Center for Educational Opportunity Programs


Project STEP UP (Supporting Technology, Educators, and Parents for Upward Progress) is a five-year grant program (2017 to 2022) that provides training and assistance to teachers in order to improve academic outcomes for English Learners (ELs) in Kansas City, KS Public Schools (KCKPS).

Each semester, STEP UP provides language instruction for English Learners and their families on 5 consecutive Saturdays. ESOL-endorsed teachers and bilingual family advocates provide English instruction and share community resources with the whole family. Transportation, childcare, and a light meal are provided. 

STEP UP sponsors 60 classroom teachers in master's courses in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) during the grant period. Graduate-level training enhance teacher's capacity to incorporate evidence-based pedagogies into their instruction. Three cohorts of teachers are recruited in Fall 2017, Spring 2019, and Spring 2020. 

STEP UP presents biannual professional development opportunities for KCKPS support staff and paraeducators to improve knowledge of best practices for working with English Learners. 

STEP UP funds the use of literacy software for PreK-2 teachers in early learning environments at eight high-need buildings in KCKPS.

The Center for Educational Opportunity Programs

The Center for Educational Opportunity Programs (CEOP) is building a legacy of learners and leaders through a commitment to educational equity. CEOP programs provide support for academic, financial, social, and career goals to students and families by partnering with Kansas school districts and communities in Douglas, Franklin, Leavenworth, Shawnee, Wyandotte counties, and serves communities throughout Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. Additionally, CEOP provides evaluation support to programs in Kansas and Tennessee.

The Achievement and Assessment Institute

CEOP is one of six centers housed within The Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI) at the University of Kansas which exists to improve the performance of students, adults, and public agencies throughout local, state and national communities. AAI and its centers partner with numerous agencies to improve the lives of children and adults through academics, employment, career advancement and building healthy environments, as well as to enhance the capacity of organizations that help children, adults and communities succeed. AAI was established in 2012 through the merger of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, established in 1983, and the Institute for Educational Research and Public Services, established in 1997. Both organizations have long track records of successfully building partnerships and programs that support the achievement of young children, school-aged children, adults, and publicly-funded agencies. In July 2013, AAI became one of 12 designated university research centers and institutions by KU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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