Preparing Educators as Leaders

School of Education Partners

Professional Development Schools (PDS)

The KU Professional Development Schools (PDS) Alliance is an active partnership between the KU School of Education and 12 public schools in four school districts surrounding the campus in Lawrence, Kansas. Founded in 1991, our alliance works to provide the following:

  • collaborative educator preparation;
  • ongoing professional development;
  • reflective inquiry; and
  • continuous school renewal.

Within these tenets, the Alliance works for collaborative research, training and professional development opportunities for public school educators, university faculty, and teacher education students with the ultimate goal of improving education for all children.

TRIO Programs

TRIO programs provide educational opportunities for low-income individuals, first-generation college-bound students and disabled Americans. Congress established a series of programs to help low-income and disabled Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRIO Programs.

Multicultural Scholars Program

The Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) at KU is a special and unique opportunity for all undergraduate students.  The mission of the MSP is to recruit undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds into various academic majors as a means of increasing the diversity of the student body at KU. The KU School of Education is committed to enhancing and maintaining a diverse and dynamic faculty, staff and student population. A diverse student body strengthens the School by allowing a variety of perspectives to be integral to the School's programs, policies, and practices that more accurately reflect our diverse society and world. We need your help to increase our diversity within the professional careers in education, particularly, the health and teaching fields.  

Beach Center on Disability

The Beach Center on Disability is affiliated with the School of Education's Department of Special Education and the Schiefelbusch Life Span Institute. Professors Ann Turnbull and Rud Turnbull from the Department of Special Education serve as the Center's Co-directors. Professors Wayne Sailor and Michael Wehmeyer serve as the Associate Directors. Primary foci of Beach Center research include assistive technology, disability policy, family-professional partnerships, family quality of life, health care, foster care and adoption, positive behavior support, and self-determination. The Beach Center has maintained a steadfast commitment to making a difference for persons with disabilities and their families. The Beach Center is committed to listening to the priorities of families, incorporating family priorities into the Center's research agenda, to carry out research in a participatory way, and to ensure that the research makes a meaningful and sustainable difference in the lives of families who have children with disabilities.

Center for Educational Opportunity Programs

The Center for Educational Opportunity Programs (CEOP) supports a wide spectrum of learners and provides educational information, counseling, academic instruction, tutoring, assistance in applying for financial aid and supportive encouragement to both students and their families. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs helps students overcome academic, economic, social and cultural barriers to higher education. CEOP programs serve students at the University of Kansas, and youth and adults in the Lawrence, Topeka and Kansas City areas. CEOP partners with more than 70 community agencies and schools in the region, including school districts in Lawrence; Topeka; and Kansas City, Kansas; as well as the Kansas City, Kansas, Housing Authority; the Kansas City Career Center; the KU Center for Research on Learning; and the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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