Research & Service Units

The college operates offices and centers that provide services and information to lawmakers, educators, health practitioners and the public. Many of these entities foster strong partnerships among faculty members and administrators in the college and the people we serve in school systems and health care organizations as well as the general public.

The focus of these programs include addressing aging concerns, developing children's literacy and writing skills, analyzing student achievement data, improving student learning, and facilitating independent living for people with disabilities. Services offered include speech therapy, fitness assessments and exercise programs, training of preschool teachers and child-care providers, and professional development opportunities for educators and health and business professionals.

The College of Education and Health Professions partners and sustains the following Research and Service units:

Arkansas Leadership Academy

The Arkansas Leadership Academy has a rich tradition of supporting school leaders by building learning communities and empowering educators to create sustainable leadership systems that positively affect the lives of children. With the support and guidance of its 50 partners, the Arkansas Leadership Academy serves over 600 superintendents, principals, teachers, and facilitators from over 50 school districts.

As part of the School Support Program, the Academy partnered with 17 under-performing schools to help close their achievement gaps and foster relationships with their stakeholders. These successful partnerships are evident in Union Elementary (Texarkana) and the Marvell-Elaine School District. Union Elementary received the 2013 Overall Most Improved School Award presented by the Office of Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. The Marvell-Elaine School District was nationally recognized for their parental involvement program in the U.S. Department of Education report, Strategies for Community Engagement in School Turnaround.

In April 2014, the Academy hosted its first Student Voice Conference at the Jacksonville Community Center. Over 100 students and their advisors from eight Arkansas high schools had the opportunity to network and share ideas for improving their schools. The collaboration between students and adults was inspirational, and the Academy hopes to make the conference an annual event. The Master Principal Program honored three principals by designating them as Master Principals- Georgia Chastain (Cabot), Thelma Forte (Texarkana), and Tammy Woosley (Conway). These distinguished principals were announced at the Arkansas State Board of Education meeting in Little Rock on May 9, 2014.

Arkansas Professors of Educational Administration (ARPEA)

Arkansas Professors of Educational Administrators (ARPEA) is an organization dedicated to the education of school district administrators in the state of Arkansas. The base of membership includes the faculty of the nine university educational administration programs preparing school, district, and central office administrators in Arkansas.

Center for Mathematics and Science Education

The University of Arkansas Center for Math and Science Education (CMASE), one of 11 mathematics and science centers on university and college campuses around the state, provides quality resources and materials to the home, private and public education community. The Arkansas NASA Educator Resource Center, located within CMASE, is the state's dissemination point for education materials provided by NASA. Resources and school/classroom presentations are free of charge.

The main objectives of both centers are to provide:

  1. K-16 education outreach to the home, private and public Northwest Arkansas education community;
  2. quality professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers at local, regional, state and national levels;
  3. access points for dissemination of educational materials, resources and information; and
  4. links to common education allies throughout the state and nation.

Center for Children and Youth

The Center for Children and Youth (CCY), established in 2008 in the University of Arkansas' College of Education and Health Professions, exists to expand creative learning and pro-social development opportunities for students and teachers of Arkansas, especially serving those in broadly defined disadvantaged situations. Hung Pham is the director for CCY with Dr. Chris Goering, associate professor of English education, serving as faculty director.

Four central programs comprise the majority of the current work of CCY:

  1. The ARTeacher Fellowship Program for area secondary teachers
  2. The statewide ARTful Teaching Conference
  3. A partnership with Arkansas A+ Schools and Thea Foundation in Little Rock
  4. A recent working relationship with the Chicago office of Facing History & Ourselves (FHO), which resulted in the first FHO Summer Institute held on the U of A campus

Additionally, several mission-related projects were advanced, including support for initiatives by Professor David Jolliffe (Brown Chair in English Literacy) and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant awarded to Professors Lissette Lopez Szwydky-Davis (Department of English) and Sean Connors (Department of Curriculum and Instruction). Contact us at

Education Renewal Zone (ERZ)

The Education Renewal Zone (ERZ) is a broad-based P-20 initiative assigned the task of concentrating and coordinating available resources to improve school performance and student achievement. The primary focus is through a collaborative effort of the partners to build the capacity of schools in providing a competent organizational structure, a quality learning environment, and effective research-based instruction for all students. Working in partnership with a College of Education, each ERZ office designs a unique yearly strategic plan synchronized around the individual needs of their schools.

The ERZ initiative was passed into law in 2003 as Act 106 (HB 1065) by the Second Extraordinary Session of the 84th General Assembly in an effort to address the growing number of schools across the state designated as “in need of improvement”. The establishment of Education Renewal Zones provides a vehicle for the collaborative development of a partnership among institutions of higher education, education service cooperatives, public schools, local businesses, parents, and community members all focused on school improvement and systemic educational reform in Arkansas.

ERZ offices are located at Arkansas State University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and University of Arkansas at Monticello. Schools may access services at any Educational Renewal Zone. ~source:

The University of Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative, as well as the partner schools, their students, parents, and communities work together to provide and implement customized strategies, effective tools, and authentic partnerships to improve overall public school performance and student academic achievement.

Exercise Science Research Center

The Exercise Science Research Center, formerly the Human Performance Laboratory, located in HPER 321, is a student-centered facility with a unique dual purpose that includes research and educational components. The mission of the center is to serve as a multidisciplinary unit for the initiation and conducting of research focusing upon health, exercise, and performance. It provides educational outreach programs for targeted groups with an emphasis on collaborative and cooperative programs with agencies in the state and region as well as offering additional educational experiences for our undergraduate and graduate students in exercise science. The center's goal is to emphasize collaborative and cooperative approaches to research and programming.

National Lab for the Study of the College President

This research unit has been created to conduct research and provide leadership on the study of the American college president. Through policy briefings, publications, workshops, grant writing, and hosting speakers, the National Lab for the Study of the College President provides national direction for research on college leaders. NLSCP sponsors the Journal of the College President as well as collaborates with a number of colleges and universities around the country to advance the understanding of the complex role of the college presidency.

The NLSCP is directed by former University of Arkansas Chancellor and current Professor of Higher Education, Dr. G. David Gearhart.

Northwest Arkansas Writing Project

Part of the international program begun at the University of California, Berkeley in 1974, the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project teachers joined more than 200,000 educators from around the world at nearly 200 National Writing Project sites. The “hands-on minds-on” programs involve teachers in creative workshops and institutes that give them new ideas to bring spark and creativity to their classroom writing curricula. The institutes also enable teachers to develop professional and personal relationships with their peers and create a community of dedicated individuals striving to teach Arkansas children excellent writing skills. Kidswrite and Teenswrite, a writing camp for local kids was developed in 1999, gathering more than 50 Arkansas youngsters to practice writing across the curriculum for fun each summer.

Office of Education Policy

Opened in the fall of 2003, the Office for Education Policy (OEP) is one of several research centers within the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas; our staff includes faculty members, research associates and graduate students who specialize in education research and policy. The office serves as a resource to state lawmakers, educators, administrators, and other leaders, providing them with current national, state, and regional research in education to support them in thoughtful decision-making concerning K-12 education in the State of Arkansas. OEP strives to look at pressing issues through the lens of academic research. We seek to help Arkansas’ education leaders and lawmakers bridge the gap between research and practice by providing them with newsletters, policy briefs, web-based resources, and consultation about current education policy issues. Our print and electronic materials and consultation are available to any interested citizen.

Office of Innovation for Education

The mission of the Office of Innovation for Education (OIE) is to enhance statewide capacity for research, implementation, and evaluation of educational innovations, promising practices, interventions, and programs with high likelihood of improving outcomes for students. OIE faculty and staff work to connect educators to innovations and to support their efforts across the P-20 education system in collaboration with community, business, and industry partners. It is funded by the Arkansas Department of Education.

Office for Sport Concussion Research

The University of Arkansas Office for Sport Concussion Research was established in 2014 with the mission of improving, through education, research, and outreach initiatives, the standard of care for athletes with sport-related concussion. Under the direction of Dr. R.J. Elbin, assistant professor in the Exercise Science program, the Office for Sport Concussion Research is establishing strategic partnerships with local/regional youth sports organizations, high schools, and other academic and medical institutions across the state of Arkansas as well as throughout the country.

Office for Studies on Aging

In response to the “graying of America,” the College of Education and Health Professions, in collaboration with the Graduate School, established the Office for Studies on Aging (OSA) in the fall of 1999. The mission of OSA is to provide advocacy for policies and practices enhancing quality of life across the life span, facilitate better community interface between university and community in addressing the needs of older adults, promote interdisciplinary research, support interdisciplinary education in gerontology on the University of Arkansas campus and create outreach opportunities for service to an aging population.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute was established at the University of Arkansas in 2007; a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation enables the University of Arkansas to provide an affordable educational experience. OLLI at the U of A offers a variety of courses and special events to its members – adults over 50 who come together in a lively learning environment to explore intellectual and cultural topics of interest, share their experiences and talents, and make new friends.

Courses and events cover thought-provoking and wide ranging topics from global events to the arts, from history to health science research, to important local and worldwide issues of the day. There’s no pressure of tests or grades and no papers to write. Classes are held on the University of Arkansas campus, Fayetteville, Rogers, and other sites throughout Northwest Arkansas. Workshops and special events are led by current and retired UA faculty and community experts.

Partners for Inclusive Communities

Partners for Inclusive Communities mission is to support individuals with disabilities and families of children with disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in community life, effect systems change, prevent disabilities and promote healthy lifestyles.

Our Beliefs and Values: Individuals with disabilities are people first, with the same needs and desires as other people. Disability is a natural and normal part of the human experience that in no way diminishes a person's right to fully participate in all aspects of society.

Project to Advance Science Education

The Project to Advance Science Education (PASE) is the UA College of Education and Health Professions home for science education academic activities. PASE is dedicated to enhancing science instruction in the nation's education infrastructure through basic research, the preparation of science teachers for school service and the development of science education leaders who can impact science teaching in schools and as professors in colleges and university settings.

Project RISE

The University of Arkansas, College of Education and Health Professions is leading state higher education in providing innovative, online professional development for teachers serving an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse student population in the state of Arkansas. After the successful implementation of Project Teach Them All (2007-2012), which trained 90 teachers in Springdale Public Schools, the U of A has been awarded a new $1.8 million Professional Development grant from the Office of Language Acquisition - U.S. Department of Education to implement Project RISE, Realizing and Increasing Student Excellence.

Speech and Hearing Clinic

The University of Arkansas Speech and Hearing Clinic is a university-affiliated practice that offers comprehensive speech, language and hearing services to people of all ages in the greater northwest Arkansas area. The Speech and Hearing Clinic has been providing these types of services in the community for nearly 50 years. The University of Arkansas Speech and Hearing Clinic serves as the primary clinical training laboratory for undergraduate and graduate students in the Communication Disorders Program. Currently, the Speech and Hearing Clinic has four faculty members and two part-time clinical instructors (five speech-language pathologists and one audiologist) who provide services to patients and direct students in provision of assessment and intervention services.


UA CURRENTS is the University of Arkansas Center for the Utilization of Rehabilitation Resources for Education, Networking, Training and Service. The acronym – CURRENTS - is a word that evokes movement and power; the momentum that transports us toward our potential. Through the solutions that we develop with organizations and individuals, we support an empowered and inclusive world.

UA CURRENTS is based in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with staff located in seven different locations from Albuquerque to Atlanta. We are a diverse, dispersed and friendly crew, dedicated to the principles of the Rehabilitation Act and the customers that we serve. We all enjoy creative humor and are committed to our office cat, Peaches, who helps keep us grounded.

UA Early Care & Education Programs

Early Care and Education Projects (ECEP) in conjunction with the Division of Child Care Early Childhood Education provides statewide training programs for early educators. The staff under the leadership of Dr. Bobbie Biggs strives to provide the most up-to-date training possible to early educators. More than 200 trainers around the state deliver courses in a variety of locations including child care centers, public schools, vocational centers, technical institutes, community colleges and other post-secondary education facilities.

University of Arkansas Autism Support Program

The goal of the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program is to provide the intensive assistance students with high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and non-verbal learning disability need in order to be successful in college. Our students are matriculated University of Arkansas undergraduates who have the cognitive abilities to be in college but require more help than their typical peers to complete a college degree.