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About the Stevenson Center

In the spirit of its namesake, Adlai E. Stevenson II, Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center is dedicated to public service and global understanding. The Center serves communities and organizations around the world, students as they seek the tools for careers in community and economic development, the related fields of study, and Illinois State University.

Beginning in 1994 as a Peace Corps Fellows Program, the Stevenson Center continues to administer an interdisciplinary graduate sequence for students pursuing careers in community and economic development. We facilitate the curriculum, including the required, year-long internship experience and off-campus graduate assistantships.

Additionally, the Center provides direct service to communities in the form of economic impact analyses and forecasting, grant-writing training, and geographic information systems analysis. Affiliated faculty are active in the scholarship of community and economic development (e.g., local economic development policy, community supported agriculture, and rural school closure). Faculty research projects make their way into the classroom, reinforcing the quality of the educational experience.

Our mission and goals, adopted in 2018 through a strategic planning process with stakeholders, accurately reflect an enlarged spirit of service and attention to scholarship brought on by a new staff.

  • Our Mission

    The Stevenson Center at Illinois State University promotes community and economic development in the U.S. and abroad. The Center cultivates leaders in public service through a unique combination of interdisciplinary coursework, research, professional practice, and community collaboration.

    • Our Vision

      Setting the pace for service and understanding, locally and globally.

    • Our Values

      Service • Education • Drive • Community • Diversity • Collaboration • Integrity

The Stevenson Center helps the university meet the goals of: Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023.

Strategic Plan

Cultivate leaders to positively impact communities

Recruit talented, motivated, diverse students
Convey current, relevant knowledge
Build experience through professional practice
Prepare students for meaningful careers

Foster partnerships to meet mutual goals

Enhance relationships with organizations, campus, alumni, and supporters
Make new connections
Provide effective services and prepared students

Promote scholarship of community and economic development

Raise visibility of student and faculty research
Facilitate applied research projects

Secure commensurate resources

Strengthen marketing
Continuously assess performance, staffing, and structure
Invest in professional development
Pursue funding for organizational sustainability and adaptability