Research Collaboration (RC)

Part of KUCRL since 2007


Pattie Noonan and Amy Gaumer Erickson 


Improve educational outcomes through providing high-quality evaluation and professional development.

The Research Collaboration lab provides professional development and evaluation for diverse education projects. As part of the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, we  work with state departments, schools, teachers, community service agencies, students, and families in order to improve education for all students. Our staff is equally comfortable providing training on an array of education topics or conducting utilization-focused evaluation. We are currently working on numerous projects spanning multiple states. Our role in these projects ranges from providing systematic professional development that promotes college and career competencies to evaluating the impact of educator professional development.

Questions That Drive RC's Work

  • What interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies are critical for adolescents to develop in order to be prepared for success in college and careers?
  • How can we best support educators in infusing college and career competency instruction in core content areas?
  • How can we support educational leaders in evaluating the impact of professional development, interventions and inputs?
  • How can we support State Departments of Education, professional development providers, districts and educators in continual improvement through data-based decision-making?

Notable Findings, Outcomes, and Accomplishments

  • In our College and Career Competency (CCC) professional development, we work with interdisciplinary teams to increase their capacity to implement three elements necessary to develop interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies for all students:
    • Collaboration among all stakeholders (e.g., administrators, general and special educators, counselors, service providers, families, etc.),
    • Multi-tiered instruction and intervention in intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies,
    • Effective use of data to inform decisions at multiple levels.
  • In both face-to-face and virtual settings, we assist teams as they acquire the knowledge they will need to begin implementing each of these elements. As facilitators, we foster team development by providing teams with the processes and resources they will need to sustain their instructional improvement. We assist them in planning and reflection as they focus their efforts on the cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies necessary for the students they serve to be successful following graduation. During our trainings, we also encourage participants to network with their colleagues across the state, thus providing them with the opportunity to share their knowledge and strategies.
  • Our evaluation activities focus on initiatives designed to improve K-12 education. These programs span many topics including multi-tier system of supports (MTSS), co-teaching, mentoring for early career teachers, tertiary behavior supports, secondary transition, and integrated statewide systems of professional development for teachers. We strive to provide customized, utilization-focused evaluation for each project by employing mixed-methods approaches to measure knowledge gain, improvement in student outcomes, fidelity of implementation, quality of professional development, and other applicable variables.