addressing local issues are desirable and preferred. Projects as presented will serve as a concept that is ready for further refinement during the design event.

The Primary Project Contact leader from the Community must be from a member institution. Review the list of Member institutions to verify membership status.


  1. community engagement KISubmit a proposal by October 7, 2016: This call for proposals is meant to be simple and straightforward asking for basic Community information and 200 word responses to several questions. (see below)
  2. Upon acceptance, receive one-on-one online coaching to review your proposal and prepare for the Design Event.
  3. Take advantage of an online orientation webinar that will cover key topics in preparation for the Design Event and for shaping your proposal.
  4. Attend the Design Event – December 7 – 9, 2016. Corps members must arrive on December 7th (possible evening reception and activity on Dec. 7) to be able to meet starting at 8 am on December 8 and will finish December 9th no earlier than noon. This event will provide each team (up to 3 members per team) with access to new strategies and resources that will shape each proposal individually and result in a clearer plan of action.
    1. Design Thinking
    2. Concept Mapping
    3. Key Informants
    4. Creating a Project Pitch
  5. Receive additional Coaching and Professional Development from eXtension as new questions or needs emerge after the Design Event.
  6. Share outcomes and impact of your project:
    1. Share proposal and results with eXtension in a webinar spotlight
    2. Share work in social media networks & with your institution’s communication team
    3. Provide blog posts for eXtension about the progress of your project
    4. Showcase (abstract, paper, poster, presentation) your project works and outcome at an appropriate national or state meeting


Submit your responses by OCTOBER 7, 2016 to the following questions using the online Community Issue Corps application.

  1. Name of Community or Network
  2. Primary Project Contact, Institution, & Contact Information
  3. Name of Collaborators, Institutions, & Contact Information (Feel free to list all team members associated with the project then successful applications will identify the 3 representatives to the Design Event)
  4. Summary of Proposed Project to include answers to each question in 200 words or less:
    1. Proposal Topic or Title (keywords)
    2. What is the LOCAL Problem or Issue the proposal will address?
    3. Describe your proposed solution to the problem?
    4. In the design of the proposal, what is the local level change expected to achieved?
    5. How will you measure the local level change?