To help address education initiatives and student achievement goals in the region, the University of Oklahoma Outreach is the recipient of two grants totaling almost $20 million from the U.S. Department of Education. The grants, awarded to OU Outreach, will support state departments of education in seven states to establish the South Central Comprehensive Center and the Central Comprehensive Center.
“We are delighted the Department of Education has found merit in our proposals,” said Belinda Biscoe Boni, associate vice president of Outreach’s Public and Community Services division. “Our team worked diligently and late hours to prepare comprehensive proposals that will support state departments of education as they work with school districts to transform teaching and learning ensuring that all students are citizen, college, and career ready.”
The first grant, given to establish the South Central Comprehensive Center (SC3) and totaling $10,945,495 awarded over five years, will provide technical assistance on education initiatives in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. A second grant to establish the Central Comprehensive Center (C3) and totaling $7,931,920 to be awarded over five years will provide similar support to Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. Working with WestEd, the Academic Development Institute, the National Indian Education Association, the Neuhaus Education Center, and Northrop Grumman, the OU centers will seek to increase the capacity of states to help districts and schools in meeting student achievement goals.
“These grant awards confirm Outreach as a leader in working closely with the U.S. Department of Education in the areas of school improvement and reform,” said James Pappas, vice president for Outreach. “Outreach’s track record with such programs as the Mid-Continent Comprehensive Center, the Center for Effective Schools, and many other programs demonstrates our deep commitment to achieving excellence in our nation’s schools.”
The centers are part of a national network of 15 regional centers that will provide training and technical assistance to state education agencies in implementing and administering programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. An additional seven content centers will provide research-based information and tools to support the work of the regional comprehensive centers. OU Outreach is the only university-based organization to be awarded a regional center.