Discovery Center Earns Two Ohio Dept. of Education Awards/Projects

Miami Pin

The Discovery Center and several of its partners including some Miami faculty/staff, have gotten two large Ohio Department of Education awards totaling over $730K, centering around Mental Health work. See below for details.

Award/Project #1

Who: Dr. Sarah Woodruff, Director, Discovery Center for Evaluation, Research, and Professional Learning. The project is also led by 3 co-PIs, including Dr. Cricket Meehan (Director of Miami University’s Center for School-Based Mental Health Programs), Dr. Marsha Lewis (Associate Professor and Sr. Associate Dean, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs), and Dr. Ann O’Connell (Professor of Quantitative Research, Evaluation, and Measurement at The Ohio State University). 

What: Received recent Ohio Department of Education Award for the project "Investing in Student Wellness and Success: Case Studies to Examine and Improve Impact." Award Amount: $313,565. Work from this project involves a comprehensive examination of Ohio school district efforts to implement student wellness and success initiatives.

When: 6 month project, 1/31/20 – 6/30/20

Where: The project is a collaboration among 3 different Institutions of Higher Education and involves 14 education professionals across Ohio with a wide-range of subject-matter expertise (e.g., K-12 education policy and practice, public health and economic development, services for homeless youth, mental health advocacy, Whole-Child development, social-emotional learning, and evaluation and assessment in education). Work will be done at Miami University as well as on-site, across several urban, rural, and community-based school sites within Ohio.

Why: Using a transformative, contextually and culturally appropriate research design, project leaders and support staff will conduct case studies at school sites across Ohio. Project work will result in impactful products for both the Ohio Department of Education as well as participating school sites that inform school improvement processes and practices across four student wellness and success initiative areas (e.g., mental health services; services for homeless youth; PD related to trauma informed care; and PD regarding cultural competence).

Award/Project #2

Who: Dr. Sarah Woodruff, Director, Discovery Center for Evaluation, Research, and Professional Learning and Dr. Anthony James, Associate Professor in Miami University’s Department of Family Science and Social Work.

What/Why: Received recent Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Award for the project "Evaluation of the School Climate Transformation Program, Phase II." Award Amount: $425,000. Through formative and summative evaluation, the Discovery Center will support the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in increasing state and local capacity for implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Feedback from project work will help facilitate and foster PBIS program development, improvement, and dissemination of significant progress and findings in order to respond to the needs of schools focused on improving student success. Support for healthy school climate and culture will focus on reducing school disciplinary actions, reducing chronic absenteeism, increasing awareness of the incidence and impact of drug abuse and prevention, and improving school climate in Ohio schools to help enhance students’ well-being and success in life and in school.

When: 3.5 year project, 12/1/19 - 9/30/23

Where: The School Climate Transformation program evaluation will include the unique expertise of a combination of scholars, evaluation and subject matter experts, as well as practitioners. Specifically, Dr. Amity Noltemeyer, Professor and Chair of Miami University’s Department of Educational Psychology; Dr. Dawna-Cricket-Martita Meehan, Director of the Center for School-Based Mental Health Programs; and Deb Robison, MA, LSW, Project Coordinator for the Center for School-Based Mental Health Programs will serve on the Steering Committee to provide guidance for the project.