The Institute for Community, University, and School Partnerships (ICUSP) was founded by Dr. Kevin Michael Foster in 2006 with support from The University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and The University of Texas at Austin Department of Curriculum and Instruction. It was incorporated as an independent organization in 2013.
Based on the needs, desires and interests of local community, students, school leaders, and university faculty, ICUSP was developed to address challenges facing students in schools by forging strong, purposeful, dynamic relationships among educational stakeholders invested in high student achievement. ICUSP’s first program was COBRA – Community of Brothers in Revolutionary Alliance – which was founded with local school principal Mr. Patrick Patterson on the campus of LBJ High School in Austin, Texas.
Subsequent programs were developed as community members – undergraduate students, graduate students, teachers, parents, school leaders or others – sought support in meeting student needs or addressing challenges they saw students face. VOICES was formed after a group of female students expressed a desire for a program that would specifically serve young women. Professional development programming was initiated after school administrators saw the effectiveness of ICUSP’s student programs and sought strategic guidance and support for their teachers and leaders. BlackademicsTV arose out of a desire to use mass media to more broadly connect academics and their insights with communities.
In every instance, ICUSP has turned to university students for human capital. Students have worked in all phases of ICUSP programming, and in the process have received training in fields of interest and have emerged as community-engaged professionals.