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Our Work

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:


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Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies and Employability Skills Standards

The Region 8 CC supports the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) in improving the communication, alignment, and dissemination of relevant resources for the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies, Characteristics of Graduates Prepared to Succeed, and Employability Skills Standards.

Indiana Excellent Educators – Teacher Pipeline

The Region 8 CC is building IDOE’s capacity related to teacher recruitment and retention, including a scan of evidence-based practices and the development of tools to assess related needs. This initiative supports IDOE’s efforts to recruit and retain teachers across multiple facets of these efforts, including assisting with the guidance, a searchable educator prep program database, and developing research-based strategies and resources.


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Implementation of Systemic Social-Emotional Learning in MI

Community of Practice (CoP) to support local education agencies (LEAs) with district wide SEL implementation—a tier one universal practice to effectively develop and nurture social and emotional skills and competencies of students and adults. CoP members will learn how to contextualize their SEL implementation; align their efforts with their district infrastructure; and identify, develop, and pilot tools, resources, and technical assistance specifically designed to support district wide SEL implementation.

MI Early Literacy Excellence

The Region 8 CC is assisting the MDE in increasing early literacy achievement, by a) completing and implementing a communications plan, b) identifying evidence-based practices teachers can use to foster early literacy (prekindergarten through third grade) motivation and engagement, particularly with students of color; and c) identifying strategies and practices to support the state’s efforts to meet the needs of students with dyslexia.

High School Pathways to Education and Youth Development Careers in Michigan

The Region 8 CC and the MDE will implement “grow your own” opportunities for high school students to earn credentials as a first step in pathways toward careers in education and youth development. Stakeholder partnerships will be expanded, resources will be developed and disseminated, and strategies for evaluating and improving the initiative will be put in place.

Expanding Summer and Afterschool Learning Opportunities in Michigan

The Region 8 CC and the MDE will collaborate to support expanded summer and afterschool learning opportunities in Michigan in partnership with the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA)’s Summer Learning Network. Listening sessions will be held with districts and community partners to understand how the state can more effectively support school/community partnerships. Pilots will be conducted with 2-3 districts/communities to develop dashboards focused on system implementation outcomes, including a focus on access and participation and district-community alignment, and define use cases for expansion to other programs. Additionally, the team will leverage and contribute to learning and resources from the Network, as well as the U.S. Department of Education’s Summer Learning & Enrichment Collaborative to develop partnerships and identify best practices.


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Raising Literacy Achievement in Ohio

The Region 8 CC and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will support implementation of Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement for all learners through a focus on documenting the impact of state and regional supports, dyslexia professional learning, piloting and revising of model guidebooks and peer coaching guide and serving as thought partner and resource provider for the State Literacy Team and Regional Literacy Network. This initiative will prototype an interactive case study to illustrate how materials and supports provided by the State Literacy Team and Regional Literacy Network have a positive impact on high district/ school performance and consistent improvement of early literacy scores; continue job-embedded dyslexia professional learning aligned with new dyslexia laws; design an interactive framework (toolkit) for web-based access to evidence-based literacy practices and resources; develop and implement a method for collecting and incorporating feedback on pilot model guidebooks with Comprehensive State Literacy Development Grant grantees and scaling statewide in 2022-23; develop and implement a method for collecting feedback and determine practicality of scaling Ohio’s Model for Peer Coaching for professional learning statewide; and continue supports for the State Literacy Team and Regional Literacy Network, and P-20 Literacy Collaborative to extend the literacy work into higher education.

Diversifying Ohio's Education Profession

The Region 8 CC will build the capacity of the ODE to implement concrete strategies, aligned with identified gaps, to diversify the education profession, make available a suite of resources to support a diverse teacher workforce, and identify local drivers of diversity gaps and strategies to address them. The Region 8 CC will partner with the ODE team to continue to build on the work conducted in Years 1 and 2. Together, the team will develop resources that build state and district capacity to diversify the education profession and provide equitable education opportunities for all students.

Addressing the Needs of the Whole Child

The Region 8 CC will build the capacity of the ODE, through the Office of Integrated Student Supports and the Whole Child Advisory Committee to develop tools and resources to support the integration of Ohio’s Whole Child Framework within ODE and its adoption and implementation across schools and districts. The Region 8 CC will support the ODE team to develop implementation tools and resources for the Whole Child Framework as outlined in its implementation plan and align existing and new whole child initiatives to the framework.

Supporting the Continuous Improvement Needs of Districts and Schools in Ohio

The Region 8 CC will facilitate monthly State Support Team peer learning sessions designed to continuously improve capacity to support district/school culture and collaborative structures and document how these efforts impact adult behavior and student performance. The Region 8 CC will also support development of an improved District & School Review tool and Resource Allocation Review package. This school improvement initiative supports the continuous improvement needs of districts and schools through the regional support team application of Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) priority tools and resources, the state improvement team to design a unified district/school review tool, and the state resource allocation team to improve the resource allocation review package.


Archived Initiatives

Indiana Literacy Framework and Implementation Resources

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build the Indiana Department of Education's (IDOE) capacity for the statewide dissemination and implementation of its literacy framework and resources.

Indiana Multi-Tiered System of Supports

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build the IDOE's capacity to help schools and districts across the state more effectively implement the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework.

Indiana Excellent Educators - Grow Your Own Programs

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped 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.

Implementation of Social Emotional Learning Competencies

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped 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.

Early Literacy Excellence

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative incorporated professional learning, instruction, and literacy leadership to help Michigan LEAs and schools as they build capacity to implement research-validated literacy projects.

Addressing Michigan's Teacher Shortage: Innovative Strategies for Expanding Teacher Preparation Enrollment

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build MDE's capacity to address a growing shortage of educators and, specifically, a decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs.

Expanding Access to Early Childhood Education in Michigan: Pathways to Credentials for Early Childhood and Out-of-School Time Educators/Providers

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build MDE's capacity to expand pathways to credentialing early childhood educators.

Raising Literacy Achievement in Ohio

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped 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.

Diversifying Ohio's Education Profession

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build ODE's capacity to address the issue that Ohio's teachers do not reflect the diverse makeup of the students they serve.

Addressing the Needs of the Whole Child

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build ODE's capacity to adopt and implement a whole child framework in all of Ohio's schools.

Ohio Improvement Process Listening Tour

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped 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).

Aligning District and School Improvement Processes and Federal Funding Allocations

In Years 1 and 2, this initiative helped build ODE's capacity to streamline existing processes, structures, and resources to ensure alignment between school improvement and federal resource use by LEAs.