NC State College of Education Awarded More than $30M in Grants in 2019-20 Academic Year

New wolf statue on central campus.

The NC State College of Education, including scholars with its Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, was awarded more than $30 million for 54 new grants from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. You can view a selection of the grants awarded this year below.

Grants are listed based upon the quarter in which they were awarded.

July-October, 2019

Invigorating Statistics Teacher Education Through Professional Online Learning (InSTEP) 

The $2,852,626 National Foundation/DRK-12 grant-funded InSTEP project aims to curate and create online resources for professional development in the teaching of statistics and data science, design models for using the resources in an online community and examine the effectiveness of teachers’ engagement with models and resources. Hollylynne Lee, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and statistics education and faculty fellow at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator. Lauren Acree, Friday Institute research scholar, Gemma Mojica, Friday Institute research associate, and Alex Dreier, Friday Institute instructional design lead, will serve as co-principal investigators. 

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Validation of the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (VEAR-MI)

The $2,296,493 National Science Foundation/DRK-12 grant-funded VEAR-MI project will utilize two existing large-scale datasets focused on mathematics teachers to develop and validate rubrics that attend to the existence and quality of instructional practices that support equity and access in mathematics classes. Jonee Wilson, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics education, is the project’s principal investigator while Temple Walkowiak, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics education, will serve as co-principal investigator.

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Supporting Students’ Science Content Knowledge Through Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global

The $449,081 National Science Foundation/DRK-12 grant-funded project will focus on developing 9th grade students’ science content knowledge and science and engineering practices while investigating factors influencing student motivation and engagement as well as teacher attitudes toward inquiry-based pedagogy. Hiller Spires, Ph.D. Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor and senior research fellow at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator while Erin Krupa, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics education, will serve as co-principal investigator.

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Purdue’s Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program (P-CAP)

This $1,180,936 grant from Purdue is part of a four-year, $12 million grant originally awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor focused on creating cybersecurity apprenticeships to fill a growing need for cybersecurity professionals across the country. The project aims to create 5,000 new highly-qualified personnel in cybersecurity through certifications as well as two- and four-year degree programs. The Friday Institute will direct the associated research and evaluation of the program, and Carla C. Johnson, Ph.D., executive director of the Friday Institute and associate dean, will serve as a co-principal investigator on the project.

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Yadkin County Schools Wolfpack Literacy Partnership

This $575,183, two-year project funded by the Mebane Foundation will help prepare Yadkin County Schools teachers with the advanced expertise needed to effectively implement evidence-based literacy instruction, assessment and intervention in elementary grades. Teachers who complete the program will receive a Master’s of Education degree and obtain knowledge needed to pursue advanced licensure as reading specialists. Dennis Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy education, is the project’s principal investigator.

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A Longitudinal Examination of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) in North Carolina Public Schools

This $195,054 project funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will facilitate the continuation of a comprehensive, longitudinal evaluation of the implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support in schools across North Carolina over the past two decades to help inform future policy regarding PBIS in schools. Ed Sabornie, Ph.D., professor of special education, is the project’s principal investigator. Cathy Crossland, Ph.D., professor of special education, is the co-principal investigator.

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Programmed Robotics in the After-School Makerspace: A Four-County Initiative

This $154,480 project funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation will bring targeted makerspace activities to middle and high schools in the Piedmont Unifour region and provide training on four programmed robotics platforms to student leaders and teachers interested in starting or expanding makerspace clubs. Kevin Oliver, Ph.D., professor of learning design and technology, is the project’s principal investigator. Parks Newby, teaching assistant professor of STEM education, and Regina Barrier, Northwestern Satellite Office director for the NC State College of Science’s Science House, will serve as co-principal investigators.

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Broadband and Telehealth Feasibility Study of the ARC Region

This $91,000 project funded by the N.C. Department of Information Technology Services will enable the Friday Institute to provide technical assistance to Biotechnology Innovation Organization leadership and staff to establish state policies and programs around greater wireless connectivity for education and other applications. The goal is to gather high-quality data on North Carolina’s cellular and wireless connectivity with a focus on the homework gap. Phil Emer, senior director of Technology Programs at the Friday Institute, will be the project’s principal investigator.


Pathway to Practice NC: A North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Collaborative Addressing North Carolina’s Teaching Shortage Through a Competency-Based Approach with Alternative Licensure Teachers 

This $75,000 project funded by the State Employees Credit Union aims to expand the impact of NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill’s collaboration to prepare residency licensure teachers in high-need content areas and high-need communities in the state through their 100% online joint program Pathway to Practice NC. Alison Winzeler, coordinator of Pathway to Practice NC and director of the NC State College of Education’s alternative licensure programs, is the project’s principal investigator. Michael Maher, Ph.D., assistant dean for professional education and accreditation, is the co-principal investigator.

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Craven County Targeted Support Improvement, Social Emotional Learning Support

This $65,069 project funded by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will allow the Friday Institute to create a program that builds educator capacity to utilize technology and address social-emotional learning in order to better meet the needs of students, particularly those with special needs, at elementary and middle schools in Craven County. Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D., director of digital learning programs at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator. Nancy Mangum, associate director of digital learning programs at the Friday Institute, will serve as co-principal investigator.


Pamlico County Schools Module Support

This $39,338 project funded by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will allow the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative at the Friday Institute to work with Pamlico County Schools over a nine-month period to design and develop support for digitized professional development focused on trauma and social-emotional learning. Emmy Coleman, senior research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Scaling Up Project-Based Inquiry Global

This $29,982 project funded by the Longview Foundation aims to scale up the impact of the ongoing Project-Based Inquiry Global research through the development of curricular materials related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of professional development for educators. The goal is the project is to support students to become local and global agents of change. Hiller Spires, Ph.D., Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor and senior research fellow at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.

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STEM Support for Pamlico County Schools/Arapahoe Charter School

This $25,554 project funded by the Golden Leaf Foundation will offer targeted technology-rich professional development focused on the continued development, planning and implementation of STEM and project-based learning to educators in Pamlico County Schools and the Arapahoe Charter School over an 11-month period. Emmy Coleman, senior research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Professional Learning Support

This $24,976 project funded by the Golden Lean Foundation will allow the Friday Institute to work with the Henderson Collegiate over a 10-month period to deliver targeted technology-rich professional learning that will assist with the continued development, planning and implementation of digital learning. Emmy Coleman, senior research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


NC State Improvement Project Institute of Higher Education Partnership 

This $10,000 project funded by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will enable NC State faculty to become certified Reading Research to Classroom Practice or Foundations of Math instructors to allow related coursework to be integrated into pre-service teacher preparation. The project will allow faculty to make State Improvement Project materials available to pre-service teachers and develop a plan to place student-teachers in classrooms of teachers who have completed Reading Research to Classroom Practice or Foundations of Math Courses. Jamie Pearson, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, is the project’s principal investigator.


Building Capacity for Computational Thinking 

This $9,777 project funded by the Wake County Public School System will enable the Friday Institute to provide consulting services to the district to support the plan to establish the Bugg Magnet Elementary School Center for Design and Computer Sciences. Mary Ann Wolf, Ph.D., director of digital learning programs at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Collaborative Research: Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation-Research Experience and Mentoring Catalyst Initiative 

This $8,176 project funded by the National Science Foundation is part of a multi-year, $137,493 project that aims to build an EFRI-REM mentoring community comprised of current and future science and engineering mentors to catalyze a programmatic change that positively impacts the mentors and student and teacher mentees. Christine Grant, Ph.D., associate dean of faculty advancement in the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is the project’s principal investigator. Tuere Bowles, Ph.D., associate professor in the NC State College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Policy, Adult and Higher Education, is the co-principal investigator.


Teaching with Primary Resources Through Action Research 

This $8,153 project funded by the Library of Congress will focus on the processes social studies teachers follow to plan, implement and assess C3 (career, college and civic life) inquiries that utilize Library of Congress, resources and guide teachers through the action research cycle to teach with inquiry. Meghan Manfra, Ph.D., associate professor of social studies education, is the project’s principal investigator.

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November 2019-January 2020

Enhancing Engagement and Conceptual Understanding of Fractions for Students with Learning Disabilities Using the Model Mathematics Education Curriculum

This $1,391,542 grant from the National Science Foundation will develop and test an innovative, integrated curriculum through a game for fourth through sixth grade students with learning disabilities. Through the game, students will engage in competitive and collaborative problem-solving challenges rooted in authentic STEM and information and communications technology (ICT) careers with the goal of increasing their conceptual knowledge of fractions and level of engagement. Jessica Hunt, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics education and special education, is the project’s principal investigator.

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Special Education Licensure Cohort Programs: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

This $166,094project funded by Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will allow the NC State College of Education to offer an add-on licensure program in special education that is contextualized to the needs of teachers in that district. The program will give up to 25 teachers the opportunity to participate in the four-course, online program and undergo embedded field experiences while building their capacity to support students with mild to moderate disabilities in a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support framework. John Lee, Ph.D., professor of social studies education, is the project’s principal investigator. Jamie Pearson, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education, will serve as co-principal investigator.


Measuring the Impact of the Deliberative Discussion Model

This $92,606 grant from Street Law, Inc. will help train a cohort of 30 social studies teachers to use a deliberation strategy designed to engage students in productive civil conversations and study whether engaging students in these discussions changes their views on issues. Paula McAvoy, Ph.D., assistant professor of social studies education, is the project’s principal investigator.


Cultural Investigations and Digital Representations for Educators (CIDRE)

This $60,000 grant from the Triangle Community Foundation will allow more than a dozen K-12 educators from Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham counties to travel to Germany as part of an immersive professional development program that infuses writing and technology into different cultural experiences. Through the program educators learn about digital tools that they can use to visualize cultural representation in their classrooms. Kevin Oliver, Ph.D., professor of learning design and technology, is the principal investigator on the project. Angela Wiseman, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy education, will serve as co-principal investigator.

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Assessment of ASSIST Education Programs

This $17,964 grant from ASSIST is the latest funding in a multi-year grant to enable the continued assessment of the degree to which educational programs through the North Carolina State University Advanced Self Powered System of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center’s educational programs impact student achievement and attitudes towards STEM careers. Meghan Manfra, Ph.D., associate professor of social studies education, is the principal investigator on the project.

February-April, 2020

Artificial Intelligence Academy: North Carolina Apprenticeships for Innovation

This $5,999,799 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will support 5,000 workers with training, college coursework and certification to work in the emerging field of artificial intelligence through public-private apprenticeships. The program targets current information technology employees in North Carolina and nationwide who are underemployed or seeking new opportunities, as well as veterans and underrepresented populations. Carla Johnson, Ph.D., professor of science education, is the project’s principal investigator. James Robinson III, senior systems architect at the Friday Institute, is the co-principal investigator.

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NC State University’s Leadership Academies

This $3,749,887 grant from the N.C. Principal Fellows Commission will allow the College of Education’s principal preparation program to prepare two new cohorts of school leaders, who will commit to working in high-need school districts for four years following graduation from the Master of School Administration program. Bonnie Fusarelli, Ph.D., professor of educational leadership and policy development and director of NC State’s Leadership Academies, is the project’s principal investigator. Lance Fusarelli, Ph.D., professor of educational leadership and policy development, and Lesley Wirt, Ed.D., associate director of principal preparation, will serve as co-principal investigators.

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NC State University’s N.C. Principal Fellows Program Grants Renewal Application

This $2,369,767 grant from the N.C. Principal Fellows Commission will allow the College of Education to prepare 32 additional aspiring school leaders through its innovative Master of School Administration program. Bonnie Fusarelli, Ph.D., professor of educational leadership and policy development and director of NC State’s Leadership Academies, is the project’s principal investigator. Lance Fusarelli, Ph.D., professor of educational leadership and policy development, and Lesley Wirt, Ed.D., associate director of principal preparation, will serve as co-principal investigators.


Professional Online Learning Module (PLOM) Project

This $934,215 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences will facilitate the development and study of two new professional online learning modules for educators that will be hosted on the Friday Institute’s online platform, The PLACE (Professional Learning and Collaborative Environment). Carla Johnson, Ph.D., professor of science education, is the project’s principal investigator. Mark Samberg, Ed.D, director of technology programs for the Friday Institute, Hiller Spires, Ph.D., executive director of the Friday Institute and associate dean at the College of Education, Jessica Hunt, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics education and special education, and Janet Walton, Ph.D., senior research scholar at the Friday Institute, are co-principal investigators.

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N.C. ASSISTments Expansion

This $99,966 project, funded by WestEd, will evaluate the efficacy of ASSISTments, an online tutoring system that provides coached problem solving support for students as well as cognitive diagnostic reports to teachers to support students’ mathematics homework completion. Allison Black-Maier, Ph.D.,a research associate at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


The Role of Education in Climate Change Adaptation

This $49,850 grant from the Spencer Foundation will fund an interdisciplinary conference of junior and senior scholars from across a variety of disciplines who will develop scholarly capacity, coordination and lines of inquiry to advance climate change education research. K.C. Busch, Ph.D., assistant professor of STEM education, is the project’s principal investigator.

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Department of Information Technology BIO Farm Broadband

Through a $25,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, the Friday Institute will provide technical assistance to BIO to develop a speed test application that can be integrated with a survey that will be distributed to farmers in partnership with the North Carolina Farm Bureau. Raymond Zeisz, director of the Friday Institute’s Technology Infrastructure Lab, is the project’s principal investigator.


CAREER: Leveraging the Multifunctional Redox Properties of Pyrogenic Materials to Enable Biological Transformation of Aqueous Organic Contaminants

This $18,965 grant from the National Science Foundation will facilitate the investigation of a new class of conductive, biocompatible materials that can quickly and selectively mediate the degradation of mixtures of organic contaminants. Douglas Call, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, is the project’s principal investigator. Gail Jones, Ph.D., Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of science education, will serve as senior personnel on the project.


Strengthening Community Networks for Environmental Learning and Resilience Through Children

This project, funded by $10,308 from the North Carolina State University Sea Grant, aims to define and develop measurements of community-level environmental literacy and train 30 middle and high school teachers in a citizen-science and school-based program designed to build community-level environmental literacy through intergenerational learning. Kathryn Stevenson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the College of Natural Resources, is the project’s principal investigator. Sarah Carrier, Ph.D., associate professor of science education, K.C. Busch, Ph.D., assistant professor of STEM education, and Nils Peterson, Ph.D., a professor in the College of Natural Resources, are co-principal investigators on the project.


Building a Culture of and Capacity for EE Evaluation: 2.0 Addendum

This $2,988 grant, sponsored by the Pisces Foundation, will allow NC State to contribute to the ongoing effort to study collective evaluation efforts across the field of environmental education by characterizing the landscape of collective evaluation of environmental education. Kathryn Stevenson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the College of Natural Resources, is the project’s principal investigator. K.C. Busch, Ph.D., assistant professor of STEM education, is the co-principal investigator.

April-June, 2020

Supporting Reading Comprehension for English Learners Through Inquiry-Based, Language Focused Instruction

This four-year, $1.4 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, aims to develop a new, small-group intervention for English learners in grades 3 through 5 who have reading comprehension difficulties. The intervention will use the Building Knowledge and Language through Inquiry Framework to help readers strengthen language and literacy skills while building knowledge about interesting topics in disciplines like science and social studies. Dennis Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy education, is the project’s principal investigator and Jackie Relyea, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education, is the co-principal investigator.

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Developing STEM Identity in Rural Audiences through Community-Based Engineering Design

This four-year, $889,883 project, funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to address the lack of access to high quality K-12 STEM education in rural areas by creating community-based engineering design experiences for underrepresented and underserved middle school students. The project is designed to improve students’ congestive and noncognitive outcomes and lead to increased participation in STEM fields. Tameshia Ballard Baldwin, Ph.D., a teaching assistant professor with the NC State College of Engineering and affiliate faculty member in the College of Education’s Department of STEM Education within the program area of Technology, Engineering, and Design Education, is the project’s principal investigator. Braska Williams, director of the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Pre-College Program (MSEN) at the Friday Institute, is senior personnel.

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School Connectivity Initiative

This three-year, $850,500 project funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, will enable the Friday Institute to create and manage tools to inform and automate School Connectivity Initiative (SCI) program functions and assist SCI in the development of K-12 cyber security related services, among other things. Ray Zeisz, director of the Technology Infrastructure Lab at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Developing and Testing Innovations (DIT): Narrative Modeling with StoryQ: Integrating Mathematics, Language Arts, and Computing to Create Pathways to Artificial Intelligence Careers

This three-year project, funded by $310,581 from the National Science Foundation, will use existing data science and text mining technologies to develop the StoryQ narrative modeling platform for use in K-12 schools. The project team will develop a high school curriculum that will target underrepresented students in STEM and allow them to design, build, test and iteratively improve machine learning models of narratives sourced from the students’ own writings. Shiyan Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor of learning design and technology, is the project’s co-principal investigator.

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Broadband Data Collection and Analysis 

This $290,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology will allow the Friday Institute to assist BIO in developing a speed test application that can be integrated with a statewide survey to determine internet access and capacity, audit and verify service to locations funded by the GREAT Grant and identify eligible funding areas. Ray Zeisz, director of the Technology Infrastructure Lab at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


NC Digital Learning Initiative

This $246,390 project, funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, aims to provide support for districts and educators in North Carolina during the transition to remote learning through the creation and implementation of guidelines for remote instruction, professional learning opportunities and model lessons. Shaun Kellogg, Ph.D., a research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator and Nancy Mangum, associate director of digital learning programs at the Friday Institute, is the co-principal investigator.


Building a Next Generation Diagnostic Assessment and Reporting System within a Learning Trajectory-Based Mathematics Learning Map for Grades 6-8

Building on an ongoing NSF-funded project, this $180,687 grant will allow partner schools in New York and North Carolina to implement a learning trajectory map and use diagnostic assessments in the course of regular instruction with the goal of learning to revise and strengthen the diagnostic assessments, model student progress using learning trajectories, and implement instructional strategies within competency-based strategies. Jere Confrey, Ph.D., Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education, is the project’s principal investigator.


Code.org Virtual Professional Learning Program

This $84,900 project, funded by Code.org, will enable the Friday Institute to design and develop a virtual professional learning program for teachers in response to the growing need for online professional learning that stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic. Dave Frye, senior director for computer science initiatives the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator.


Belonging-Centered Instruction: An Approach to Establishing Inclusive Mathematics Classrooms

Through this one-year, $31,533 project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a diverse team will analyze videos depicting teachers’ instructional practices with the hopes of identifying examples of inclusive practices and creating a compilation of practical strategies for belonging-centered instruction to be employed in mathematics classrooms. DeLeon Gray, Ph.D., associate professor of educational psychology and university faculty scholar, is the project’s co-principal investigator.

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Updating the North Carolina STEM Education Strategic Plan

This project, funded by $25,000 from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, will enable the Friday Institute to work with the SMT Center to create a guiding document for organizations, institutions and individuals working to advance high quality K-12 STEM education in North Carolina. Shaun Kellogg, Ph.D., a research scholar at the Friday Institute, is the project’s principal investigator and Melinda Faber, a research associate at the Friday Institute, is the project’s co-principal investigator.


Be the Dataset: Enhancing Undergraduate Learning About Biomechanics and Data Science Through Augmented Reality and Self-Motion Data

This $23,299 project, funded by the National Science Foundation, will build upon contextual learning theories to establish a novel and mobile device-based learning platform to support and reinforce knowledge acquisition in biomechanics and data science. Shiyan Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor of learning design and technology, is a co-principal investigator on the project.


Technology-Rich Units for Future Secondary Teachers: Forging Mathematical Connections Through the Geometry of Functions

This $14,827 grant, funded by the National Science Foundation, will extend the reach of the geometry activities developed through the “Forging Connections” project in response to the rapid shift to online teaching at universities across the United States during the coronavirus pandemic. Karen Hollebrands, Ph.D., interim associate dean for research and innovation, is the project’s principal investigator.


Fostering Deeper Learning Pilot

Through this $10,000 project, funded by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, a series of online modules and supplementary resources aimed at developing pre-service teacher capacity to effectively foster deeper learning will be designed as part of the national “Preparing the New Teacher Workforce to Foster Deeper Learning” project. Sarah Cannon, Ph.D., lecturer and edTPA coordinator, is the project’s principal investigator. Erin Horne, Ph.D., assistant dean for assessment and professional education, is the co-principal investigator.


Transitions in a Crisis: Moving Postsecondary CTE Online During Coronavirus

This $10,000 project, funded by the ECMC Foundation, supports the hiring of human resources to provide support to community college partners as they transition postsecondary CTE courses online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The project helps small and rural community colleges through coaching, the development of instructional models to teach online and the creation of resources to be shared among schools. Associate Professor James Bartlett, Ph.D., is the project’s principal investigator and Teaching Assistant Professor Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., is the co-principal investigator.


Writing with Adolescent Girls at CORRAL Riding Academy to Support Transformational Change

This $5,000 grant from the Engagement Scholarship Consortium aims to enhance the partnership between the Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI) and CORRAL Riding Academy to sustain LCI’s research efforts that inform the ways in which youth learn literacy, promote the voices of adolescent girls and inform the community about the needs of adolescent girls in high-risk situations. Crystal Chen Lee, Ed.D., assistant professor of English Language Arts education, is the project’s principal investigator.

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