UIC’s Center for Urban Education Leadership will partner with Chicago’s Ounce of Prevention Fund to evaluate a project that will expand the Ounce’s highly regarded EduCare professional development model to four community-based early childhood centers.

Under the three-year partnership, the Center will provide timely, targeted information for continumus improvement of this new efforts, called the Professional Development Initiative. It also will conduct a preliminary evaluation of predicted outcomes for children and adult learners who are enrolled in these schools. It is a comprehensive approach to capacity development that involves teachers, administrators and on-site coaches in regular direct training, on-the-job coaching and reflective-collaborative problem-solving. Ounce, with the Center’s help, seeks to replicate this professional development model used on Educare campuses in four more community-based schools.

EduCare serves, and its professional development model reaches teachers who work with children from birth to age five.

“The PDI’s unique emphasis on developing center leaders and organizational capacity made it a strong fit to the mission of UIC’s Center for Urban Education Leadership,” said Director of Research Sam Whalen.

Whalen and CUEL Director Steve Tozer will be lead the project.