ND Partners

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  Center for Civic Innovation


The Center for Civic Innovation works with other research centers and individuals across Notre Dame to identify unique opportunities for collaboration that address pressing issues primarily in the South Bend/Elkhart region. The Center's work is of service to the community while generating new opportunities for scholarship on campus. The Center brings together academic researchers, city government officials, and other community stakeholders to identify needs and to assess and map University intellectual assets to addressing these needs. A key objective of the Center is to create a virtuous cycle wherein faculty and students analyze challenging problems facing the community and develop innovative solutions at the boundaries of existing disciplines that fosters advances in both innovation and research. For the center, innovation is the process of creating new ideas in response to community needs using technology and methods that improve our community and its public institutions.


Center for Social Concerns


The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) provides community-based learning courses, community-based research, and service opportunities for students and faculty and lies at the heart of the University of Notre Dame. It is a place where faith and action, service and learning, research and resolve intersect. Over the past 29 years, the Center has offered educational experiences in social concerns inspired by Gospel values and the Catholic social tradition so that students and faculty may better understand and respond to poverty and injustice.

Through Center programs students, faculty, staff, and alumni are enabled to think critically about today’s complex social realities and about their responsibilities in facing them.


Compton Family Ice Arena

The staff of the Compton Family Ice Arena created the “Experience the Ice” program to promote physical fitness, nutrition and healthy living for Michiana school children. Using the new Compton Family Ice Arena to attract and motivate children, ND staff alongside Notre Dame Hockey players provided instruction on ice skating while integrating lessons found in Indiana State Education standards for gym and health. Seventeen events were organized for 2013-14, enabling 1291 children to participate. Each morning session was made possible through the generous donations of Royal Excursion. The 2014-2015 project will incorporate other prominent local entities including St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and their “this counts” campaign, the United Way Hunger and Obesity project along with the transportation of Royal Excursion.


DNA Learning Center

Benefits: Grades K-12

The Notre Dame DNA Learning Center was dedicated in September 2013 and will be a hands-on science center devoted to modern biology education that will prepare local K-12 students to thrive in the gene age. This advanced science education center will be the ideal teaching tool to inspire young students to pursue careers in science and to build a knowledge base that will extend into their educational and post-educational careers.


DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Benefits: SBCSC Students and the Community

The center is committed to engaging our local community in the arts. In past years, the center's involvement with community has included offering free events, workshops and classes for those we serve:  students from the South Bend Community School Corporation, Robinson Community and Learning Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County. In 2010, nearly 1,700 students had participated in center programs from our local community.


Expanding Your Horizons Notre Dame (EYHND)

Benefits: Girls Grade 6-8 (Northern Indiana)

Held annually at the end of April in Jordan Hall of Science. The purpose is to expose girls in grades 6–8 to women who use math and science in their everyday careers in a small workshop format. The goal is to increase the number of women in STEM careers.


Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI)

Benefits: Teachers and Students

Through teaching, research, and outreach, the IEI is dedicated to improving the education of all youth, particularly the disadvantaged, with a special call to sustain and strengthen Catholic schools. IEI outreach programs include: Strategic Intervention Team (SIT), Play Like a Champion and the ND ACE Advocates.


The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA)

Benefits: Teachers and Students

Funded by the National Science Foundation, JINA provides extensive outreach program including (but not limited to) summer camps and hands-on activities at libraries, after-school centers and community science events. Volunteers are often needed for the summer camps, especially Art to Science, and to guide students and the general public through these hands-on activities.


Kellogg Institute Outreach Program

Benefits: Teachers and Students

This international outreach educational program enhances the research and educational mission of the University of Notre Dame by engaging Kellogg Institute faculty, visiting scholars and students with area educators and schools.


ND-LEEF is born out of a close partnership with the St. Patrick's County Park that will provide an unrivaled opportunity for scientific and environmental outreach to regional school groups and other park visitors from South Bend, St. Joseph County, and surrounding communities. What’s more, because the entire site will be wired with an extensive embedded sensor network, school groups, the general public, and collaborating scientists will be able to follow the research in real time via the Internet from anywhere in the world.


Notre Dame Office of Public Affairs

The University of Notre Dame is engaged, invested, and committed to K-12 education, community development, civic leadership, and government relations. Through its Office of Public Affairs, the University collaborates with the community to create a prosperous and healthy environment in which to live, work and raise a family.

We base our outreach efforts on the Carnegie Classification of Community Engagement: “Community Engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities—local, regional/state, national, global—for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”


Notre Dame QuarkNet Center

Benefits: High School Teachers and Students

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Dept. of Energy, QuarkNet incorporates high school physics teachers and students in the high energy physics community through summer research, weekly meetings during the academic year, and ongoing development of online resources for student research using data from the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider.


The William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families

The Shaw Center brings scholars together to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research in support of healthy development across the human lifespan. The Center encourages basic and translational research that can have a broad impact in three key areas: income and health disparities; developmental disabilities and psychopathology; and optimization of development, education, and learning.


Notre Dame's TRiO Programs

Benefits: Middle and High School Students

Funded in part by the Dept. of Education, the TRiO programs provide tutoring, academic counseling, mentoring, career exploration, cultural enrichment and community service. Notre Dame’s TRiO Programs include Talent Search and Upward Bound and provide opportunities that prepare local middle and high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in higher education.

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Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC)

Benefits: Grades 1-12

Located in the heart of South Bend’s northeast neighborhood, the RCLC provides area children grades one through 12 with after-school programs, tutoring by University students, a technology center/computer lab, entrepreneurship classes, and recreational sports. There’s even a Robinson Shakespeare Company and Lego Robotics Club. 


Snite Musuem of Art

Benefits: Teachers and Students

An extension of the classroom, we can help bring learning to life through interactive tours and hands-on-activities that explore the richness of art throughout time and across cultures.  Many of our programs and resources are available free of charge and are designed to meet Indiana Academic Standards.  For high school students we offer an Apprentice program (by recommendation) and a High School Art Day where students visit college-level art courses.  For teachers, we offer a variety of activities including a Teacher Night, podcasts, a newsletter and events calendar.


Teachers as Scholars

Benefits: Teachers and Students

Teachers gather with colleagues from neighboring school districts to study, discuss, and reflect upon scholarly issues in an intimate, seminar setting. The two-day seminars take place on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Member school districts or schools partner with the university to provide the seminars to their teachers and administrators at no cost to the participant.