Selected Funded Projects — School of Education & Human DevelopmentJulia Cummings | School of Education and Human Development Aug 11, 2023
Faculty in the School of Education & Human Development are incredibly productive researchers. They nearly tripled research grant success last fiscal year, securing more than $17.1 million in multi-year external funding for projects that prepare, advance and inspire education and mental health leaders while growing a more diverse workforce.
Nearly $7M Grant to “Grow our Own” Diverse Cadre of Teachers in Rural Colorado
SEHD faculty members Barbara Seidl, PhD (PI), associate dean for teacher education and undergraduate experiences, and Cindy Gutierrez, PhD (co-PI), director of SEHD’s Office of Partnerships and clinical teacher education, together with their colleagues, community college and district partners received a $6.87 million multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership Program titled NxtGEN Colorado: A Grow Your Own Approach to Preparing Teachers for Rural Colorado. NxtGEN Colorado, builds off the success of the NxtGEN program which was codesigned by Denver Public Schools and CU Denver in 2014 and elevated in a U.S. Department of Education fact sheet as one of eight teacher education programs in the country innovatively addressing the teacher shortage and increasing the number of diverse teachers prepared for today’s classrooms. The new funding allows our school to extend the NxtGEN model of recruitment, preparation, and high support to first-generation students in four rural regions across Colorado, including SEHD’s most recent partnership with Lamar Community College.
$3.5M US Dept of Ed Grant to Train Equity-Focused Future School Psychologists
School Psychology program faculty members Rachel Stein, PhD (PI) and Bryn Harris, PhD (co-PI) partnered with Denver Public Schools to design Project ASPIRE: Advancing School Psychology Innovative Training to Recruit Equity-Focused Practitioners. The initiative gives scholarships to three groups of students who enter the 100-credit-hour, American Psychological Association-accredited, School Psychology doctoral program in fall 2023, 2024, and 2025. Student awardees will receive financial, scholarly, and mentorship support throughout their training trajectory including significant tuition support, a monthly living stipend, funding for incidental costs, and professional development. Prospective students must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and be passionate about equity-focused mental health access for bilingual, preschool, and economically disadvantaged student populations. Applications for the fall 2024 cohort open on July 1 and close on Nov. 15, 2023. Apply for free using the promocode SEHDGRAD. This innovation is made possible by a $3.15 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education.
$1.47M Subaward to Train Early Childhood Educators of Bilingual Children
Cristina Gillanders, PhD, associate professor in CU Denver’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, serves as grant co-PI with colleague Dina Castro, PhD at Boston University. Together, they have secured a $2.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition for The Nuestros Niños Professional Development Program, $1.47 million of which is the CU Denver subcontract. This forward-looking project provides fully online courses and coaching support in language and literacy professional development to 160 educators who serve the youngest dual language learners in Colorado and Massachusetts. Participants take four 3-credit bearing courses, that can be later applied for a BA or MA and combined to form a certificate on Teaching and Learning of Young Bilingual Children. Each educator will receive free tuition and children’s books for their classrooms and for families.
$1M Subaward to Train and Prepare Doctoral Students to use Culturally Responsive Practices with Young Children with Disabilities
Elizabeth Steed (co-PI), professor in Early Childhood Education at CU Denver, together with Angel Fettig at the University of Washington and Hailey Love at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, secured $4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The CU Denver subcontract funding totals $1 million. Their grant called Project Mixer provides full tuition for four years plus a monthly stipend to PhD students studying culturally responsive practices for young children with disabilities through a mixed methods research approach. At CU Denver, Steed will direct the subcontract with Nancy Leech’s support to provide specialized training in mixed methods. Four PhD students in the Inclusive Early Childhood Education doctoral concentration have been selected for Project Mixer funding.
Nurturing Inclusive Early Childhood Educators and Leaders
Ritu Chopra (PI), executive director of The Paraprofessional Research and Resource (PAR2A) Center, and Elizabeth Steed (co-PI), professor in Early Childhood Special Education at CU Denver, have been selected to receive a $997,902 funding stream through 2028, thanks to a recent grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Their project titled EPIC-ECEL: Equity-focused Preparation of InClusive Early Childhood Educators and Leaders partners with three Hispanic-Serving Institutions — Community College of Denver, Morgan Community College in Ft. Morgan, and Aims Community College in Greeley — to prepare an ECE workforce equipped with knowledge and skills for meaningful inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families, particularly those who are from racially, ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse populations. The project will collaborate with other CU and state level initiatives that promote the shared goal of improving the effectiveness of the ECE workforce to equitably support all young children and their families in early childhood settings.
Anchoring a Treasured National Center Focused on Bridging Early Care and Education (ECE) and PreK-12 Systems
Kristie Kauerz, EdD (PI), faculty member in Leadership for Educational Organizations and Early Childhood Policy, secured $900,000 from the Heising-Simons Foundation to expand the National P-3 Center’s innovative work in states, school districts, and communities across the country. The Center is unique in its dedication to working across the traditional divides of early care and education (ECE) and PreK-12 systems. Established in 2013, it has developed a national reputation for fostering organization and system strategies that support young children’s learning from birth through elementary school. Three core strategies anchor the Center’s work: providing leadership and professional learning opportunities, offering guidance and resources to support implementation and practice, and engaging in research and evaluation efforts that expand the field’s understanding of alignment and coherence strategies that span early learning and the early grades.
Growing Undergraduate Teacher Education Pathways for Paraprofessionals and High School Students
The SEHD received a $754,300 subaward from St. Vrain Valley Schools as part of the Opportunity Now Colorado Grant Program. The grant, called Pathways to Prosperity, is sponsored by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. This subaward builds upon and funds the SEHD’s strong Pathways2Teaching customized dual enrollment programs and a new pathway, the Paraprofessional to Teacher Advancement Pathway (P-TAP), that allows full-time working paraprofessionals to complete a BA with teaching license from their districts.
Improving Student Voice Research in Denver High Schools
SEHD’s Carlos Hipolito-Delgado, PhD (PI), professor, and Dane Stickney, PhD (project staff and clinical assistant professor), together with their research partners Ben Kirshner, PhD at CU Boulder (co-PI), Shelley Zion, PhD at Rowan University (co-PI), and Magnolia Landa-Posas at Denver Public Schools (co-PI) received a prestigious $400,000 Spencer Foundation grant to expand the partnership between Transformative Student Voice (TSV) and Denver Public Schools’ Student Voice and Leadership program. The TSV team designs and sustains systemic opportunities for marginalized high school students to identify compelling problems and challenges, participate in original research, and advocate for social justice change in their schools and communities by working with adults to implement better policies and practices. This grant allows this team of researchers to scale up capacity, improve research infrastructure, and develop authentic assessments that may be used in Denver or in other TSV partnerships across the nation.
In addition, the school thanks Suzanne Arnold, PhD, Jennifer Dailey, Rashmi Gangamma, PhD, Cindy Gutierrez, PhD, Kristie Kauerz, PhD, Julia Mahfouz, PhD, Diana Schaack, PhD, Scott Schaefle, PhD, and Barbara Seidl, PhD, who received additional grants totaling more than $1.5 million and Shannon Hagerman, PhD, who helped steward a major donation from the Buell Foundation totaling $50,000.