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College of Education

Our Research and Evaluation Projects

Current Projects

  • The South Carolina Educational Policy Center is one of the five founding partners in the Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP) at the USC College of Education. The Center for Educational Partnerships' mission is to provide educational extension services to schools, families, and communities in South Carolina that facilitate collaboration among diverse education stakeholders, leverage existing resource, and build local capacity to improve student achievement in South Carolina’s K-12 schools.
  • The Center for Educational Partnerships was created pursuant to a proviso to the SC General Appropriations Bill of 2013-2014 (H.3710, Proviso 1A.52) and has received yearly support for the past 7 years through appropriations from the Education Improvement Act.

  • Through the CEP, the SCEPC provides research support to local schools and districts as well as policymakers at all levels.

  • The South Carolina Educational Policy Center assists in needed revisions of the state’s school climate surveys and provides 4-year school climate profiles to low-performing schools for their school improvement initiatives.

  • The SCEPC collaborates with school districts to support the development of proposals for external funding to implement research-based strategies for school improvement.
  • The South Carolina Educational Policy Center analyzes the SC school climate data obtained through state climate surveys administered annually to students, teachers, and parents across the state. Based on survey results, the SCEPC creates four-year school climate profiles for selected schools across the state (e.g., low-performing schools, magnet schools) and shares the data with the stakeholders.

  • The South Carolina Educational Policy Center investigates various aspects of school climate, including its relationship with various education outcomes, its consistency among respondent groups and organizational levels, as well as methodological aspects related to survey structure and multilevel analysis.

  • Findings related to school climate are presented to various audiences, including conferences, school and district personnel, South Carolina Department of Education, School Improvement Councils, and policymakers.
  • The South Carolina Educational Policy Center serves as the external evaluator of several federally-funded magnet programs implemented in school districts across the state. These programs seek to increase student equity and diversity, academic achievement, and connections through various magnet themes and learning strategies.

  • The evaluation of each program includes developing instruments for data collection, monitoring program implementation, collecting and analyzing data using both quantitative and qualitative methods, assessing the progress on meeting project objectives, and reporting on program outcomes to stakeholders and funding agencies.

  • Throughout the duration of the projects, we collaborate with school and district personnel on various aspects of the evaluation process and meet frequently to discuss program developments and progress.

    • School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties - Discover Five
    • Richland School District Two – STEAMM Med Pro 21: Healthcare for a Caring Community
    • Florence County School District Three - Project C3 Explores: Cultures, Colleges, and Careers Exploration


Selected Previous Projects

  • School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties – Project ACCESS (Academics + Choice + Careers + Environment = Student Success)
  • Richland School District Two – Full STEAM Ahead!
  • Richland School District Two – International Baccalaureate Continuum
  • Richland School District Two – ImPACT Magnet Schools
  • Lexington School District Four Summer Reading Program
  • South Carolina’s Summer Reading Project
  • South Carolina’s Reading First Program
  • Richland School District Two – High School Initiative Program
  • USC’s African American Professors’ Program
  • South Carolina’s Work Sampling System (early childhood)
  • Descriptive study of the gifted and talented programs in South Carolina
  • Development of standards and criteria for the statewide Principal Evaluation Program (included instrument development and validation studies)
  • Analysis of the relationship between South Carolina’s literacy program implementation rubrics and student achievement


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.