The Region 8 Comprehensive Center (CC) provides state, regional, and local education agencies with capacity-building services aimed at improving educational outcomes in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The Region 8 CC welcomes opportunities to collaborate with agency staff to implement initiatives that will strengthen education across Region 8. Our specific services include:
- Customized resources
- Coaching, consulting, and communities of practice
- Collaborative planning and benchmarking
- Opportunities to learn from experts and colleagues in the region and across the U.S.
- Workshops, webinars, and conferences
- Referrals to other technical assistance providers
The Region 8 CC's technical assistance weaves together opportunities to enhance substantive knowledge and skills with opportunities to build sustainable organizational strength. We call on the best available research, practitioner experience, and emerging promising practices to inform and support educators across the region.
Each of the initiatives on which the Region 8 CC is working are as follows:
Indiana Literacy Framework and Implementation Resources
This initiative will help build the Indiana Department of Education's (IDOE) capacity for the statewide dissemination and implementation of its literacy framework and resources. The Region 8 CC is assisting IDOE with the revision of the logic model related to the comprehensive needs assessment, providing resources and guidance related to conducting the comprehensive needs assessment, and assisting with the analysis of findings from the comprehensive needs assessment in preparation for the development of the comprehensive literacy plan. The implementation of a comprehensive literacy statewide needs assessment will assist IDOE and LEAs/schools in identifying prioritized needs for a comprehensive literacy plan.
Indiana Multi-Tiered System of Supports
This initiative will help build the IDOE's capacity to help schools and districts across the state more effectively implement the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework. The Region 8 CC is developing additional resources to assist IDOE with an implementation that will be informed by a review of other states' resources and approaches to implementing MTSS. These resources and consultation will assist IDOE as they develop and activate a comprehensive communications and dissemination plan to share MTSS resources statewide.
Indiana Excellent Educators - Grow Your Own Programs
This initiative will help build IDOE's capacity to address a serious challenge for recruiting and retaining educators, as Indiana has experienced declines of students enrolled in educator preparation programs and initial teacher licenses. The Region 8 CC is assisting IDOE with a review of other states' efforts related to grow your own (GYO) initiatives, development of an implementation plan for the pilot, and production of a report with recommendations for action steps IDOE can take based on the pilot. This assistance will help IDOE collaborate to build out the GYO pilot program with Purdue University and several LEAs.
Implementation of Social Emotional Learning Competencies
This initiative will help build the Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) capacity to support the efforts of local education agencies (LEAs) and schools to create safe and supportive school environments to develop and nurture social and emotional skills and competencies of students and adults. The Region 8 CC is creating a series of briefs and facilitating a series of webinars for superintendents. This assistance will help MDE develop and execute a communication and dissemination plan, as well as an implementation plan based on research and informed by other states' efforts to deliver SEL tools, resources, and technical assistance to targeted audiences.
Early Literacy Excellence
This initiative incorporates professional learning, instruction, and literacy leadership to help Michigan LEAs and schools as they build capacity to implement research-validated literacy projects. The Region 8 CC is conducting a review of the literature on evidence-based practices for LEAs and schools to engage with families to support early literacy development, and working with MDE to identify a set of strategies for schools and LEAs to engage with families to promote early literacy development that will be communicated through briefs, infographics, and other website resources, then establishing a professional learning plan and creating materials for MDE staff professional development. This assistance will help MDE promote effective engagement between LEAs and schools, and families in promoting literacy during the school year and summer as they work toward increasing the number of third-graders reaching competency in literacy.
Addressing Michigan's Teacher Shortage: Innovative Strategies for Expanding Teacher Preparation Enrollment
This initiative will help build MDE's capacity to address a growing shortage of educators and, specifically, a decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs. The Region 8 CC is reviewing literature and information, including existing MDE survey data, and identifying potential strategies for implementation based on the findings. This assistance will help MDE explore and implement innovative approaches as they work to address the decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs and the teacher shortage.
Expanding Access to Early Childhood Education in Michigan: Pathways to Credentials for Early Childhood and Out-of-School Time Educators/Providers
This initiative will help build MDE's capacity to expand pathways to credentialing early childhood educators. The Region 8 CC is providing thought partnership and ongoing review of literature and information to support MDE in designing evidence-based opportunities to expand Michigan's pathways to early childhood and out-of-school time educator and provider credentials, then co-facilitating a stakeholder group to gather feedback about the pathways and identify potential plans to address relevant policy and practice to increase access and success. This assistance will help MDE address the current shortage of early childhood and out-of-school-time educators and providers, particularly in rural and under-resourced communities.
Raising Literacy Achievement in Ohio
This initiative will help build the Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) capacity to implement Ohio's Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, which provides opportunities for revitalizing systems change efforts to improve literacy achievement in Ohio. The Region 8 CC is supporting policy and practice priorities to improve the literacy of students with or at risk for dyslexia, supporting stakeholders in designing the next phase of Ohio's State Systemic Improvement Plan, supporting the implementation of Ohio's new Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant including assistance with the development of model guidebooks, resources, and online literacy toolkit. This assistance will help ODE work toward its vision for all learners to acquire the knowledge and skills to become proficient readers.
Diversifying Ohio's Education Profession
This initiative will help build ODE's capacity to address the issue that Ohio's teachers do not reflect the diverse makeup of the students they serve. The Region 8 CC is assisting by exploring the alignment of strategies with goals and targets, developing a diversity plan with an implementation timeline, providing information about regional/local drivers of diversity gaps, developing a best practices report, and providing information about available and best practice strategies to address gaps. This assistance will help ODE to develop and implement a statewide plan with concrete strategies aligned with identified gaps to diversify the education profession.
Addressing the Needs of the Whole Child
This initiative will help build ODE's capacity to adopt and implement a whole child framework in all of Ohio's schools. The Region 8 CC is providing facilitation and consultation support to enable ODE to develop an Ohio-specific whole child framework and related resources that include the definition, components, key terms, and associated graphics. This assistance will help ODE develop and roll out a statewide voluntary implementation plan to the field.
Ohio Improvement Process Listening Tour
This initiative will help build ODE's capacity to understand how to maximize the effectiveness of its continuous improvement efforts and statewide systems of support for lowest-performing school districts and schools, called the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP). The Region 8 CC is selecting districts to participate in listening sessions, facilitating the listening sessions to gather stakeholder feedback, summarizing information, working with ODE to create an action plan. This assistance will help ODE further empower Ohio's lowest-performing school districts to engage in a cycle of continuous improvement backed by the OIP framework.
Aligning District and School Improvement Processes and Federal Funding Allocations
This initiative will help build ODE's capacity to streamline existing processes, structures, and resources to ensure alignment between school improvement and federal resource use by LEAs. The Region 8 CC is conducting a review and analysis of ODE's existing school improvement tools, processes and structures, and materials related to its administration of Section 1003 School Improvement, Title I, Title II, and IDEA programs, then identifying options and opportunities for alignment with resources based on district needs and debriefing on options and decision-points with ODE. This assistance will help ODE prioritize actions and develop a plan with identified strategies for integrating systems and processes.