MCPER is a multidisciplinary research unit at The University of Texas at Austin that relies on the expertise of several research centers. Our partners, primarily in Texas, make unique and invaluable contributions to our work. Below is more information about the many organizations and researchers with which we partner.


ACE: A Community for Education

ACE: A Community for Education (formerly ACEE: AmeriCorps for Community Engagement and Education) is housed within the Charles A. Dana Center at UT Austin. ACE works to ensure that all children develop a strong foundation in early literacy skills during their first years in school. Dana Center Director Dr. Philip Uri Treisman founded ACE in 1994. Dr. Mary Ellen Issacs is the director.

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University

The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University helps current and future teachers, counselors, therapists, and the community harness the power of education through degree offerings, human development programs, continuing studies courses, and faculty research on education-related topics.

Autism Society of Greater Austin

The Autism Society of Greater Austin connects families and individuals to community resources and support throughout Central Texas. Offerings include support meetings in both Austin and San Antonio, online networking opportunities, sensory-friendly films, and family activities. Volunteers usually respond to individual telephone and e-mail inquiries within 48 hours.

The Autism Society also assists MCPER's TRELLIS project with research and grant proposals.

Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University—a federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service—supports the self-determination, community integration, and quality of life of people with disabilities and their families, and is part of a national network of similar centers across the country. Dr. Deborah C. Simmons, a co-investigator on multiple MCPER projects, conducts research at the center.

Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

The Children’s Learning Institute, housed in the The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, combines data and studies from the fields of psychology, neurodevelopment, education, and child development to provide proven learning solutions derived from, and supported by, documented research. Although several programs came together to form the Children’s Learning Institute in 2003, its documented research represents work that started as far back as 1990. Dr. Carolyn A. Denton, an associate professor in the Children’s Learning Institute, is the co-principal investigator for Project II of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities at MCPER.

College for Public Health and Social Justice at St. Louis University

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is dedicated to helping communities achieve health and wellbeing through excellence in teaching, research, and service. This new college brings together Saint Louis University’s fully accredited schools of Public Health and Social Work. Bringing social work and all of the core components of public health into the college allows for a more comprehensive approach to public health education, research, and community service, and provides a wider breadth of education opportunities and enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration.

College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin

MCPER partners with two departments in the college:

  • The Department of Educational Administration is ranked third among public university graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report. The department offers academic concentrations in higher education leadership and public school executive leadership.
  • The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education provides diverse educational experiences and training that include the physiological, psychological, and historical aspects of sport and exercise, health education, sport management, and physical education teacher preparation. John Bartholomew—principal investigator of the Building the Evidence Base for Physically Active Academic Games study, for which MCPER conducts data analysis—is a professor and associate chair of the department. Bartholomew also is a fellow of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Faculty Fellows Fund in the college.

Both departments also provide opportunities for young adults with disabilities who participate in MCPER's TRELLIS project to volunteer and obtain work-related experience.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinic at The University of Texas at Austin

The Speech and Hearing Center, an entity within the Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinic, provides services to individuals with communication problems and serves as a training site for students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in UT Austin's Moody College of Communication. Dr. Jessica Franco partners with MCPER's Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute through the TRELLIS project.

Department of Psychology at the University of Houston

The Department of Psychology at the University of Houston uses psychological theory, techniques, and research methods to solve real-world problems. Its goal is to solve important human problems and to use these problems as critical vehicles for dynamic teaching and the enhancement of psychological theory and practice. Dr. Jack M. Fletcher, a member of the department, is the principal investigator of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities at MCPER.

Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin

The UT Department of Theatre and Dance is an educational environment that serves as the creative incubator for the next generation of artists, thinkers, and leaders in theatre and performance. Kathryn Dawson—a principal investigator of MCPER’s Professional Development in Drama-Based Instruction With Drama for Schools project—is an assistant professor in this department, where she also serves as director of the Drama for Schools program.

Division of Recreational Sports at The University of Texas at Austin

The Division of Recreational Sports (RecSports) has served the campus community since 1916, making it one of the oldest and largest collegiate recreational programs in the country. A total of 90% of the student population, or more than 45,000 young men and women, participate in RecSports programs and activities, accruing more than 3.6 million hours of participation annually. The division is composed of intramural sports, fitness/wellness, outdoor recreation, sport clubs, the instructional program, and informal recreation.

RecSports provides opportunities for young adults with disabilities who participate in MCPER's TRELLIS project to volunteer and obtain work-related experience.

E3 Alliance

E3 Alliance has been recognized across the country for its objective and ground-breaking work in building systemic change. This approach, known as collective impact, requires a broad range of community representatives to work together to achieve change. E3 engages dozens of businesses and nonprofits, 12 school districts, eight institutions of higher education and policy leaders across Central Texas to address complex community issues. E3 has a proven model that can be scaled and replicated to other regions in the state and nation.

Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University

The Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University has a four-part mission: (1) to conduct basic research on reading, reading growth, reading assessment, and reading instruction that contributes to the scientific knowledge of reading and benefits students in Florida and throughout the nation; (2) to disseminate information about research-based practices related to literacy instruction and assessment for children in preschool through 12th grade; (3) to conduct applied research that has an immediate impact on policy and practices related to literacy instruction in Florida; and (4) to provide technical assistance to Florida’s schools and to the State Department of Education to improve literacy outcomes of students from prekindergarten through 12th grade. Barbara Foorman is currently the Eppes Professor of Education and director of the center. Foorman also is director of the Literacy Strand of the Center on Instruction, a partner to the Special Education and Response to Intervention Strand, a MCPER project.

George W. Bush Institute

​The George W. Bush Institute seeks to improve the human condition through education reform, global health, human freedom, and economic growth. Across each of these areas, the Bush Institute works to empower women through its Women’s Initiative and honors U.S. servicemen and women and their families through the Military Service Initiative. MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute is part of the Bush Institute's Middle School Matters initiative.

Instructional Research Group

The Instructional Research Group is an educational research institute in Los Alamitos, CA, that specializes in large-scale program evaluation field research in the areas of reading, mathematics, education of English language learners, and professional development. Current projects involve developing classroom observation instruments and other methods for assessing implementation and randomized controlled trials examining the impact of professional development in reading, response to intervention in mathematics and reading, and teaching English language learners. Russell Gersten is the executive director. Gersten also is director of the Mathematics Strand of the Center on Instruction, a partner to the Special Education and Response to Intervention Strand, a MCPER project.

Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley

The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, investigates, creates, and evaluates educational materials and methods, professional development programs, and hands-on learning experiences for its science center, schools, communities, and homes. The Lawrence Hall of Science develops programs for environments ranging from informal to after-school to formal K–12 classrooms to inspire and foster learning of science and mathematics for all, especially those who have limited access to science. Craig Strang is the associate director. Strang also is the director of the Science/STEM Strand of the Center on Instruction, a partner to the Special Education and Response to Intervention Strand, a MCPER project.

Research in Mathematics Education

Research in Mathematics Education is a research and outreach unit of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University with the goal of providing evidence-based support to improve students’ mathematics achievement in North Texas and across the country. Dr. Diane Bryant, director of MCPER’s Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties serves as an RME researcher.

School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder

The School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder is nationally recognized for its model teacher education and graduate programs and for its excellence in research methodology, educational policy, and classroom research. Equally important are its close ties with neighboring partner school districts and with educators throughout Colorado.

Texas Child Study Center

The Texas Child Study Center was conceived by Dr. Kevin Stark, a member of the MCPER Board of Directors, and Dr. William Streusand, chief of psychiatry at Dell Children’s Medical Center (a member of the Seton Healthcare Family). The center consists of an outpatient clinic that offers children’s mental health services, training for mental health professionals and graduate students, intervention services for families, and research opportunities for faculty members and students.

Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Houston

​The Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston is a multidisciplinary center that applies measurement, evaluation, and statistics to improve behavioral, psychological, and educational outcomes through research, training, and dissemination. TIMES faculty member Dr. David J. Francis is the principal investigator for Project I of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities at MCPER and the English Language Learning Strand of the Center on Instruction, a partner to the Special Education and Response to Intervention Strand, a MCPER project.

Texas Parent to Parent

Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) is committed to improving the lives of Texas children who have disabilities, chronic illness, and/or special health care needs. TxP2P empowers families to be strong advocates through parent-to-parent support, resource referral, and education. In addition, TxP2P educates professionals about the unique needs of our children with the goal of improving their care and opportunities. Lastly, TxP2P is dedicated to championing the efforts of a diverse set of parent support groups and advocating on behalf of our children’s well-being.

TxP2P also assists MCPER's TRELLIS project with research and grant proposals.

The Union Underground at The University of Texas at Austin

Part of the Centers for Student Life, the Union Underground is a 12-lane bowling alley and billiard hall on the bottom level of the the Texas Union at The University of Texas at Austin. The Union Underground provides opportunities for young adults with disabilities who participate in MCPER's TRELLIS project to volunteer and obtain work-related experience.

UT Best Buddies

UT Best Buddies is a registered service organization at The University of Texas at Austin that empowers individuals with disabilities through one-to-one friendship and leadership development opportunities. MCPER's TRELLIS project is a Best Buddies site host, providing the young adults with disabilities who participate in the project with opportunities to establish friendships with other college-age students.

Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts

​The Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts in the College of Education of UT Austin provides leadership to educators in effective instruction through its diversified research, technical assistance, and professional development projects. From translating research into practice to providing online professional development, the Vaughn Gross Center emphasizes scientifically based reading research and instruction. Several researchers at the center lead MCPER research and technical assistance projects.

YMCA of Austin at Town Lake

The Y is dedicated to building programs for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility that promote strong families, character values, youth leadership, community development, and international understanding. The Y empowers people and communities to learn, grow, and thrive by providing supportive and inclusive environments, improving the nation's health and well-being, and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors.

The Y also provides opportunities for young adults with disabilities who participate in MCPER's TRELLIS project to volunteer and obtain work-related experience.