Research & Grants


Leadership and Educator Advancement Project (LEAP)

  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • $898,755
  • 2022-2025
  • Principal Investigator: Laila Richman
  • Project Director: Janette Adams
  • LEAP is a teacher collaborative between TU, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), and the Howard County Education Association (HCEA) to research, create, test, and refine a replicable model of a comprehensive teacher development system. 

Wallace Grant

  • Wallace Foundation
  • $1,900,000
  • 2021-2026
  • Principal Investigator: Carla Finkelstein
  • The $8 million multi-partnership grant is to develop principal pipelines for equity-centered leaders. Baltimore City Public Schools has been chosen as one of eight participants in the Wallace Foundation’s Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative to build evidence-based principal pipelines with the goal of developing principals who can advance each district’s own vision of equity. Baltimore City, Maryland State Department of Education, Towson University and Morgan State University will work together, over the five year term of the grant, to develop and sustain deep partnerships with each other, engage in visioning and strategic planning, design a comprehensive, aligned principal pipeline that translates the vision into reality, provide mentoring and training for current principals and assistant principals and engage in continuous improvement.

Enhancing Literacy for English Learners: Valuing Assets Through Engagement (ELEVATE)

  • United States Department of Education
  • $2.7 million
  • 2021-2026
  • Principal Investigator: Patricia Rice Doran
  • Project Director: Danielle Turner
  • The ELEVATE project supports the TU's preparation of educators, including those who teach English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), by building on strong existing partnerships and resources to improve instruction and promote literacy for English learners with special needs. Funding will support coursework and training activities preparing TU students and in-service teachers to receive ESOL endorsement.

Project LINC

  • United States Department of Education
  • $1.1M
  • Principal Investigator: Katherine Holman
  • Preparing School-Based Leaders in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) through Interdisciplinary Networking and Shared Competencies is an interdisciplinary partnership between Towson University’s College of Education and College of Health Professions to increase the number of diverse, highly qualified scholars in special education and speech-language pathology to meet the needs of school-age students with ASD. The project is designed to improve school-based special educators’ and speech-language pathologists' ability to lead other school-based professionals in collaborating and implementing evidence-based practices that have a positive impact on students.

Kahlert Foundation 

Since 2016, The College of Education is fortunate to have the support of The Kahlert Foundation, championed by trustee and TU alumna Roberta Kahlert ’69.  Retired from a career as a Middle School English teacher, Roberta recalls assisting English Learners (ELs) in her classroom, long before any training was available on how to best support their needs.  Upon learning of the College of Education’s commitment to preparing teachers to meet the needs of the state’s growing population of ELs, Roberta endorsed support in this area.  Roberta and her husband Greg, president of The Kahlert Foundation, are impressed with TU’s forward-thinking approach to teacher preparation.  They look forward to updates on project outcomes, and enjoy hearing impact stories. 

Kahlert Foundation Projects 2022-2023

Linguistic Diversity Minor Scholarships 
Faculty Member: Linda Miller 
Awarding deserving students who wish to minor in Linguistic Diversity a scholarship will help continue a pipeline of teachers who will have the knowledge and the skills necessary to work with English Learners and their families using culturally responsive practices. 

Emerging Leaders for Writing with Multilingual Students
Faculty Member: Vicki McQuitty
This project will provide 43 hours of professional development (PD) to 10 teachers in how to teach writing skills to ELs for 10 teachers. This project will prepare this group of teachers to be advocates in their schools, districts, and states for teaching curriculum that is effective for ELs.

Peer Writing Mentors
Faculty Members: Pamela Hickey, Vicki McQuitty, Stephanie Moody, Bethany Rice
Peer Writing Mentors (PWM) is intended to help close the gap in several high-need areas including: 

  • helping undergraduate students learn about English learner writing instruction
  • quality writing support for students in the College of Education and PreK – 12 grade English learner writing instruction
  • Preservice teachers will also serve as writing tutors to the students enrolled in the COE’s advanced writing and will collaborate with in-service teachers at cooperating elementary schools to provide writing tutoring to elementary ELs

Accent Reduction Professional Development
Faculty Members: Speech and Language Faculty
This professional development will provide TU faculty with information about the obstacles related to having an accent and the instruction that can be provided to help English learners become comprehensible.

Long-term ELs and Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Schooling (SLIFE) Professional Development
Faculty Member: Stephen Schroth
The online Saturday series of interactive professional development will provide teachers in Anne Arundel County with strategies to help students learning English over several years with methods to help them be academically successful. Additionally, these teachers are intended to become leaders in their county to help implement these strategies district-wide in Anne Arundel County.

EMPOWERing ELs and their Families at Home
Faculty Member: Danielle Turner
EL students and families will be helped to understand homework, in a safe space while building relationships with their teachers. Families will also gain social-emotional wellbeing instruction, have opportunities to get questions answered, and are encouraged to solicit feedback from the parent community. This is a collaborative effort with a grant funded project from the U.S. Department of Education.

EL Curriculum Specialist
Faculty Member: Gilda Martinez-Alba
The intent of this position is to build TU’s capacity for creating sustainable products that can be used over time by faculty, teachers, staff, and families to further their knowledge in the ESOL field or build on their existing literacy skills.

Grow-Your-Own EL Faculty Experts
Faculty Members: Heather Haverback, Patty Rice Doran
Through this effort, faculty in the middle school and secondary department will be provided with professional development to apply research-based practiced into coursework and field practicum experiences. Faculty that receives this PD will then provide it to other faculty.

COE Tutors
Faculty Member: Laila Richman
The outcomes include increased academic support in reading and math for ELs, and professional growth for TU students in learning how to support EL students and families in an online environment.

Supporting Young ELs and Families through Book Clubs and Enrichment Backpacks
Faculty Member: Lea Ann Christenson
Through an after-school book club, TU faculty and teachers will develop their skills in working with EL students and families. These skills will be applied to purchase enrichment backpacks that can help EL students to have a learning rich environment at home, and lessons will be planned by TU students with TU faculty and teacher guidance, for families to use at home.

Kahlert Conference
Faculty Members: Gilda Martinez-Alba, Laurie Mullen
This conference will showcase all of the Kahlert projects and will also invite other speakers to present on their work related to ELs. It will be a full day event held on April 15, 2022.

SEL for Students and Families
Faculty Members: Luis Javier Penton Herrera (University of Warsaw), Gilda Martinez-Alba
This keynote presentation will be provided at the ELEVATE conference at Towson University, which is designed to teach pre-service teachers and their faculty/teacher mentors about using strategies to help students succeed in and out of school.

Armstead Gardens EL Partnership
Faculty Member: Shelly Huggins
This project will support academic and social-emotional needs of ELs. Assistance will be provided to a targeted group of teachers at a school in Baltimore City, in ways that are honoring the families’ language and culture, while providing literacy instruction.