College of Education

Research Grant Awards

Wichita Teacher Quality Partnership

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sharon Iorio, Co-Directors: Dr. Kim McDowell and Kathryn Busch
Client: U.S. Department of Education
Dates: October 1 2009 - September 30, 2014

Funding from the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant, will enable Wichita State University (WSU) and its Local Education Agency (LEA) Wichita Public Schools (WPS) and partners (i.e., The Opportunity Project (TOP), and Rainbows United) to provide high quality, integrative, comprehensive, preparation for urban education. The grant will transform, through the creation of the Urban Teacher Preparation Program (UTPP), elementary and secondary preparation and offer a teacher residency program for early childhood special education. The core curriculum for all levels of concentration will focus on urban education and diverse student needs, paying close attention to the literacy skills of the students in these high-need schools. Teacher candidates can then select an area of concentration or degree level, as applicable, based on their desired Kansas teacher licensure. At the pre-baccalaureate level, these areas include Elementary Education or Secondary Education. At the graduate level, there will be a Birth-Kindergarten Teacher Residency program, resulting in a master's degree and licensure in early childhood special education.

The UTPP program is based on the premise of close alignment of theory and practice and will incorporate the instruction and use of empirically-supported practices. Field experiences will occur throughout the program and be tightly aligned with course content.
Candidates in the program will be rigorously selected and intentionally matched with a well-qualified classroom teacher, serving as a mentor. An additional facet of the UTPP program is the close working relationship among WSU, WPS, TOP, and Rainbows United. Specifically, these partnering agencies will collaborate on the design and implementation of the UTPP program, including the curriculum, implementation, and evaluation/assessment of the program's effectiveness.
Recruitment efforts for teacher candidates will focus on individuals from under-represented populations and mid-career change professionals. The grant will focus on activities to retain graduates of these programs in the teaching profession.

Project ALIVE (All-State Low Incidence Virtual Endorsement; formerly Project LIFE)

Sub-Contract Project Director:
Dr. Mandy Lusk (Mary Morningstar, Earle Knowlton, Co-Pi's KU)
Client: U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (DOE-OSEP)
Dates: July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2013

The goal of Project ALIVE (All-State Low Incidence Virtural Endorsement) is to bridge the gap in qualified teachers serving students with the most significant disabilities in Kansas. KU will do this by working in collaboration with the Low Incidence Consortium, supported by the KSDE State Personnel Development Grant, Wichita State University, and other institutions of higher education (IHEs) offering functional endorsements, as well as appropriate statewide support mechanisms for serving this population of students in preparing and supporting a satisfactory supply of teachers with the Kansas functional special education endorsement in targeted areas of need across the state of Kansas. The end result of this effort will be the development of a single point of entry for a functional special education endorsement that will be coordinated and taught across all IHEs responsible for functional endorsement programs. The primary mechanism for this effort will be the utilization of eLearning distance education strategies including online synchronous and asynchronous course instruction, interactive video conferencing for practicum supervision, and Web2.0 methodologies for instruction.

The enabling objectives of Project ALIVE include:

1. Align existing coursework across IHEs to transform standards-based course content into an eLearning delivery format, and ensure its accessibility throughout the state of Kansas.
2. Develop and implement strategies to align and coordinate KSDE, Regents, and IHE policies regarding teacher preparation and teacher licensure/endorsement
3. Develop appropriate accreditation/program approval, and student matriculation procedures.
4. Use existing regional and statewide resources, conduct geographically-targeted recruitment new provisional functional endorsement students each year, and support their (a) online training, (b) employment in positions for which they are trained, and (c) induction into the profession.

Translating the Falling LinKS Toolkit for use with Home Instead Senior Care

Principal Investigators: Dr. Nicole Rogers, Dr. Terry Radebaugh, Dr. Candy Bahner, Dr. Ladonna Hale, Karen Kendrick, and Dr. Michael Rogers
Client: Multidisciplinary Research Project Award, Wichita State University
Dates: May 1, 2012 – August 1, 2012
Amount: $4,962.

The project is based on the Falling Less in Kansas (Falling LinKS) Toolkit which provides evidence-based fall risk reduction materials and information in an easy to use, self-care format. The Toolkit was designed and developed from a community-based participatory research project directed by a multi-disciplinary team with community agency partners.

This project will develop training materials to guide home health aides in the implementation of the Falling LinKS Toolkit with their community residing, but often times frail and at-risk, older clients. Since a fall can result in significant morbidity, disability and, unfortunately, mortality for older adults, a broad based, low-tech community risk reduction effort must be developed. Therefore, the long-term goal is to develop a training program for Home Instead Senior Care (“Home Instead”) caregivers to deliver a fall risk reduction intervention for community-residing older adults who are using home health to maintain their independence.

Postural balance of young while standing on foam surfaces.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Michael Rogers, Dr. Jeremy Patterson, and Dr. Nicole Rogers
Client: Hygenic Research Fund
Dates: December 1, 2011 – November 30, 2012
Funded: $5,000

Balance training is becoming increasingly common in therapeutic exercise routines for rehabilitation, injury prevention and fall prevention. Unstable surfaces such as foam pads are commonly used in these routines purportedly to improve balance. In addition, some have recommended the use of unstable surfaces to increase reflexive muscle activation as a more functional method of strengthening. Research has shown that unstable surfaces including foam pads, balance shoes, balance boards and exercise balls increase the speed and level of muscle activation in the trunk, hip, and lower extremity. In addition, unstable surfaces have been shown to be effective at rehabilitation and prevention of lower extremity injuries. While clinically used for nearly 40 years, there is no objective quantification for the clinical progression of unstable surfaces.

The purpose of this study is to quantify a progression of balance (i.e., postural sway) using various commercially-available compliant, unstable surfaces and comparing the amount of sway to that experienced while standing on two different levels of ‘couch cushions’.

Development of a Comprehensive Assessment System for Spanish-speaking English-language Learners' Early Literacy Skills
Principal Investigator: Dr. Christopher Lonigan (Florida State University) and Sub-Contract Project Director: Dr. Kim McDowell
Client: Institute of Education Science (IES)
Dates: February 1, 2009-December 31, 2013

The goals of the proposed project are to develop and validate both a comprehensive assessment instrument and a screening measure for Spanish-speaking ELL preschool children's earlky literacy skills, and to conduct initial development work for a set of measures that can be used by early childhood educators to monitor the progress of Spanish-speaking ELL preschool children's early literacy skills. This measure, the Spanish Preschool Early Literacy Assessment will provide a comprehensive assessment of the key domains of early literacy. In this project, development of the screening and progress monitoring measures is dependent on development of the SPELA, given that there are currently no comprehensive measures available for Spanish-speaking ELL preschool children. The development work will be guided by our prior experiences developing comprehensive and screening measures for English-speaking preschoolers as well as our initial development work on measures to assess Spanish-speaking ELL preschools. A primary design goal of these measures is that they will be appropriate for Spanish-speaking ELL children regardless of dialect variations and validation activities will include children whose families represent variations in Spanish language spoken in the U.S. (i.e., Mexico, South and Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico).

Project KNOTtT: Strengthening Systems Capacity Collaboratively with Kansas, Nevada, Ohio and Texas

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sherry Goodvin
Client: U.S. Department of Education (Ohio State University) Transition to Teaching
Dates: October 2007-September 2012

Project KNOTtT is a federally funded Transition to Teaching (TtT) partnership designed to support recruitment, selection, training, coaching, and mentoring to retain teachers in high need, hard to staff school districts. This five year project serves 545 new teachers pursuing nontraditional routes to certification in four states: Kansas, Nevada, Ohio, and Texas. Led by The Ohio State University, these four states will collaborate with national partners to knot together three strategic strands of support for alternative certification programs:
1. Online Learning Community
2. Mentoring
3. Quality Indicators

National partners include the National Association of Alternative Certification, Association of Teacher Educators, Youth Policy Institute, and The Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Ohio State University services as the lead institution on this national grant.

Principal Investigator
: Dr. Kim McDowell
Client: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Dates: January 2008-December 2013

The project incorporates the three core components reported in the research to be essential to a successful school-to-work program targeting the aviation and health care industries: education, mentoring, training.

Education. Given that this project simultaneously targets the needs of two constituents, it must focus not only on the skills future employees of aviation and/or health care need, but must also focus on the educational needs of the youth served by the Boys and Girls Club of South Central KS. Therefore, the education component of the project focuses on tutoring and enrichment activities in the curricular areas of reading, math, science, and technology. The project provides for trained tutors who will follow KSDEs educational standards in the targeted curricular areas. Additionally, the proposed project allows for support into post-secondary education through the provision of scholarships/tuition waivers to participants to attend WATC, a community college partner, or WSU to receive education related to the targeted fields. Finally, the project has partnered with Kansas Career Pipeline (KCP), which provides an internet based interest survey and skill set survey so that potential career paths within aviation and healthcare can be readily identified by participants.

Mentoring. Research is very clear regarding the role mentoring has on individuals success in both education and employment. The positive effects of mentoring are thought to be derived from the support and role modeling these relationships offer (Rhodes, Spencer, Keller, Lian, & Noam, 2006). Mentoring has been shown to be highly effective in both recruitment and retention (Jewell, 2003). The project includes a dual mentoring piece: one-on-one mentoring involving an adult with whom the participant is paired based on similar interests (this adult will come from either USD 259 or local industry partners) and a small-group mentoring component in which groups of participants are involved in a grand-round session in which a specialist from local industry partners attends the Boys and Girls Club for a quarter and serves as a resource for participants interested in exploring that particular career field.

Training. The training component of the project is closely linked to the other two components. Throughout their participation, students will participate in training modules related to various career fields within the aviation and health care industries. This training will involve week-long summer institutes at WSU and the technical institute as well as quarterly residencies at various industry partners, including on-site visits, shadowing, and project-based activities. These opportunities will allow participants to more fully explore career options within these two industries. Additionally, participants are provided with the opportunity to further their training through post-secondary educational endeavors focused on aviation and health care through scholarships/tuition waivers.

School Readiness Project for Preschool Children who are Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners

Principal Investigaor: Dr. Christopher Lonigan and Sub-Contract Project Director: Dr. Kim McDowell
Client: National Institute of Child Health and Development
Dates: February 1, 2009-December 31, 2013

The project will be conducted as a collaboration between educational researchers from Florida State University, the University of Southern California, Wichita State University, and other local agencies. The goals of the proposed project are to understand how curricula used in preschools can help promote the development of school readiness skills, including skills in the domains of language, early literacy, early math, and socio-emotional development, for children who are Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELL). The initial phase of the project will take place over two years of implementation (i.e, one cohort of schools will participate in Year 2). The project will involve a comparison of outcomes for children exposed to three types of early childhood curricula: (a) A business as usual group (i.e., schools that continue to employ the curriculum currently in use), (b) A standard implementation of the Literacy Express Preschool Curriculum, and (c) A modified implementation of the Literacy Express Preschool Curriculum that is adapted specifically for classrooms serving children who Spanish-speaking ELLs. As required by the funding agency, participating schools will be placed into one of these three groups on the basis of a lottery to allow casual interpretation of the results. Children who participate in the data collection for the project will be those whose parents provide informed consent for participation. Project staff will assess children's skills in school readiness domains throughout the preschool period and into kindergarten and first grade. Project staff will assess classrooms in all curriculum groups to understand how fidelity of implementation and instructional activities help the development of children's school readiness.

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