Research Centers, Programs, and Initiatives


Our research shapes how we understand, analyze, and address issues that affect our communities around the world. Levin College of Public Affairs and Education research centers and programs have served as the focal point of applied research, technical assistance, and public service in Ohio for over thirty-five years. Our centers help educators and public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders make informed decisions driven by data, while providing resources and technical training to advance leadership development, public policy, and civic action. 

Levin faculty and research staff routinely put their knowledge into action, engaging with decision makers at the international, national, state, and local levels. 


Research Centers and Programs

Core Centers

  • Center for Community Planning and Development: The Center for Community Planning and Development's mission is to strengthen the practice of planning and community development through independent research, technical assistance, and civic education and engagement. The Center works in partnership with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, local governments, and development and planning professionals.
  • Center for Economic Development: The Center for Economic Development provides research and technical assistance to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. It has served as a designated Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center since 1985. 
  • Center for Educational Leadership: The Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) was established in 2008 to build leadership capacity across Northeast Ohio and beyond. To that aim, the Center creates and launches high quality leadership professional development and school licensure programs that move talented individuals along their leadership pathways, from teacher leader, principal, to superintendent. At each juncture in a leader's career, new skills, endorsements, certificates, or licensure can be earned through the Center for Educational Leadership at Cleveland State University.                  
  • Center for Excellence and Innovation in Education: The Center for Excellence and Innovation is committed to bringing the intellectual and human resources of the university into partnership with area organizations and schools. The Center can incubate novel solutions to curricular and programmatic concerns, support ongoing efforts in the community and engage CSU students in paid and volunteer opportunities. The Center can support the design of programmatic and curricular responses to the needs of individual schools or larger organizations.
  • Center for Public and Nonprofit Management: The Center for Public and Nonprofit Management (CPNM) integrates several functions connecting professional development, student enrichment, and faculty engagement in the areas of leadership development, management training, technical assistance, and research for the public and nonprofit sectors in Northeast Ohio. CPNM also serves as the official Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program for the State of Ohio, offering comprehensive and nationally certified development programs for state and local government leaders. Former centers: Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice and Center for Leadership Development have been absorbed into CPNM.
  • Center for Urban Education (CUE): The mission of the Center for Urban Education at Cleveland State University is to promote academic success, wellness, and equity in P-20 urban education in Northeast Ohio and beyond through research, evaluation, and technical assistance. The Center is a founding member of the Cleveland Alliance for Education Research (CAER), a research-practice partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the American Institutes for Research supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. 
  • Community Learning Center for Children and Youth: The Community Learning Center for Children and Youth (CLC) is a year-round instructional facility for Education majors. Through its staff of Cleveland State University faculty and students, the Center serves children, youth, and families from the Greater Cleveland community. In a supervised educational setting, the Center instructs current and future educators by providing resources and services including assessment and tutoring in literacy and math to children and youth. 
  • Criminology Research Center: The mission of the Criminology Research Center is to provide nonprofits, foundations, professional organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies working within the criminal justice system with social and behavioral research, evaluation, and data analysis. The Center aims to provide research and training opportunities for students and disseminate criminal justice research to inform public policy through the use of sound research-based knowledge.
  • CSUteach: The CSUteach Program at Cleveland State University is based on a professional, collaborative, integrative, clinical model for teacher preparation that results in student-focused teacher licensure training.
  • CSU Action Research Program: Launched in 2013, the Cleveland State University Action Research Program supports PK-12 practitioners to conduct action research projects in partnership with university faculty. This project is a collaborative effort between CSU and Ohio Public Schools. The participants include school practitioners and university faculty.
  • Diversity Institute: The Diversity Institute (TDI) is an academic research and action center for confronting the range of topics encompassed under the umbrella of diversity, equity, and inclusion. TDI staff works to identify issues within Cleveland State University that can be addressed through a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework and collaborate with essential team members to address them. Recognizing the interdependence with the wider community, the TDI staff also collaborates with external partners to tackle these same issues as they present outside the university.
  • Energy Policy Center: The Energy Policy Center's mission is to help overcome social and institutional barriers to the implementation of solutions to energy challenges by providing an objective channel for the free exchange of ideas, the dissemination of knowledge, and the support of energy-related research in the areas of public policy, economics, business, and social science.
  • Twice-Exceptional Teacher Education Program: The Twice-Exceptional Teacher Education Program (2eTE) is a leader in education nationally and internationally, transforming teachers and schools to believe that giftedness can be found in diverse schools, diverse students, and expressed in diverse ways.

Additional Centers and Programs

  • Center for Emergency Preparedness: The Center for Emergency Preparedness has been the Leader in Ohio’s emergency preparedness for over 30 years. The Center's mission is to provide the highest quality hazardous material, homeland security, and business continuity training utilizing industry standards and best practices. In November 2019, the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs announced a strategic merging of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management and the Center for Emergency Preparedness in an effort to better serve Northeast Ohio’s public safety training needs.
  • Northern Ohio Data & Information Service (NODIS): The Northern Ohio Data and Information Service (NODIS) is designated by the State of Ohio and the U.S. Bureau of the Census as the regional data center for Northern Ohio. NODIS is a leader in the use of information technology, particularly geographic information systems (GIS) and provides data analysis, mapping, technical assistance, and training services.
  • Office of Civic Engagement: The Office of Civic Engagement provides support to faculty, students, staff and administrators that allow them to develop, expand and sustain collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships with community residents, organizations and institutions. These partnerships contribute to student learning and academic scholarship while contributing to the social and economic well-being of Cleveland, its neighborhoods and the Northeast Ohio region.
  • Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service: The Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service works to promote the advancement of public service careers for women and men within the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government and at the national, state, and local levels. It accomplishes its mission through educational programs designed to foster and encourage the selection of public service as a profession.

  • STEMM Education Center: The STEMM Education Center provides a mechanism for connecting Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine education efforts across the Cleveland State University campus and beyond to K12 partnerships. The Center is not a gatekeeper, but a place to connect and collaborate across the colleges, disciplines, all levels of education.

  • Unger Program: The Unger Program serves to support and foster economic and community development through independent research and civic education and engagement. The program is part of the Center for Community Planning and Development.

  • Water Resilient Cities Program: Under the guidance of Dr. Wendy Kellogg, the Water Resilient Cities Program expands the work of Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs in environmental policy, planning, and management.