Educational Policy

Education is vital to an engaged and well-informed democratic society.

Without it, everything from our society's most basic needs to our most innovative ideas and accomplishments would not be possible. Education has the potential to inspire us and ignite new ideas. It can inform and guide our actions, as well as prepare us for the future. Every learner deserves a strong foundation from which to grow, but unfortunately, in Arizona, our education system consistently fails to meet the needs of our children. At the College of Education, our work also extends far beyond Arizona. We examine national and international issues, such as the treatment of Chinese and international students, policies around LGBTQ+ students, sexual harassment and hate crimes in postsecondary education, and where universities recruit and don't recruit.

What are we doing about it?

We are working to substantially improve PK-20 education, making it more equitable and just. In order to help inform the public and policymakers in Arizona, we created the Education Policy Center. This center shares education policy research with the community and is a key resource for policymakers. We are the only university-based center in the state dedicated to policy issues of PK-20 education. Studies on policies impact in K-12 classrooms, communities, and families.

The College of Education is conducting research on:

  • Policies that impact education institutions (policy work permeates our Educational Policy Studies & Practice department)
  • Ways to make research accessible to communities and policymakers
  • Collaborative engagement with our communities and stakeholders
  • Bilingual education
  • Teacher preparation
  • Improving equity among students at the intersections of race, disability, language, and other sociocultural differences and the way they are enacted and experienced by educators, leaders, and students
  • Policies that impact the Chicanx/Latinx community
  • Policies that impact students with chronic medical conditions and their access to education
  • Policies that pertain to youth in foster care
  • Special education law and policy
  • The effect of enrollment management policies and practices (e.g., Do these practices undermine access for underserved student populations?)
  • Financial aid policy and implementation at community colleges and its impact on the climate and opportunities for low-income college students

Who is doing it?

Assistant Professor of Practice, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, Curtis Acosta
Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies and Practice, Keiron Bailey
Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Nolan Cabrera
Professor, Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Mary Carol Combs
Assistant Research Professor, Educational Psychology, Adriana Cimetta
Professor, Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Regina Deil-Amen
Assistant Professor, Educational Policy Studies and Practice, Dawn Demps
Faculty Affiliate, Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Marla Franco
Assistant Professor of Practice, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, Suzanne Kaplan
Associate Professor, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, Nicole Kersting
Project Director, Office of the Dean, Jen Kinser-Traut
Associate Research Scientist, Broader Impact, Corey Knox
Associate Professor of Practice, Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, Sue Kroeger
Professor, Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Jenny Lee
Department Head, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies, Carl Liaupsin
Assistant Professor, Educational Policy Studies & Practice, Chi Nguyen
Associate Professor, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, Richard Orozco
Assistant Professor, Educational Policy Studies and Practice, Moira Ozias
Associate Professor, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies, Michelle Perfect
Department Head, Education Policy Studies & Practice, Gary Rhoades
Professor, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, Eliane Rubenstein-Avila
Associate Professor, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies, William Smith
Assistant Professor, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies, Adai Tefera
Associate Professor, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies, Desiree Vega