Center for Urban School Partnerships

The Center for Urban School Partnerships (CUSP) is the only research center in the state of Texas with a specific purpose of improving urban schools via collaborative partnership. CUSP provides data-based answers to the most pressing research questions in the field of urban education, through scholarly investigations and strategic partnerships.

CUSP Overview

The Center for Urban School Partnerships (CUSP) was approved by the Texas A&M Board of Regents in 2008 to serve urban schools. The purpose of CUSP is to provide a mechanism for interdepartmental collaboration on research and programs related to improving teaching and learning in diverse urban settings. The mission of the center is to prepare educators and to disseminate research that informs solutions for pressing issues in urban schools. In an effort to operationalize the purpose and mission, goals and specific objectives have been adopted by CUSP and approved by the Board of Regents during its inception.

Under the leadership of Dr. Wijekumar, the CUSP has focused on four broad areas:

Program Goals

  • Develop programs to prepare and support educators in urban settings; and
  • Generate and disseminate research about teaching and learning in urban schools.

Objectives Approved by the Board of Regents

  1. Generate and disseminate knowledge about teaching and learning in urban schools.
  2. Develop a research agenda for doctoral dissertations and faculty research focusing on urban education.
  3. Promote interdisciplinary and collaborative research teams.
  4. Obtain external funding for research and programs.
  5. Expand special programs to prepare pre-service and in-service educators to be successful in urban settings.
  6. Develop an urban teacher professional development program to support and retain teachers in urban settings.
  7. Recruit diverse graduate and undergraduate students for participation in CUSP programs.
  8. Establish cohorts of practicing educators in Houston and surrounding urban districts for graduate work specializing in urban issues.

The director(s) provides annual measurable goals, mission and objectives for each year of the evaluation period. The goals serve us well to ensure that we are on target and to determine if we need to expand, revise or eliminate an objective.