Faculty members in the program area concur with the work of The Greater Houston Partnership that - Early Matters. Specifically, all students should be reading to learn by 3rd grade and must learn to read well prior to that marker. Faculty members’ research efforts focus on reading interventions and reading assessments for students who experience reading difficulties and students who are English Learners. Partnerships with school districts and the Neuhaus Center are ongoing and help build educator capacity in early literacy.
The Transition Pipeline
In Texas and across the nation a substantial gap continues to exist in the number of college graduates needed to meet current and future workforce and civic demands. Action must begin in elementary school – where students will acquire a strong set of foundational skills upon which they can build an academic career - consequently increasing the number of economic contributors, improving the well-being of more adults moving forward, and providing a homegrown workforce. Our faculty tackle these challenges through research that comprehensively and constructively addresses a full-range of related issues in K-12, 2-year, and 4-year institutions. Our faculty’s research focus is on curricular pathways through the various systems, interventions that increase the capacity of support personnel, and techniques that promote a growth mindset for students and families. Partnerships with National College Access Network, Reach Higher, and Make Room are ongoing.
Teachers are pivotal to the success of educational changes but all too often the connection between prior professional development, teacher experience, teacher knowledge, teacher self-efficacy, and campus climate for change are not studied in relation to instructional practices and the regular use of formative assessment to drive classroom instruction and improve student skills. Research efforts are underway to study teacher capacity building, coaching, and professional development delivery models. Partnerships with school districts are ongoing.
Numerous reports and organizations call for changes in education. Our faculty work with leaders in applied educational settings to assist with the identification, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions and assessments to help: close achievement gaps; keep students in school; successfully launch students on college and careers paths; and, build the capacity of a campus. Yes, our faculty members research change in educational systems and how to support future action plans for our graduates to do the same.