Powering educational systems by generating, translating and disseminating the best research, information and knowledge
SERVE Center - The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Our Work


For over twenty years the SERVE Center has been a trusted resource for educational leaders as they plan, implement, evaluate, and continuously improve programs, policies, and reforms. Our work is funded by a variety of sources including contracts (with federal entities, states, districts, schools, and others) and competitive grant awards.  Key aspects of current work are:

Services for at-risk students.

NCHE logoSERVE has extensive experience in improving service delivery for homeless, migrant, and foster children. A cornerstone of our work in this area is the operation of the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. NCHE is an information clearinghouse and technical assistance center that supports the homeless education community nationwide in the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act (Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act). Through additional contracts and grants, we operate the North Carolina state homeless education program and have developed toolkits for state homeless and migrant education staff on conducting needs assessments and planning evaluations (view a list of homeless education resources by topic). 

Evaluating high school reform

graduating studentsWe evaluate high school reform efforts, synthesize the best of available research, and help schools and districts apply research to practice.  Through funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, we are conducting a seven-year experimental study of the impact of early college high schools in North Carolina (read A Better 9th Grade: Early Results from an Experimental Study of the Early College High School Model about the early results). We are also evaluating the scale-up of this reform model through examining two Investing in Innovation projects that seek to apply early college principles to traditional high schools.  To disseminate information about successful practices, we produced a monograph documenting the process behind a successful high school turnaround (read Turning Around a Low-Performing High School: Learning from the Story of Jones Senior High School). We have summarized research on rigor and provide professional development and technical assistance around implementing rigor in the classroom (access Defining Rigor presentation).   

Program evaluation services

graphsSERVE offers a variety of research and evaluation consulting services. For example, we currently have contracts to evaluate School Improvement grant programs in Alabama and South Carolina, 21st Century Community Learning Programs in North Carolina, and are part of a consortium in North Carolina evaluating the North Carolina Race to the Top Program. 

Technology applications for online professional learning.

e-communityCommunicating information about key research and evaluation findings in efficient and powerful ways leading to actionable insights is our history and our commitment. We have conducted hundreds of webinars for educators on emerging research. We have also hosted online learning communities as a venue for educators to learn about new policies and research. States and districts have contracted with us for the development of needs assessment and evaluation guides and training to help them build the capacity of program leaders.

View a listing of some of our current sponsored projects.