Grants and Contracts

We engage in translational research through an array of grants and contracts awarded by federal and statewide sponsors such as the US Department of Education, Ohio Department of Education, and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Our collaborations empower us to lead discoveries that can inform and directly influence the fields of education, family engagement, and workforce development nationwide. A selection of ten awards and several contracts that showcase our range of expertise as a center are detailed below. A more extensive list of projects can be found within the Program pages.


Advancing Ohio’s English Learners: Ohio Department of Education

Our Advancing Ohio’s English Learners (AOEL) project is designed to create a comprehensive system of supports for English learners and their families whose school learning and engagement have been negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.  This project is intended to address the learning loss that resulted from the pandemic.  It is clear that the need for this support existed prior to the pandemic.  It is equally clear that the pandemic exacerbated the existing need and increased the academic achievement gap between English learners and non-English learners.  This project offers the opportunity to support district and school personnel in their efforts to continue to make improvements in the capacity to effectively address the unique needs of English learners.  This project is grounded in our commitment to serving marginalized populations in a manner that focuses on acknowledging and addressing the negative impacts of current inequities with a keen eye on addressing the intersections of inequity and education. 

Funded by the Ohio Department of Education 

Award Total: $ 1,954,323

Project Contact Dr. Melissa Ross.

Helping English Learners and Partners Excel with Research-based Practices and Support (HELPERS)

Our associates provide pre-service and in-service teachers in high needs school districts with professional learning to improve instruction for English learners. Sponsored by the US Department of Education and Office of English Language Acquisition, we serve teachers in Ohio, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

Our work addresses the need for professional learning in English Language Learning instruction and partnerships with families in a number of ways:

  1. Train K-12 paraprofessionals/preservice teachers for bilingual & ESL licensure
  2. Expand K-8 in-service teacher capacity to advance ELs language & literacy proficiency with small group instruction intervention in hybrid & virtual learning contexts with coaching
  3. Support implementation with fidelity of EL evidence-based professional development to in-service teachers, instructional coaches & administrators for project-based learning expeditions-hybrid & virtual contexts
  4. Increase parent, family & community member engagement in the education of ELs using high impact evidenced-based practices: family-school connectors, 1-1 parent tutoring & adult English classes
  5. Model & disseminate effective practices using technology as an intervention to network EL school-parent-family-school-community

We lead this consortium of diverse community organizations, Family and Children First Council, OH, Get Cr8tive OH, a state education agency (Harris County Department of Education), Educational Solutions, DC and Melissa Becce Coaching and Evaluation Team, CT.

Funded by US Department of Education

Project Contact Dr. Belinda Gimbert & Rebecca Parker

Staying and Thriving: Cultivating Community with and for Black Women Undergraduate Students in the College of Education and Human Ecology

As a translational research center, The Center on Education and Training for Employment leverages translational research (evidence-based interventions) to increase the well-being of certain populations, often referred to as “the community.” The community of Black women students in the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) have recently provided explicit feedback regarding their perceptions of a reduced sense of belonging at the university.

Research suggests that for Black women in EHE, sense of belonging is described as having a safe space; access to attentive and responsive academic advisors or mentors; and both awareness and understanding of how to access enrichment opportunities. Scholarship highlights the fact that Black women’s sense of belonging influences their abilities to successfully complete a college degree at a Predominately White Institution (PWI).

While there are many actions that can be taken to address the disparate retention and experiences of Black women students, this project will focus on providing these students with the supports they desire. To address issues related to building safe spaces and community, poor advisement or low mentorship, and lack of enrichment opportunities, participants will engage in sister circles, mentorship by a near-peer Black woman graduate student, and explicit exposure to enrichment opportunities and funding. Sister circles, specifically, will create a safe space for Black women students to commune and interact, facilitate connection with Black women staff and faculty, and overall increase participants’ sense of belonging within the College.

A multidisciplinary team of Black women researchers (EHE faculty, administrators, staff, and Center Associates) will implement and evaluate a 12-week, three-pronged research intervention designed to increase the sense of belonging of Black women students in EHE. This exploratory research project will pilot test the intervention and provide data to determine its effectiveness related to sense of belonging. Ultimately, the researchers aim to produce credible data that may assist EHE, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and other university leaders to create and implement policy and programming related to retention of Black undergraduate women.

Funded by: Office of Student Academic Success at The Ohio State University, Student Academic Success Research (SASR)

Project Contact: Dr. Gabrielle Hicks

Current Award Total: $28,000

Parent Mentors Program

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recognizes the critical need of supporting and honoring families as the primary caregivers and educators of children. This critical role from birth into adulthood is challenging for families, and the challenges are often compounded for families of children with disabilities.

The state of Ohio developed a multi-tiered system of support, the Parent Mentors Program, nearly 30 years ago to offer a supportive peer relationship, an understanding of local school districts and organizational resources for families of students with disabilities, understanding of special education legislation, awareness of state resources and learning opportunities, and time for individualized interactions such as phone calls, and attending Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.

Employed by districts, Parent Mentors collaborate to form strong partnerships between families and schools.  The primary structure for providing supports state-wide are the State Support Teams (SSTs) in 16 regions, and the Parent Mentors work alongside them to provide the families of students with disabilities consistent, strong support.

Center Associates will support the professional development of Parent Mentors from the region through coaching, targeted services and supports in collaboration with ODE. The regional structure will build upon the existing broad system of supports for families and develop new connections between dyad teams and regional organizations and agencies.

Funded by: Ohio Department of Education

Project Contact: Dr. Gabrielle Hicks  

Current Award Total: $527,167

ToxMSDT: An Innovative Toxicology Pathway Mentoring Program Targeting Underrepresented STEM Students

One of the shortcomings of recruiting students into Toxicology graduate research programs is that there are only a handful of undergraduate toxicology training programs in the whole country. Toxicology is overwhelmingly taught at the graduate, but not at the undergraduate level. Because of this, there is a lack of awareness and knowledge about the discipline and its role in the protection of human health and of the environment among undergraduates. Therefore, undergraduates with an interest in pursuing graduate education naturally may not consider toxicology as an option. 

This project is a collaboration between the University of California, Davis, the Society of Toxicology, Iowa State University and Tuskegee University, and seeks to expand the ToxMSDT proof-of-concept project into a nation-wide 5-year training program. There are two specific aims:  (1) Delivery of a mentoring program to underrepresented undergraduate students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and (2) Design, development, and delivery of free online learning experiences for skills development consisting of toxicology case studies and designed to stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving. 

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health, Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ana-Paula Correia

Award Total: $275,342

Preventing Opioid Misuse and Abuse in Rural Ohio Through Enhanced Family and Community Education and Training

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funds a variety of projects to address opioid misuse in communities across the nation.  In this case, funding supports the use of the Promoting School and Community Partnerships to Promote Resilience or PROSPER program delivery system to identify and offer evidence-based substance abuse prevention programming through local schools. 

Teams composed of a variety of stakeholders and supported by Extension Educators assess community conditions, recruit youth and family members and provide a variety of other resources to ensure that effective prevention programs are available to primarily 7th and 8th-grade students.  Ohio is promoting the use of programs that promote life skills and strengthen family relationships. Center evaluators employ an empowerment evaluation approach to evaluate this project. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods, along with community problem-solving skills, are used to evaluate the project and support the development of program improvements.

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Benz

Co-PI: Dr. David Julian 

Award Total: $1,055,166

Facilitating Pathways to Success for High-Achieving Pre-Collegiate African American Males in STEM

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three year, $1.5 million award to researchers at The Ohio State University, University of South Florida, and the National Academy Foundation. Dr. Edward Fletcher, CETE Senior Faculty Fellow and Distinguished Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology serves as the Principal Investigator alongside Dr. Barbara Boone, CETE’s Program Director, and Dr. James L. Moore III, Ohio State’s Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. 

Investigators are examining how participation in high school career academies help to promote STEM pathways for high-achieving low-income African American male students. The research plan includes studying school supports, schooling experiences, academic engagement, course-taking patterns, and family support systems of high-achieving African American male students. Narratives of how African American male students succeed in high school and in STEM will be provided and factors supporting the STEM participation and success of high-achieving, low-income African American males participating in high school STEM academies will be outlined. 

Sponsor: National Science Foundation 

Principal Investigator: Dr. Edward Fletcher

Co-PI: Dr. Barbara Boone 

Award Total: $1,498,259 

Evaluation of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $25 million Clinical and Translational Science Award to Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a member of the faculty of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and director of the university’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). This funding from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences will further the center’s mission of translating scientific discoveries into clinical therapies to improve human health. The CCTS is a collaboration of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, other colleges at Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This is the center’s third five-year cycle of funding from the NIH since 2008. The CCTS provides financial, organizational and educational support to biomedical researchers, as well as opportunities for community members to participate in valuable research. This new grant will support team science initiatives, workforce development and partnerships with private and public organizations. The CCTS currently partners with local communities to improve health outcomes in areas such as mental health, substance abuse, infant mortality and obesity.

The center employs an empowerment evaluation approach to contribute to the CCTS’ understanding of the impact of its work. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods, along with community problem-solving skills, are employed. Building the capacity of CCTS program directors to effectively engage in evaluation and resultant program improvement is an important feature of this project.

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health

Principal Investigator: Dr. Dave Julian

Award Total: $14,500

Salvation Army of Central Ohio Human Trafficking Evaluation

The Salvation Army of Central Ohio Human Trafficking Evaluation is funded by a Comprehensive Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Program Grant from the federal Office of Victims of Crime to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to for trafficked persons in Central Ohio through interagency collaboration and a coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking. This work addresses the individualized needs of victims through the provision of an array of quality services, ensuring that all human trafficking victims are able to achieve their goals, which may include greater autonomy, self-sufficiency, a sense of safety and overall well-being, by accessing high-quality, individualized services through a coordinated, collaborative continuum of care.

Center associates are engaged in program evaluation to partner with The Salvation Army and the Comprehensive Services Network. We provide monthly evaluation meeting facilitation, review and analysis of program records, identification of effective practices in collaboration with The Salvation Army staff, analysis and reporting on progress toward performance measures.

Sponsor: The Salvation Army

Principal Investigator: Dr. Meredith Wellman

Award Total: $57,000

Regional Family-Community Engagement Network: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Parent, Community, & Educator Collaboration

The coordination and management of the Regional Family-Community Engagement Network project is focused on: 

  • Improving the processes and outcomes of the family consultants by assisting in the development of regional, comprehensive plans for engagement of families and communities of students with disabilities.
  • Maximizing consultants’ roles and assisting them in establishing broad networks of support for referring families and educators to information, resources, and services for students with disabilities.
  • Building the knowledge and skills of family consultants through professional development.
  • Creating a cohesive and consistent quality of services of family consultants.
  • Developing effective communications and partnerships with Ohio’s parent mentors.


Center associates partner with the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education to provide resources for the State Support Teams’ family consultants. The goal is to strengthen the family engagement work of the State Support Teams through the development and delivery of webinars, meeting facilitation, and providing mechanisms for communication and networking.

Sponsor: Ohio Department of Education

Principal Investigator: Dr. Barbara Boone

Award Total: $89,000

Corrections Teacher Educator Project

Center associates support new career technical education teachers within the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Individualized support services include assistance with the license program enrollment, coursework continuation, classroom observation, and feedback. Teachers are also assisted with license process questions and issues and support for the required end of resident education assessments.

There are ongoing professional development opportunities provided to other groups within the adult and correctional field including mentor groups, adult education programs, and other entities seeking career technical licensure information and teaching expertise.

The center’s career and technical educational program offer experts with teacher education proficiency to prepare these experts to update, maintain, and deliver materials used to train the teachers enrolled in the program. 

Sponsor: Department of Youth Services

Principal InvestigatorRebecca Parker

Award Total: $36,595

Developing Public-Private Partnerships to Target Elevated Phosphorus Fields to Increase Water Quality & Availability

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has funded seven grants for research that will provide solutions to critical water problems across the United States. These awards were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area. AFRI’s Water for Food Production Systems program focuses on developing new technologies and strategic management tools that solve water quantity and quality, sustainable use and reuse, and farming practices to conserve water. OSU researchers will measure phosphorus runoff rates from participating fields and identify effective management practices that can limit nutrient runoff while maintaining crop yields. Through collaborations with agricultural organizations, the researchers will identify fields and producers to adopt management practices to support the development of an Extension program promoting knowledge and management of fields with elevated soil phosphorus.

Center evaluators employ an empowerment evaluation approach to evaluate this project. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods, along with community problem-solving skills, are used to evaluate the project and support the development of program improvements.

Sponsor: National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Principal Investigator:  Jay Martin (College of Food, Agriculture and Environment Sciences)

Co-PI: Dr. Dave Julian

Award Total: $4,317,062

Educators & Families for English Learners

Center associates provide pre-service and in-service teachers in high needs school districts with professional learning to improve instruction for English learners. Sponsored by the US Department of Education and Office of English Language Acquisition, center associates serve teachers in Ohio, Texas, and the District of Columbia. The center leads this consortium of six diverse community organizations including:

  • Center for Inspired Teaching
  • Latin American Youth Center
  • Briya PCS & Mary’s Center
  • Family & Children First Council
  • Somali Community Association of OH
  • Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services
  • Harris County Department of Education  
  • Educational Solutions, DC & Youth Policy Institute of NY

This work addresses the need for professional learning in English Language Learning instruction and partnerships with families in a number of ways:

  • Developing and implementing online PD via virtual learning network to enhance and refine EL-pedagogical content knowledge.
  • Providing face-to-face PD surrounding instructional best practices for ELs.
  • Developing turnkey training for instructional specialists to sustain effective PD.
  • Advancing student focused coaching to support EL academic language acquisition.
  • Training teachers and staff to adopt a response to intervention (RTI) and trauma-informed strategies to de-escalate classroom conflict.

Sponsor: US Department of Education

Principal Investigator: Dr. Belinda Gimbert

Co-PI: Rebecca Parker

Award Total: $585,950 (includes 4 subawards)

Technical Testing Project

Ohio’s Secondary Career-Technical Education programs require a standardized assessment system across the 16 career fields to be used primarily as an accountability measure for maintaining Perkins IV funding. Secondary students are required to take an end-of-course (EOC) posttest exam following instruction for all courses, aligned to Ohio’s specific business and industry needs, taken in their program. The EOC exams serve as a measure of student’s technical knowledge and skill. In addition to the primary purpose of state and federal accountability, these exams serve several secondary purposes.

First, local school districts may choose to use student gain scores as an input to teacher effectiveness ratings for the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. This requires a pretest and a posttest. Second, some EOC tests are used to articulate credit for linked postsecondary courses. Third, a new feature of the system is that tests may be used to provide formative feedback to teachers for student improvement.

Center associates work with the Ohio Department of Education Office of Career-Technical Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. We also work with CTE instructors to develop and review test items and tests, validate assessments and set proficient and advanced cut scores. We design, develop, and deliver assessments for the state of Ohio through WebXam or proprietary test delivery platform.

The center’s Assessment program also assists districts, administrators, and instructors in providing technical support and customized professional development to build awareness and to equip key stakeholders to properly use and navigate the technical-testing system.

Sponsor: Ohio Department of Education

Principal Investigator:  Dr. James Austin

Award Total: $1,332,183

Ohio's Statewide Family Engagement Center

Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center at the Center on Education and Training for Employment is a leader in the field of family, school, and community engagement. We bring research to action by providing schools and families with the tools they need to work together so all children have success in learning and life. We aim to inspire and equip schools, community organizations, and families to work together by providing useful information and training on high-impact family engagement practices. Our work:

  • Provides training & tools to families to help them understand ways to support their child’s learning, emotional health, & plans for the future.
  • Supports approaches to family engagement that are lasting and integrated into family life and the school system.
  • Contributes new research to the field of family engagement.
  • Builds professional training and tools for school leaders, teachers, and community partners to build their capacity to work with all families.

The Statewide Family Engagement Center is a collaboration of The Ohio State University’s Center on Education and Training for Employment; the Ohio Department of Education; the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University; the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement; the Youth Policy Institute, and many other state and regional partners.

Sponsor: US Department of Education

Principal Investigator: Dr. Barbara Boone

Co-PI: Dr. Meredith Wellman

Award Total: $4,186,529 (2 subawards)


DACUM Institute

The Center on Education and Training for Employment’s DACUM International Training Center is the premiere provider of DACUM facilitator training in the world. We train more DACUM facilitators than anyone else, both domestically and internationally. The DACUM Institute is designed for school, college, company, and other workforce development programs or course designers, training coordinators, trainers, curriculum specialists, educational specialists, and human resource development specialists to become successful DACUM facilitators.

Contract LeadJohn Moser

Previous Clients

  • Lightning Protection Institute 
  • Laney College 
  • The American Society for Nondestructive Testing 
  • Chemeketa Community College 
  • Zane State College 
  • Department of Petroleum, Nairobi, Kenya 
  • FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. 
  • Ohio Association of Community Colleges 
  • American Electric Power 

Experiential Learning Program for Visiting Scholars

Part a concerted effort by Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology to foster collaboration and increase college engagement at the global level, this Program hosts scholars from Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, China for two months to explore the topics of American culture, the English language, research methodologies, standards-based education systems, and US workplace context.

Many of the scholars will become teachers or instructors themselves, and previous scholars said that the full immersion in these cultural experiences intrigued them to the point of re-imagining their teaching practices.

The Center on Education and Training for Employment develops and implements student-centered, evidence-based curriculum for these scholars on how to develop assessments for workforce development and career education, the business of education, educational technology, and the DACUM process including a hands-on task analysis workshop.

Sponsor: Zhejiang Normal University

Contract Lead: Traci Lepicki

SCID (Systematic Curriculum and Instructional Design)

The SCID workshop is a follow-on program to the DACUM training. It picks up where DACUM leaves off and teaches you how to develop a competency-based curriculum or training program using the ADDIE instructional design model as the framework. Participation in the DACUM training is not a prerequisite, but those who take both courses usually take DACUM first.

In this learning experience participants will acquire the knowledge and skills to be able to develop competency-based instructional materials such as verification surveys, task analysis, competency profiles, learning guides, job aids, curriculum guides, and lesson plans. Individual work and group instruction are supplemented with instructor feedback to make it a truly “hands on” learning experience

Contract Lead: John Moser

Skilled Trades Professional Development Program

The center serves as a technical lead in an effort to modernize job classifications and career progressions for current and future facilities personnel at Ohio State. This is a multi-year, multi-phase, and university-wide project that engages six academic campuses, one medical center, and nine business units across Ohio State. Through leveraging resources from multiple internal teams and supporting student research within the EHE Workforce Development and Education program, CETE is:

  • defining the body of knowledge for all new classification series and job titles
  • customizing our approach to job analysis, including additional task analysis, knowledge-skill-ability identification, and linkage as well as verification through real-time data collection using iPads and electronic survey software
  • creating online and performance assessments to aid in job classification and training plan development
  • partnering with technical curriculum and training providers to deliver skilled trades coursework
  • creating on-the-job training manuals and supporting Ohio State trainers in implementing real-time, hands-on, practical work-based learning
  • developing the infrastructure and operating procedures to support a one of a kind training system

Sponsor: The Ohio State University Facilities Services Departments

Contract Lead: Traci Lepicki