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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver


Policy Centers



The following is a list of policy research centers with a P-20 education connection that can be found at the University of Colorado Denver with website and/or contact information where available.  Please feel free to contact us to add to this list.


Center for Applied Science and Mathematics for Innovation and Competitiveness


Website: CASMIC

CASMIC is designed to promote partnerships between the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, school districts, other institutions of higher education, and the business sector to: Create opportunities for all students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for career exploration in disciplines requiring math and science, advocate for policy that promotes teaching, learning, and research of math and science in applied settings, examine behavioral and social environments and their influence on math and science learning, bridge gaps across K-20 schools, colleges and universities, community advocates, and business partners so that students can harness math and science to be competitive in a global society and promote innovation across the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology to expand interdisciplinary learning, teaching, and research, CASMIC began with funding from former math and science grant with NSF, and funded the Rocky Mountain Math and Science Partnership (12.5 million dollars),  as well as other grants that supported development of courses on-line, DPS summer teacher internships,  and teaching innovation fellows. Center transitioned Directors from Carole Basile to Mark Anderson in 2008.


Center for Continuing Education and Professional Learning

Website: CCEPL

The center coordinates all professional development and continuing education initiatives, across all academic programs and professional development programs/centers in the School of Education. The center has a lead role in the ongoing preparation of professionals who work in diverse schools, agencies, and related settingsvia partnerships between those settings and the school.


Center for Evidence Based Practices in Early Learning

Website: CEBPEL

CEBPEL aims to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive early intervention systems that address the developmental needs of young children with special needs, their families and the personnel who serve them. CEBPEL raises awareness and increases implementation of positive, evidence-based practices for the preventionand remediation of challenging behavior with a database to support those practices. 


Center on Domestic Violence

Website: Center on Domestic Violence

The Center’s goal is to end domestic violence by fostering institutional and social change through leadership development, education, research, and community collaboration. Currently the Center is working on a grant to utilize TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) to train school counselors, nurses and teachers on how to better identify and provide the appropriate resources to a child who is experiencing DV in the home.  Recently, the Colorado Statewide Strategic Use Fund awarded a grant to an interdisciplinary team from the Center on Domestic Violence and School of Education to carry out a project called END Violence.  Through this project, five domestic violence specialists will be hired and trained, who will then train and assist personnel such as the school nurse, counselor, and social worker in 25 schools along the Front Range – at no cost to the school.  Once trained, these school personnel, with the help of the on-site DV specialist, will be better equipped to identify students who have witnessed domestic violence, facilitate access to intervention services for child victims and their families, and coordinate educational training programs in the school that encourage healthy relationship and teach conflict resolution skills. Both the schools and students will benefit.


Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA)


Website: CEPA

CEPA's mission is to provide applied research and program evaluation, strategic planning, and facilitation that enhance the capacity of local and national education communities to make informed decisions and solve problems, especially to ensure the most efficacious use of public resources and improve access and outcomes for disadvantaged populations. CEPA focuses on preK-12 policy issues, (governance, finance, leadership, management, standards development, school readiness, parent involvement, school choice, competition and parent information issues) and higher education systems integration issues. CEPA staff employ their diverse educational and professional backgrounds when working with communities and organizations to provide applied research and program evaluation, and, planning and problem solving assistance.


Center on Reinventing Public Education

Website: CRPE

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) Denver was created in 2007, as part of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver.  It is a satellite office of  the Center on Reinventing Public Education, which for 15 years has been one of the nation’s leading think tanks on new approaches to education reform.  Under the leadership of Paul Hill, CRPE’s national program of research and analysis examines a range of alternatives that rethink and challenge current systems in urban school systems.  UCD’s Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) staffs CRPE Denver.  Dr. Paul Teske, Dean of UCD's School of Public Affairs, directs CRPE Denver.


Center for Transforming Learning and Teaching

Website: CTLT

The Center for Transforming Learning and Teaching (CTLT) was established as an initiative within the School of Education & Human Development at UC Denver in 2003. Today, the Center works with educators across the US to catalyze and co-create the transformation of learning environments through the use of assessment so that all are engaged in learning and empowered to positively contribute in a global society. We pursue our mission by: Creating and providing professional learning experiences to K-12 educators that support effective use of assessment strategies and tools; Coaching and embedding the use of assessment as a support for learning within classroom settings; Planning, developing and facilitating professional learning communities; Developing, supporting and bringing forward models of practice; Convening practitioners to bring out the best thinking; and engaging educators at the intersection of theory and practice.


Children, Youth, and Environment Center for Research and Design

Website: CYE

Pamela Wridt heads The Department of Planning and Design – Children Youth and Environment Center for Research and Design (CYE).  Participatory action research with children and youth to engage them in civic decision-making process.  Expertise in community mapping with children and youth. CYE spearheads research and practice on children, youth and their environments.  Dr. Wridt has received several Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants to understand the role of neighborhoods in supporting children’s physical activity, as well as how to conduct community mapping with children to encourage their participation in making their neighborhoods better places for young people.  Dr. Wridt has partnered with a range of city agencies to engage children and youth in decision-making processes, including the Mayor’s Office for Education and Children (Denver’s Child and Youth Friendly City Initiative) and the Mayor’s Office of Safety (Safe City and the Metro Denver Gang Coalition).  Dr. Wridt also works with neighborhood groups, Denver Public Schools and the Learning Landscapes projects through the metro Denver area to improve children’s environments based on their viewpoints, desires and needs.


Colorado Center for Public Humanities

Website: Center for Public Humanities

The Colorado Center for Public Humanities takes as its core belief that the broad mission of the humanities disciplines (English, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Art History, Musicology) is to enrich public discussions about art, ideas, the historical past, and the diverse cultures of the world. Scholars can only accomplish this mission by continuously reassessing the interests and needs of the wider public and by forging connections with groups and institutions outside the university’s walls. The center serves as a think-tank to investigate the public value of the humanities disciplines in relation to historical change by sponsoring programs that help to clarify the roles that humanities-based scholarship can play within the region, the nation, and the world more generally. The center as serves to engage humanities scholars toward extra-academic communities. In pursuing this objective, the Center will support scholars whose research programs are designed to reach civic groups outside the university walls and to benefit from the involvement of these groups.


Culturally Responsive Urban Education

Website: CRUE

The Center for Culturally Responsive Urban Education (CRUE) is committed to developing the capacity of educators and school systems in Colorado to meet the needs of culturally, linguistically and economically diverse urban students by preparing school personnel in culturally responsive pedagogy and practice, and pursuing a research agenda that guides improvements in our work.


Evaluation Center

Website: Evaluation Center

The Evaluation Center is currently under contract to evaluate three National Science Foundation math and science initiatives providing professional development for middle school teachers; one teacher education program; a professional development program for improving literacy skills K-12; a teachers’ pay for performance program; a small schools initiative; a youth workforce development program; a College of Nursing; and a major initiative that is slated to transform medical research, education and practice in the State of Colorado. Each of these projects in some way addresses issues of equal access. Many of evaluations focus on the fidelity of the implementation, the impacts of implementation, impact on student achievement,  and value added assessments that can be of use to the clients being evaluated.


Front Range Board of Cooperative Educational Services for Teacher Leadership

Website: BOCES

The Front Range BOCES for Teacher Leadership seeks to improve student achievement through collaborative and quality professional development and is funded by 19 member districts and the School of Education and Human Development. Last year, 3,000 educators in 65 school districts (in Colorado and beyond) enrolled in professional development training opportunities offered by BOCES.


Laboratory for Education Research, Assessment and Innovation (LEARN)

Website: LEARN

LEARN conducts studies, provides technical support, and offers professional development in K-12 environments. Given the ethnic, linguistic and socio-economic diversity in the state of Colorado, we focus our attention on the urban and surrounding diverse communities in which the university resides.


Latino/a Research and Policy Center

Website: LRPC

The vision of the Latino Research and Policy Center (LRPC) is to become nationally-renowned in higher education research, data, and a policy expert on education, criminal justice, immigration, and health disparities affecting Latino communities.  The mission of the LRPC is to increase collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations, higher education researchers, and state/city elected officials to work toward eliminating education, criminal justice, immigration, and health disparities affecting Latino communities in Colorado.  The Latino Research and Policy Center is now working in collaboration with the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) as well as the School of Education at the University of Colorado- Denver. Through this multi-departmental collaboration, a two-way flow of communication is established so that research data and information can be shared to better understand how education and health care disparities affect Latino communities.


National Center for Children, Families and Communities

Contact: School of Nursing

Website: NCCFC

The Center is devoted to research, development, and replication of effective programs that improve the lives of children and families in the context of the communities where they live.  A recent grant award included the replication of a successful nurse home visiting program.


National Resource Center for Health & Safety in Child Care & Early Education

Contact: School of Nursing 

Website: NRC

The National Resource Center is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, HRSA. The NRC's primary mission is to promote health and safety in out-of-home child care settings throughout the nation. The standard resource for information concerning this subject is the Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs, Second Edition. Each state manages licensure of child care settings in different ways. The licensure regulations from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also available on this Website. The NRC updates this database as changes are made.


Paraeducator Resource and Research Center

Website: PAR²A

PAR²A promotes optimum learning for all students through research and training on the roles, responsibilities, career development, preparation, supervision and employment of paraprofessionals and is designed for paraprofessionals, school professionals and administrators in public education.


Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center


Website: PELE Center

Number of varied initiatives focusing on early learning and autism. For the past four years, funded by a U.S. Department of Education cooperative grant with the University of South Florida, Phil Strain and his staff have been conducting a randomized treatment trial of a new intervention approach for children in grades K-2 who have not responded successfully to school-based interventions for severe problem behavior--especially violent and aggressive behavior.  DPS is one of several national study sites and the team has successfully treated some 40 children to date.  Another initiative involves Denver Great Kids Head Start to establish one of their classrooms as a statewide demonstration site for the Teaching Pyramid Model, part of the nationwide Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL).  CSEFEL provides products, training materials and system change strategies to prevent and remediate severe problem behavior in young children.


Professional Development in Autism Center

Website: PDA

PDA ensures students with Autism Spectrum Disorder have access to high-quality, evidence-based educational services in local school districts. Training and support is provided for school districts, families and communities including awareness, consumer, implementer and leadership training.


The Research Center

Website: Research Center
The Research Center’s mission is to establish strong research records for each School of Education & Human Development faculty member in disciplined, sustained and focused inquiry that impacts practice and professional thought in the educational community.


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