Overview of Current Projects


Research to Practice • Practice to Research

Overview of Current Projects

Below is a list of all projects, grants, and contracts housed, administered, and managed through The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University (WOU) for the academic year 2016–2017. If you have any questions about a specific project, please feel free to review the project website (where available) or to contact the person specified in the project entry.

21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV-B)

PI/PD: Candi Scott, MS
Contact Information: Candi Scott, scottc@wou.edu, 503-838-9204
Website:
http://triwou.org/projects/cclc
Funder Information: Oregon Department of Education
Award Amount: $274,000
Project Description:
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to before-school, after-school, and summer learning programs. Each state education agency receives funds based on its share of Title I funding for low-income students at high-poverty, low-performing schools. Funds are also allocated to territories and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Oregon’s 21st CCLC program serves 22 school districts that include 97 sites serving children and families. 55 sites serve elementary and K-8 students, 21 sites serve middle school students, and 21 sites serve high school students.

TRI has partnered with the ODE to provide technical assistance, training, and web-based support for 21st CCLC programs throughout the state. Staff of 21st CCLC programs can contact TRI for numerous resources and tools, as well as peer-to-peer webinars and supportive visits.


DEMILO – Developing Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders in Oregon

PI/PD: Cheryl Beaver, Ph.D.
Contact Information: Cheryl Beaver, beaverc@wou.edu, 503-838-8404
Website: http://triwou.org/projects/demilo
Funder Information: Oregon Department of Education
Award Amount: $1,000,000
Project Description:
Developing Elementary Math Instructional Leaders in Oregon (DEMILO) is a collaboration of Western Oregon University’s Mathematics Department and Division of Teacher Education, with selected rural and suburban school districts from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, the Willamette Education Service District, and other districts in Oregon. DEMILO will recruit, support, and prepare 45-60 K-8 teachers, over a 3-year period, to earn the TSPC Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader Specialization to develop a cadre of teacher leaders with strong preparation and background in mathematics content, instructional strategies, and school leadership. The project will (1) improve teacher content knowledge in mathematics, (2) implement and study the effectiveness of a model of professional development focused on online, interactive learning and communities of practice, (3) increase student academic performance in math, (4) increase the number of Elementary Math Instructional Leaders in Oregon, and (5) disseminate project results.


Education Evaluation Center – ODE Contract

Contact Information: Cindi Mafit, mafitc@wou.edu, 503-838-8792
Website: http://triwou.org/centers/eec
Center Description:
The Education Evaluation Center (EEC) has an extensive, 50+ year history of providing learning disability assessments and consultative services to schools, education agencies, colleges and universities, families of students with disabilities, and individuals with disabilities. The EEC offers its services to individuals ages 3 through adult throughout the state, as well as to those from other states or other countries.

The EEC's disability assessments are extremely thorough and comprehensive, conducted by a team of two to three evaluators per assessment, and provide valuable information for success in present and future educational and employment settings. EEC evaluators use current assessment and diagnostic tools and techniques and keep abreast of the latest techniques and laws regarding special education and disability services. Written reports from the EEC include detailed descriptions of all assessment tools used and test results, a definitive disability diagnostic statement, recommendations for techniques to improve success, and a list of accommodation needs based on the assessment findings.


National Center on Deaf-Blindness

PI/PD and Director: Linda McDowell, Ph.D.
Contact Information: Linda McDowell, mcdowelll@wou.edu,503-838-8503 (voice), 601-606-8040 (cell)
NCDB Website: www.nationaldb.org
Funder Information: Office of Special Education (TA&D Network), US Department of Education
Award Amount: $2,100,000 annually
Project Description:
The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) has nearly thirty years of experience in the provision of successful technical assistance related to deaf-blindness. This success is the result of a strong partnership among three agencies with long histories of expertise in deaf-blindness (The Research Institute at Western Oregon University, Helen Keller National Center, and Perkins.) Together, NCDB and the State and Multi-State Deaf-Blind Projects form a network of OSEP-funded technical assistance projects. The collective emphasis of the network is to improve the use of evidence-based practices and to build more visible and effective systems of support, at the state and national level, to serve children who are deaf-blind. Through high-quality technical assistance, training, and product development in prioritized content areas (initiatives in Early Identification and Referral, National Deaf-Blind Child Count, Intervener and Qualified Personnel, Literacy, Family Engagement, and Transition), NCDB works to positively impact the lives of children and students who are deaf-blind, their families, and those that serve them. NCDB’s work scope is designed to address the needs of the individuals, organizations, and agencies serving this population.


OR4PSO – Oregon Department of Education on Post School Outcomes

PI/PD: Pattie Johnson
Contact Information: Pattie Johnson, johnsop@wou.edu, 503-838-8779
Website: http://triwou.org/centers/tims/pso
Funder Information: Oregon Department of Education, Office of Student Services, Education Programs and Assessment
Award Amount: $591,000 for 2 years
Project Description:
The Post School Outcomes project includes various supports for ODE around secondary transition topics. These include the maintenance and technical assistance support for the data application used to meet federal reporting requirements that includes interviewing special education students one year after they leave school to monitor engagement in educational and employment outcomes. School districts interview students one year out of school and enter the data into the application. A series of reports are generated that are used in the Systems Performance Review and Improvement planning for the districts. These reports also provide feedback to the transition planning and support efforts for the districts. Other activities include development of training materials; reports; and analysis of graduation, dropout, and transition IEP standards results for district performance, public and federal reporting. TRI has a rich history of conceptualizing, designing, building, and supporting data collection, analysis, and reporting tools for state special education data.


ODE Data Support

PI/PD: Brian Johnson (with Pattie Johnson)
Contact Information: Brian Johnson, johnsnb@wou.edu, 503-838-8779
Website: http://triwou.org/centers/tims/dataservices
Funder Information: Oregon Department of Education, Office of Student Services, Education Programs and Assessment
Award Amount: $194,000 for 2 years
Project Description:
TRI provides support to ODE on a several products, including the Multi-Year Database that summarizes information on special education students collected as part of the annual Child Count. Through this database, districts have access to current and archival interactive data displays that allow exploration of current special education demographics as well as over 25 years of past district level data. Brian Johnson regularly works with data across the educational spectrum, from early childhood to post-secondary, and assists states with the implementation of changing federal special education regulations, including FERPA and the development of funding models. Recent ODE projects have focused on using SPSS to analyze large special education data sets.


Oregon Deafblind Project

PI/PD: Lyn Ayer, Ph.D.
Contact Information: Lyn Ayer, ayerl@wou.edu, 503-838-8328
Website: http://www.oregondb.org
Funder Information: OSEP Grant: H326T130008 (OSEP Project Officer: Susan Weigert)
Award Amount: $121,286
Project Description:
Through this grant, TRI enhances current services to provide life-enhancing, empowering and meaningful outcomes for Oregon’s children and young adults (birth through 21) who are deaf-blind and their families, while strengthening the capacity of the service providers and the systems who provide direct service to them. The support is via technical assistance (primarily training and focused observation) to educational teams, families and others who have children who are deaf-blind. The project provides support and works with the deaf-blind consultants from each of the state’s eight Regional Programs for Low-Incidence Disabilities who are the direct-service providers for these children. Through collaboration with the Oregon Department of Education and a sub-grant from them, the project is able to further enhance its services to families. Technical Assistance and Training is designated as direct, targeted, or intensive and is delivered through distance-learning media and on site. The focus is on providing appropriate services while fulfilling the intent of meaningful and better-targeted IFSPs, IEPs, and school to post-school transition plans. This is considered part of Goal 2 of the main Oregon Deafblind Project Grant.

Oregon Department of Education SubGrant (Supplemental to the Oregon Deafblind Project)

Funder Information: Oregon Department of Education, SubGrant No. 39369
Award Amount: $13,500
Project Description: This is considered part of Goal 2 of the main Oregon Deafblind Project Grant.


PIECE – Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Educators

PI/PD: Patricia Blasco, Ph.D. and Cindy Ryan, Ph.D.
Contact Information: Patricia Blasco, blascop@wou.edu, 503-838-8783
Website: http://triwou.org/pages/show/project-piece?site=cepe
Funder Information: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
Award Amount: $1,000,000 for 5 years
Project Description:
The College of Education and TRI at Western Oregon University have been awarded a five-year grant to provide training and mentoring supports to under-represented early childhood educators. The goal is for these scholars to receive an initial teaching license resulting in a bachelor's degree with an endorsement in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) added at the graduate level.

The goals of this project, Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Educators (PIECE), are to implement and evaluate a unified professional development program for three cohorts of early childhood educators (ECE) resulting in 45 fully graduated scholars with an Early Childhood Education (ECE) license and BA degree and an Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) endorsement.

The project is a collaboration between TRI and College of Education at Western Oregon University, local community colleges, Head Start, Oregon Child Care Coalition, and the State Department of Education.


Project EF – Executive Functioning in Infants and Toddlers Born Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Preterm

PI/PD: Patricia Blasco, Ph.D.
Contact: Patricia Blasco, blascop@wou.edu, 503-838-8783
Website: http://triwou.org/pages/show/project-ef
Funder Information: US Department of Health and Human Services
Project Description:
The purpose of Project EF: Executive Function in Infants and Toddlers Born Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Preterm is to examine whether traditional assessment methods that have components of EF in their structure can discern early indicators of executive functioning in three subgroups of children ages six months to three years: (a) children born LBW and preterm at low risk, (b) children born LBW and preterm at high risk, and (c) children born at full term. The primary goal in Years 1 and 2 is to assess a sample of 100 children born LBW and preterm and 50 children who were full term by administering a battery of standardized measures of infant and toddler development involving both caregiver report and individual assessment. In Year 3, the children will be assessed on these measures and a measure of executive function.


Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and Central Coordination of Oregon’s Child Care Resource and Referral System (CC CCR&R)

PI/PD: Robyn Lopez Melton and Tom Udell
Contact Information:
Robyn Lopez Melton, meltonr@wou.edu, 503-838-8479
Tom Udell, udellt@wou.edu, 503-838-8785
Website: http://triwou.org/projects/qris
Funder Information: Oregon Department of Education, Early Learning Division.
Award Amount: $5,756,890 for 2015–2017 biennium
Project Description: The Center on Early Learning (CEL) at TRI receives funding from Oregon’s Early Learning Division for the development, implementation and evaluation of Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). QRIS is a program that works to raise the quality of early learning and development programs and provides a voluntary rating system for those programs. Early Learning and development programs include licensed center and family child care, Head Start, and other public and private preschool programs. QRIS is designed to provide financial support and training and technical assistance to support programs to improve services provided to children and families. A parallel rating system has been developed to recognize program quality. Implementation of QRIS extends into the work CEL does in providing leadership and technical assistance for 12 local Child Care Resource and Referral programs serving all counties in Oregon.


Salem-Keizer Collaborative Research Project

Contact: Cindi Mafit, mafitc@wou.edu, 503-838-8792
Funder Information: Salem Keizer School District, The Chalkboard Project, Western Oregon University, and Corban University
Project Description:
Phase 1 of this exploratory research project will use data collected from WOU, Corban University, and Salem-Keizer school districts to explore the relationships between predictor variables such as college GPA, demographics, and path to licensure, as well as outcome variables such as teacher performance measures and retention. This project will provide preliminary insight into what variables play roles in teacher success early in an educator's career. Phase 2 of the research project will involve designing an experimental study to examine the effectiveness of the Clinical Model of teacher education and induction as implemented by the Salem-Keizer Collaborative. TRI will work closely with the Collaborative to design an experimental research study. This will involve working with the Collaborative to establish that the Clinical Model is implemented with fidelity. In addition, it will work with the Collaborative to create measures, procedures, and protocols to effectively and efficiently collect the necessary data for the experimental study. Ideally, this research study will provide results that indicate the degree of effectiveness of the Clinical Model.


Traffic Safety Education

Contact Information: Cindi Mafit, mafitc@wou.edu, 503-838-8792
Website: Funder Information: Oregon Department of Transportation, Transportation Safety Division
Award Amount: $500,000
Project Description:
There is a statewide need for more qualified driver education instructors. TRI, in partnership with ODOT-TSD, has created a program that provides the necessary training for Driver Education (DE) candidate instructors to learn the fundamentals of traffic safety education and demonstrate that they are qualified to deliver quality training. The ODOT-TSD Traffic Safety Education Program is tasked to: (1) assist in coordinating the Trainer of Trainer Specialists’ training and assignments; (2) plan and implement traffic safety Driver Education (DE) courses; (3) coordinate certification and re-certification of DE instructors; (4) develop and pilot an ODOT TSD certified instructor evaluation system including rubrics, a scoring system, and database procedures; (5) plan and implement the PacNW regional conference; (6) review and update curriculum, provider information, and website support; (7) conduct program evaluation; and (8) assist in updates of the Playbook 2nd edition.


University/School Partnerships (USP)

Contact Information: Cindi Mafit, mafitc@wou.edu, 503-838-8792
Website: http://triwou.org/pages/show/universityschool-partnerships
Funder Information: US Department of Education, Title IIa - Improving Teacher Quality
Award Amount: $300,000 over 2 funding periods
Project Description:
The primary goal of the University/School Partnership program is for partnerships to use funds to strengthen pK-12 educators’ pedagogical and academic content knowledge through research-based professional development activities designed to ensure students’ educational achievement.

The objective of the partnership is to combine the strong disciplinary expertise of college of arts and sciences faculty and the instructional/ pedagogical expertise of college of education faculty in order to improve student achievement in high-need districts through a program of rigorous professional development.

The proposed partnerships must ensure that services are offered on an equitable basis to public and private school teachers. Each partnership must contact private pK-12 schools that are high-poverty or low-performing in the districts it will serve and offer them the opportunity to participate in grant-related activities.


WOU CASA – Campus Against Sexual Assault

Contact Information: Cindi Mafit, mafitc@wou.edu, 503-838-8792
Website: http://www.wou.edu/abbyshouse/wou-casa/
Funder Information: US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women
Award Amount: $300,000 over 3 years
Project Description:
The WOU CASA program focuses on sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. The continuation of the WOU CASA program will include expanded prevention and education programming for WOU students, including all incoming students, and an expansion of the existing survivor advocacy services through Abby’s House and the Student Health and Counseling Center. The program will continue to establish protocols to strengthen the coordinated community response to address and prevent sexual and interpersonal violence on campus. The continuation program will support the training of campus public safety officers, campus disciplinary boards, residential education staff, and peer advocates to better support survivors of violence. Finally, the program will continue to strengthen community partnerships with local law enforcement and community agencies that serve our students.

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