College Park, MD—The University of Maryland College of Education announced today the launch of its new Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement. Designed to foster collaborations between the university, school systems and educational organizations that focus on improving pre-K-12 education, the Center will serve as an incubator for innovative initiatives that address critical issues in public education in Maryland and the region, advance collaborative research partnerships and provide professional education programs.
“The Center is designed to cultivate robust partnerships amongst the university and pre-K-12 educators across Maryland, so that together we can help improve teaching and learning in school districts,” said Segun C. Eubanks, director of the Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement and chair of the Prince George’s County Board of Education. “We want to ensure that faculty research and expertise are meeting the needs of the school districts and addressing their most pressing issues.”
The Center will bring together key faculty from UMD, educators from area school systems, and policymakers from local, state and national organizations to tackle challenges in pre-K-12 education, such as the growing student population of English learners and teacher attrition. The Center will also serve to advance school leadership and teacher preparation in Maryland and the region through the development and expansion of new and existing professional education programs. The Center will house the Doctorate of Education in School System Leadership, an innovative, practice-based model that brings together school administrators from a particular county to work collaboratively on solving a problem in the school system.
“The Center will serve as a vehicle for an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach that enables us to address critical issues that face our school systems and the state,” said College of Education Dean Jennifer K. Rice. “With our faculty expertise in research and educator preparation, the Center will also help expand the College of Education’s role as a local and national leader in education policy, scholarship and practice.”
An advisory committee, comprised of members who hold college and pre-K-12 leadership roles, will play an important role in providing input that will help guide the Center.
“The Center is grounded in an improvement science model, which is a problem-centered approach to issues in education,” said Margaret McLaughlin, associate dean for research and innovations and partnerships at UMD College of Education. “We can help school districts address significant issues and provide tools to ensure that improvements are measurable. Our goal is to foster interaction between researchers and those responsible for developing research based policies and practices to create meaningful and sustainable change.”