The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies maintains oversight for several centers and outreach efforts including College Access and Persistence Services (CAPS), the Center for Educational Leadership, Postsecondary Education Research Center, and UT’s Project Grad Summer Institute. Read more about each below or reach out to ELPS for more information.
Therefore, it is fitting that the goal of the CAPS Outreach Center is to provide services that prepare individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in postsecondary or professional academic programs. To accomplish this goal, the CAPS Outreach Center provides activities to strengthen the math and science skills of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields; to assist students in succeeding in pre-college preparation, college admissions, and financial aid application processes; and ultimately, to provide the skills and motivation necessary for completing college graduation requirements. Similar activities also assist adults and military veterans who have no baccalaureate degrees. The new CAPS Outreach Center is funded in its entirety by external funds. Approximately 60,000 students have been served for more than thirty years by project staff, and new opportunities for funding are continually reviewed to identify grants that will expand the number of students we serve in the future.
You are invited to participate as partners with us in our work, just as many other local educational agencies (LEAs) and nonprofit agencies have done in the past.
A unique partnership with local school districts is a defining element in the structure of the center, which focuses on formal preparation as well as career-long professional development of educational leaders. The strong relationship between leadership excellence and school excellence provides the catalyst for the center, which is based on the premise that great leaders equal great schools. They build a strong team, focus relentlessly on student learning, facilitate continuous improvement in instructional practice, engage parents and the school community, and make sure that all adults are focusing on the outcomes for the children. Schools are simply better at educating young people when they have strong, effective leadership.
The Summer Institute began in 2001 as a collaboration between Project GRAD, Knoxville and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This pre-college program is administered out of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences under the direction of Dean Bob Rider.