Centers, Councils & Journals

Centers & Councils

The Education Policy Studies department is home to five research centers and one council.  These centers and council gather resources and scholarship on specialized areas of studies while providing outreach, hosting events, publishing journals, and working with school districts.  We encourage you to explore our research centers to see how you can be a part of these important parts of our department!

Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE)

The Pennsylvania State University’s Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) is one of the nation’s first research centers established specifically to study postsecondary education policy issues.

Since the founding of CSHE in 1969, faculty members have engaged in research that has informed policy and decision-making at the institutional, state, and national level. Research projects within CSHE utilize tools from a variety of academic disciplines to study a range of topics, including:

  • Educational Assessment and Evaluation
  • Equity in Higher Education
  • Innovations and Financial Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Law and Educational Policy
  • The University and the Knowledge Society
The Center also provides professional development and supports the educational offerings of the Higher Education program. Our Academic Leadership Academy provides department heads, deans, and vice president with practical administrative knowledge and skills through a blended delivery model that includes on-site sessions over the summer and virtual sessions over the following academic year. Initiatives that link CSHE research projects with the World Campus offerings of the Higher Education program identify effective and innovative approaches to online education. Research seminars, practitioner seminars, research projects, and other activities provide Penn State graduate students with a range of development opportunities.

Center for Education and Civil Rights (CECR)

Our mission is to be a hub for the generation of knowledge and coalition-building among the education and civil rights communities to promote research-based actions that address the complicated nature of racial and ethnic inequality in the 21st century. 

We focus on: Producing and sharing the latest research;Promoting collaboration among the civil rights and education communities; and Facilitating actions and the implementation of policies that advance racial equity within institutional, local and state contexts.

Center for Educational Disparities Research (CEDR)

Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute and the College of Education have teamed up to establish the Center for Educational Disparities Research (CEDR) in order to close the opportunity gaps faced by minority and low-income children. CEDR is an extension of Penn State’s Educational Risk Initiative (ERI) and will support and build upon research focused on educational inequality and the means by which it can be remedied. Educational disparities can result from children having untreated disabilities, being raised in less-advantaged homes and communities, and receiving lower-quality schooling. These disparities can extend over the life course, affecting adult employment outcomes, health and well-being. CEDR will support researchers of varied backgrounds—including sociology, developmental psychology, demography, educational and school psychology, and educational policy—by allowing them greater access to external funding, multi-disciplinary team opportunities, proposal assistance and mentoring and networking events.

Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis (CEEPA)

The mission of the CEEPA is to provide unbiased, high-quality evaluation and policy analysis services to education and other organizations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation.

 In addition to teaching evaluation policy and analysis courses in the College of Education, CEEPA provides evaluation and research services to schools, school districts, universities, governmental entities, and other organizations. It engages in academic leadership by publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, presenting research at state and national conferences, presenting information about evaluation research at state and national conventions, and providing evaluation services to professional organizations and scholarly journals.

Center on Rural Education and Communities (CREC)

The Center on Rural Education and Communities (CREC) conducts and supports both research and outreach activities that address rural education and community-related issues in Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world.  CREC serves as an interdisciplinary focal point for these activities, connecting scholars and graduate students across the College of Education and the University more broadly. As an initiative supported by both the College of Education and Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute, the Center forges networks and connections between Penn State-based scholars and graduate students, helping to develop and enhance a variety of research initiatives and outreach activities. The Center also houses the Journal of Research in Rural Education, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal which publishes original pieces of scholarly research of demonstrable relevance to educational and community-related issues within rural settings.

The D. J. Willower Center for the Study of Leadership and Ethics of UCEA was established as a University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Program Center in June 1996. The Center is devoted to the support, promotion and dissemination of theory and research on values and leadership. As of September 2003, the Center has been housed in the Department of Education Policy Studies at The Pennsylvania State University.

Pennsylvania School Study Council (PSSC)

Founded in 1947, the Pennsylvania School Study Council (PSSC) is a partnership between Penn State University and member school districts, intermediate units, and area vocational-technical schools. PSSC is dedicated to improving public education in Pennsylvania by providing up-to-date research information, professional development activities, and technical assistance that will enable its members to provide top quality educational services to students.

Journals