North Cooc Awarded Two New Grants from National and International Foundations, Continues Work with OECD

Spencer Foundation

North Cooc, assistant professor in the Department of Special Education in the College of Education, has received a $50,000 grant from the Spencer Foundation to examine racial and ethnic disparities in access to general education classroom settings among students with disabilities.

Studies have consistently documented racial disproportionality in special education enrollment. However, there is less research on disparities in access to general education settings for students of color with disabilities.

The main goals of the project are to analyze how access to general education may change over time for students with disabilities, what factors contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in general education access, and how differences in general education time may be related to achievement gaps.

In this two-year, longitudinal study, Cooc is collaborating with a large school district in California to analyze administrative data on all students with disabilities over the last 10 years.

Global Taiwan Institute

Cooc also has received a $10,000 grant from the Global Taiwan Institute to examine postsecondary outcomes in Taiwan for students with disabilities.

Taiwan, which has modeled special education policies after those in the U.S. has seen its students with disabilities experience similar difficulties with employment and college enrollment. However, in contrast to the U.S., where special education teacher shortage and quality are persistent problems, the supply of teachers in Taiwan is high and the profession enjoys high esteem.

Using nationally representative data, Cooc will analyze whether Taiwanese special education teachers have the training and skills to prepare students with disabilities for postsecondary success.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Cooc recently completed a one-year Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that included a four-month residency at the Paris headquarters this past spring and summer. His first project examined disparities in the special education professional development needs of teachers across OECD countries, including the professional qualifications of teachers who teach students with special needs.

In a separate study, Cooc is assessing whether teachers who work in more inclusive classrooms with more children with disabilities spend less classroom time teaching than teachers in less inclusive classrooms. In both projects, he analyzes secondary data from Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), which sampled over 120,000 teachers in more than 30 OECD countries.