Research & Service
The University of Kansas America Reads Challenge program is part of a larger, national campaign initiated by President Bill Clinton to help "at-risk" students develop reading skills. University of Kansas America Reads Tutors are Federal Work Study award recipients and work exclusively in Title 1 elementary schools in the Lawrence USD 497 school district with at risk students on improving their reading skills. Tutors read aloud to students, prepare lessons to build reading skills, and provide students with an opportunity to practice reading. Additionally, Tutors serve a positive role model, offering encouragement and motivation to become life long readers.
Through excellence in research, training, technical assistance and public service in Kansas, the nation and the world, the Beach Center on Disability seeks to make a significant and sustainable difference in the quality of life of families and individuals experiencing disability. Founded in 1988 by KU Distinguished Professors Emeriti Ann and Rud Turnbull, the Beach Center honors Ross and Marianna Beach for their long-standing efforts on behalf of families impacted by disability and was inspired by the Turnbulls’ son, Jay, who had several disabilities. Beach Center Director, Professor Michael Wehmeyer, and Associate Director, Associate Professor Karrie Shogren (both faculty members in the Department of Special Education) and colleagues conduct research examining the role of self-determination and strengths-based understandings of disability in improving the lives of children, youth, and adults with developmental and other disabilities. Beach Center Associate Director Jean Summers, coordinates the Beach Center Family Programs, which includes the Family Empowerment Awareness Training activities, while Associate Professor Mary Morningstar and Professor Kathleen Lane (both faculty members in the Department of Special Education) direct the Transition Coalition and Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-tiered (CI3T) program, respectively, located within the Beach Center. Finally, Department of Special Education Assistant Professor Jennifer Kurth is the lead investigator for the Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Supports, another Beach Center affiliated effort.
The Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI), one of 12 designated research centers and institutes at KU, exists to improve the performance of students, adults, and public agencies through local, state, and national communities.
AAI was formed in 2012 with the merger of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation and the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service. AAI includes four research centers: Agile Technology Solutions, the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs, the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, and the Center for Public Partnerships and Research. These centers offer a variety of services and programs, including innovative technology solutions for public agencies, development and delivery of standardized assessments, and enhanced educational support for youth in Kansas schools.
The Center for Psychoeducational Services is a training site for School of Education students. CPS is staffed by student clinicians who earn credit while they gain practical experience working directly with clients. All student clinicians are supervised by faculty who are certified or licensed in their fields. CPS is a self-sustaining, non-profit agency within the School of Education at the University of Kansas.
The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (KU-CRL) conducts research that focuses on solving the problems that limit individuals' quality of life and their ability to learn and perform in school, work, home, or the community. KU-CRL is concerned with the validation of assessment and instructional practices that can be used with broadly diverse groups. It is committed to translating the procedures it validates into instructional materials and products that practitioners can use. KU-CRL operates an international network to train educators throughout the world to use the products of its research. Through both its research and training missions, KU-CRL has developed a broad array of working partnerships with hundreds of schools, school districts, and state departments of education. Since its inception, KU-CRL has engaged in research agreements with hundreds of educational entities and has trained in excess of 200,000 practitioners in more than 4,000 school districts to use its materials and procedures.
Institute for Educational Research and Public Service (see the Achievement and Assessment Institute)
More than forty years ago, as the University of Kansas’ Life Span Institute’s research on developmental disabilities took root, efforts began to translate this research into practice through what is now known as the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD). Virtually all of the Life Span Institute’s direct service, technical assistance and post-doctoral, pre- and in-service training are associated with the KUCDD. These include clinics to diagnose and treat children with disabilities, a statewide project that provides assistive technology to people with disabilities and their families, and training childcare providers and social workers to support individuals with disabilities. In addition, investigators affiliated with the KUCDD conduct research that has state, national and international impact in areas like self-determination, positive behavior supports, inclusive educational practices, early childhood education, community and workplace supports, family systems and supports and other areas critical to the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The KUCDD is co-directed by Special Education Professors Michael Wehmeyer and Karrie Shogren and is affiliated with the Department as well as the Life Span Institute.
The KUPDS is a partnership between the University of Kansas School of Education and seven public schools in three near-by districts. Founded in 1991, the Alliance provides collaborative research, training and professional development opportunities for public school teachers, university faculty and teacher education students with the ultimate goal of improving public school education for all children.