Excellence in Innovative Practices

The leading-edge undertakings of the Institute for Educational Initiatives can be grouped into three categories. One of those is improving education through excellence in innovative practices: investing in professional services and outreach.

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The Institute aspires to be a center for cutting-edge ideas, best practices, and effective strategic solutions for the transformation of schools and school systems, especially (but not exclusively) relevant to faith-based schooling. In addition to the Institute's work in the formation of people and the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, outreach efforts and initiatives do provide research-based solutions and professional services to improve school readiness, school performance, and access for all children to quality education in the public, private, and faith-based settings.

Many of the ACE services involve professional development, partnership, and teamwork promoting innovation and new perspectives. These include initiatives including Play Like a Champion Today (R), the ACE Collaborative for Academic Excellence, ACE Consulting, and the Program for K-12 Educational Access. Notre Dame ACE Academies and the Catholic School Advantage campaign demonstrate how the IEI facilitates entrepreneurial responsiveness to generate innovations on a national level. Within ACE, several of these units share the goal of increasing access for all families and children to high-quality education through public policies enabling parental choice and through new approaches to financial administration and enrollment management at the school level.

Although the Institute focuses primarily on the challenges confronting education in the United States, the IEI acknowledges its place in a global community. Guided by the mission and involvement of the University of Notre Dame as an internationally recognized research institution and of the Congregation of Holy Cross, which administers the University, the Institute explores and engages international opportunities that combine formation, research, and outreach.

The scholarly work of other Institute units represents major strides toward innovation and improvement:

The Catholic School Effectiveness Project and the What Makes Schools Work Project are among the publicly and privately funded CREO efforts to identify potent links between instruction and achievement.

One translational research study integrates a humanoid robot into therapy sessions in order to facilitate social skills development related to learning. Programs and clinical contacts serve children and families.

The Institute is also serving as administrator of an innovative program to improve the teaching and learning of college-level math and science in Indiana's high schools.

  • Advanced Placement Training Incentive Program. Indiana is joining seven other states in a major initiative to boost student learning in ways that will help college and career readiness, school educational resources, and local and statewide participation in the 21st century economy. The AP-TIP IN program, representing a partnership from the worlds of education, business, and government and based upon a proven model for improved math and science teaching, is administered by the University of Notre Dame through its institute for Educational initiatives.