Our collective research work as a department spans both K-12 and higher education issues, and the impact of our research contributions is evident at the state and national levels. Our department is currently ranked 5th in the nation in Educational Administration and Supervision and 18th for Higher Education Administration by U.S. News & World Report. A key reason for this is the significant legacy our department has built over the decades in training educational leaders for K-12 and higher education contexts. Another important reason for our strong national reputation is the timely and relevant research conducted by our faculty and graduate students.

Our research has a direct effect on policies and practices that support students, administrators, and leaders in P-16 educational settings. Our masters and doctoral students engage in research that is responsive to the ongoing challenges faced across educational sectors. Many of our faculty serve as experts and advisors to state legislatures, policy organizations, and educational institutions.

Our department is home to several nationally recognized research centers and grant-funded initiatives. Some are focused on community college student engagement, others on improving teaching and learning for higher education faculty, and others on promoting the success of unique populations of students or other educational stakeholders. By focusing on issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and leadership, this collective research work examines the factors that promote access, retention, engagement, completion, and success of all stakeholders in education. Here is more information on our current research centers and initiatives.

Centers and Grants

Center for Community College Student Engagement logo

Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE)

The Center for Community College Student Engagement (the Center) is a service and research initiative of the Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL). As an umbrella organization for survey research, focus group work, and related services for community and technical colleges, the center provides important information about effective educational practice. The center assists institutions and other stakeholders in using data to inform discussions that can lead to increased student success.

NISOD logo incorporating a star

National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)

NISOD is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides activities and programs such as webinars, writing contests, conferences and publications. These programs that are based on the premise that teaching excellence is a result of concerned and focused leadership, increased awareness and use of adult learning principles, exemplary teaching practices and technologies, and a profound commitment to student success.

Texas Center for Education Policy logo

Texas Center for Education Policy

The Texas Center for Education Policy (TCEP) brings together researchers whose work has a direct bearing on current policy issues in education communities statewide. The center accomplishes this through a series of highly successful policy brown bags. Several of the center’s researchers have been involved in the state legislative session, advising policymakers on topics such as dropout prevention, student assessment, and teacher quality.

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Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) Student Fellows Mentoring Program

Housed within UT Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE), Project MALES employs research and mentoring initiatives to address the emerging gender gap in Latino educational attainment in secondary and postsecondary education.

University of Texas logo

The University of Texas Education Research Center

The University of Texas Education Research Center (UTERC) is a jointly established research collaborative comprised of three University of Texas System campuses (Austin, San Antonio and Pan American) and Texas State University - San Marcos. The UTTCERP reports findings on critical education issues in Texas.