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Last modified: Tuesday, July 15, 2008

IU School of Education partnerships grow with latest Pathways projects

School of Education funds faculty proposals to continue and build new partnerships with Indiana schools

July 15, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Continuing the "Pathways Initiative" that began collaborative projects last year, the Indiana University School of Education is funding four projects this year to bring faculty expertise and IU staff assistance together with teachers in Indiana's schools. Two projects based at Gary, Ind. elementary schools will build upon already established Pathways projects; two others will start new projects at Indianapolis high schools.

Laurie Burns McRobbie

Photo by: Hillary Demmon

The Pathways Initiative started in 2007, with the Frankie Woods McCullough Academy for Girls as one of the first locations. Laurie McRobbie (right) talks with Briana McCallul, a student at the McCullough Academy for Girls, about an experiment in the new science lab at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Print-Quality Photo

The project grants are administered by the Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration, a center founded in 2006 to facilitate partnerships that lead to educational improvement from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education.

The Pathways Initiative connects School of Education personnel with school-based partners in Marion, St. Joseph and Lake counties. The initiative's goals include increasing high school graduation rates while increasing the number of students who attend IU campuses and other colleges, as well as helping students transition to "STEM" disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and math.

"We have made tremendous progress with the Pathways Initiative since its inception," said Gerardo M. Gonzalez, university dean of the IU School of Education. "The current projects will build on a solid foundation to strengthen the emerging partnerships between IU and high-need schools throughout the state."

Faculty from the IU School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Bloomington are taking part in a project with University High Academy in Indianapolis, a school created with the objective of providing students with 21st Century skills and opportunities. The partnership with the School of Education is focused on understanding conditions affecting student achievement and identifying opportunities to align and modify programs to address school goals.

"The ideas emerged after several meetings with school faculty," said principal investigator Joshua Smith, assistant professor of educational psychology and director of the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education at the IU School of Education at IUPUI. After working out connections and figuring out a timeline for combining resources, the IU faculty and University High teachers made a plan.

"We now have a comprehensive approach to preparing students for post-secondary learning that first looks at ways to bolster reading ability and then provides multiple avenues for students to earn college credits in their last two years of high school," Smith said.

School of Education collaboration map

The Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration offers an interactive map with descriptions of collaborations between the IU School of Education and schools throughout Indiana.

In Gary, collaborative projects at two elementary, gender-based academies will continue work begun last year. IU faculty are working with faculty of Frankie Woods-McCullough Academy for Girls on a project to help engage African American girls in science and math. With assistance from the P-16 Center, McCullough dedicated a new science lab at the school last year. Gayle Buck, associate professor of science education, is the principal investigator.

At Gary's Watson Academy for Boys, a project focusing on literacy and engagement will continue under the leadership of Gerald Campano, assistant professor of language education. IU faculty are working with Watson teachers on developing curricula targeting the stereotypical view that urban males do not like to read or write. Watson established the "Writer's House" last fall, a refurbished classroom that provides beginning-to-end tools for students to write and publish written works.

A project with two components will start at the International Academy in Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis. Faculty from the IU School of Education at IUPUI, directed by Samantha Bartholomew, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies, are working with Arsenal Tech on a project called "A Partnership for Improving College Readiness and Global Competence." The project is designed to increase access to an "internationalized" college-preparatory curriculum -- one which engages diverse learners across language, culture, economics and geography.

The second component of the Arsenal proposal is a project called "World Languages, Strategic Learning, Global Competence," directed by Martha Nyikos, associate professor of language education at the IU School of Education in Bloomington, and also involving the Indiana Department of Education. The state department of education and the IU School of Education will partner with the world language department at Arsenal Tech to help students who communicate in languages other than English develop "global literacy" skills that can help them pursue careers and post-secondary education. Crispus Attucks High School is also joining the project to address similar needs.

Gonzalez said the latest projects reinforce the commitment of the school and its faculty to partnering with Indiana's schools.

"I am very excited to see the number of IU faculty members that have embraced this work and are actively engaged with students, teachers and other key personnel in these schools," he said. "Investing in these partnerships is critical for the future of educational improvement in Indiana."

A new feature on the Web site for the Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration ( is a clickable map that offers descriptions of the many collaborations between the School of Education and schools throughout the state. The map at provides descriptions of work throughout the state, including partnerships in Evansville, Jeffersonville, Fort Wayne and Richmond.

For more information, contact Chuck Carney at 812-856-8027 or