Key Initiatives

The College of Human Sciences has established key, multidisciplinary initiatives designed to expand human potential and improve people’s lives. These initiatives advance effective educators, healthy Iowans, a high-tech workforce, and thriving communities.

Diversity and Social Responsibility

As the College of Human Sciences strives to expand human potential and improve people’s lives, we develop our individual capabilities to accept, grow, and project new ideas that will help create a better society for all.

Through day-to-day interactions, we are surrounded by a menagerie of difference; from a variety of course and program options, to the faculty that teaches them, our college is adamant about increasing the ways in which we think about – and accept – social and cultural diversity. The many faces of diversity are warmly welcomed within our college, campus, and community. As we broaden our perspectives and learn more about world cultures and religions, socioeconomic statuses, disabilities, and the ways in which our thinking is made deeper through this knowledge, we strive to create a stimulating, holistic, nourishing environment for students, alumni, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds.

We examine ways in which both intentional and unintentional assumptions about diversity influence issues of equity. As the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance states, we seek “justice for all.”

We hope you will join us in our journey to explore and embrace differences – and justice for all.

STEM Education

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education are rapidly changing. No longer do students merely take notes and recite information on tests; rather, Iowa State University experts are addressing STEM education in a whole new way, giving students a hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based approach to learning.

With exciting new developments in education research, College of Human Science faculty are on the forefront of innovative STEM curriculum. With their expertise, future teachers are entering classrooms better prepared to teach in STEM areas with exciting ideas for coursework and projects. Gone are the days of test tubes and lab coats – students in prekindergarten through community college are learning about STEM fields through historical narratives; projects that challenge them to read and write about their observations; camps and programs that ignite a passion for STEM at a young age; and observing science wonders as they happen every day.

The College of Human Sciences is dedicated to increasing the awareness and knowledge of STEM education – creating better teachers, stronger students, and a more advanced society.

A sampling of our STEM education efforts:


The more our scientists learn about diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits, the more we understand that the simple choices people make about what to eat, how to move, and how to live all play a crucial role in determining how long they will live – and how healthy and happy they will be.

In the College of Human Sciences, we study all the aspects of people – from how they eat and play to how they manage their families and how they learn. From our intense interventions for those with afflictions and better ways to help healthy people become even healthier.

We also design effective ways to educate people to embrace healthier habits. In the College of Human Sciences, we view wellness as a holistic state of being – because health really does matter.


The College of Human Sciences prides itself on expanding human potential. And entrepreneurship is about expanding enterprises – endeavors that are challenging, complicated, and somewhat risky.

Achieving a great feat often requires an entrepreneurial approach. Celebrated entrepreneurial problem-solvers begin by assessing the current situation, identifying needs, and comparing the status quo to the desired results. Next, they identify challenges and opportunities. They understand that solving complex issues generally requires assuming some risk and orchestrating creative, multifaceted strategies.

Efforts to infuse entrepreneurial studies into curriculum and develop the entrepreneurial spirit in students are highly valued in the College of Human Sciences. Whether developing a new program of study and growing its student enrollment or proposing a novel vein of research to advance humankind, entrepreneurship is at the center of our efforts to improve people’s lives.

Our young entrepreneurs – and the faculty that instills such spirit – reach across traditional academic borders to work with communities, businesses, schools, and individuals to improve lives and create a more resilient society.

Entrepreneurship. We embrace it, model it, and inspire it – so the citizens of tomorrow will become better problem-solvers.

Personal Financial Literacy

In the 21st century, money management is a basic skill – a key to survival for individuals, families, and communities around the globe.

High debt loads among college students and challenging economic times make it more critical than ever to equip young adults with the knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions.

The College of Human Sciences is boosting financial literacy by expanding course offerings in personal and family finance for Iowa State University students – and working with the Iowa Department of Education to develop a new certificate program that prepares high school teachers to lead courses in personal finance.

Leading the way in financial literacy, our faculty is preparing tomorrow’s leaders to manage resources wisely. By learning to minimize debt, accrue savings, and invest intelligently, young people can ensure fiscal responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities well into the future.

Strategic Plan