Public Engagement

At the Neag School of Education, we are deeply committed to improving the human condition through public engagement. Our academic programs, service efforts, and research and outreach activities impact our local region, the state of Connecticut, and the broader U.S. and global community.

Public Engagement at the Neag School

Husky Nutrition & SportUConn Husky Nutrition & Sport has operated for more than 20 years as a campus-community partnership striving toward right relationships; shared learning; equity-focused values and practices; relevant and representative engagement and education; and the enhancement of individual and systemic level opportunities supporting healthy lifestyles.

School District Partnerships: The Neag School continues to maintain strong partnerships with most public school districts throughout Connecticut. Many districts host our student teachers and interns, attend our annual career fair each spring, and mentor future school and district leaders in our principal- and superintendent-preparation programs.

Early College Experience Program: The Neag School also expanded its Early College Experience course offerings this past year, adding two classes (for a total of four) and increasing the number of districts that offer them. In 2022-2023, 356 high schoolers in 21 Connecticut districts were given the opportunity to earn college credits in courses with the goal of increasing the number of students of color who ultimately enter the field of education.

Research: Our research naturally lends itself to community collaborations and directly impacts educators across the state. For example, Associate Dean Morgaen Donaldson and others from the Neag School co-lead the Center for Connecticut Education Research Collaboration (CCERC). CCERC evaluates COVID-19 related projects and learning issues across the state and proposes solutions for school districts. Some of this work was mentioned in the New York Times in October 2022.

Rapid Research Briefs for Alliance Districts: With the support of AERA’s Education Research Ser­vice Project (ERSP) funding, CEPARE produced short-duration, fast-turnaround Rapid Research Briefs (RRB) that investigate pressing issues in Connecticut’s Alliance Districts, 36 of the lowest-performing and lowest-resourced school districts in the state. Through the ERSP funding, CEPARE produced RRB on important topics: fostering collaborative relationships between families for whom English is a second language and schools, diversifying the teacher pipeline, and the characteristics of alliance districts. Grad­uate students and a postdoctoral research associate worked with CEPARE director Morgaen Donaldson to respond to RRB requests from Alliance districts, carry out the required research, write the briefs, and share findings with the requesting districts before disseminating the briefs more widely. In this way, CE­PARE RRB directly and positively impacted the learning opportunities of children in Connecticut’s most under-resourced school districts.

Neag School of Education Journal: This spring marked the inaugural publication of the Neag School’s first academic journal, the Neag School of Education Journal, an editor-reviewed, open-access publication founded and run by Neag School graduate students. Its primary purpose is to offer a platform for graduate students to share their research and knowledge with academic communities, to broaden and deepen the literature of education, as written and experienced by graduate and doctoral students, as well as early-career scholars.

Letters About Literature Contest: Now in its 30th year, the annual Letters About Literature Contest continues to be co-sponsored by the Neag School of Education and led by faculty member Douglas Kaufman. The contest engages students across the state of Connecticut in grades four through 12.

Public Engagement Awards

The UConn Provost’s Office gives out the Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement to recognize outstanding efforts in public engagement across the university and external community. The following individuals and programs are among those who have been recognized for their efforts in past years:

  • Emily Baseler ’17 (ED, CLAS), ’18 MA, student
  • Patricia Bellamy, staff
  • Scott Brown, faculty member – GlobalEd
  • Timothy Dowding, alumnus
  • Zato Kadambaya, alumnus
  • Julia Leonard, student
  • Jennifer McGarry, faculty member – Husky Sport
  • Richard L. Schwab, faculty member
  • Jenna Stone, student

Recent Public Engagement News