News & Announcements

Center for Urban Education Supports Student Researchers to Bring About Positive Change

Since 2018, the Educational Service Centers of Northeast and Central Ohio and Levin’s Center for Urban Education (CEU) have organized monthly leadership institutes for high school students from the Greater Cleveland and Greater Columbus areas. These institutes are designed for students from districts within each region, and around 100 students from nearly 15 different school districts attend each of them. 

On March 4th, CUE hosted a joint meeting of the Greater Cleveland and Columbus Leadership Institutes. The meeting took place at CSU's Student Center Ballroom and was attended by nearly 300 high school student leaders from across the state.

The Greater Cleveland program is called the First Ring Student Leadership Institute (FRSLI) and the Greater Columbus program is called the Student Leadership Research Collaborative (SLRC). Both programs are built on a framework of youth participatory action research (YPAR), which empowers young people by recognizing them as experts of their own life experiences.

FRSLI and SLRC are designed for sophomores who work in school teams to identify an important issue within their school. They research the nature and scope of the problem and pitch their recommendations to their principal and superintendents at an end-of-year final meeting.

Students returning for a second year in the programs as juniors work collectively across districts and regions to address a state-level issue in education while also helping lead the program. YPAR builds students' leadership, social, and emotional skills through culturally relevant project-based deeper learning. The participants gain the knowledge, leadership skills, and sense of agency to solve critical issues within their schools and communities.

The CUE was selected to receive $2.7 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program for a project entitled School-Based Youth Participatory Action Research (SchYPAR). The project aims to expand YPAR into the schools participating in the FRSLI and SLRC, with the goal of improving academic, social, and civic competencies of “high-need” students - those living in poverty, underrepresented minorities, English learners, students with disabilities, and homeless students - as well as others marginalized by other structural factors, schools, and communities.