The Center for Educational Transformation (CET) seeks to redefine the face of educational research in Iowa and beyond. Founded upon the values of partnership and innovation, the CET responds to and is inclusive of all education stakeholders. This intrinsic connectivity allows the CET to become embedded in the Iowa educational landscape, so that partners not only “reach in” to access the CET’s expertise, but the CET “reaches out” to promote best practices from research results and to connect partners with one another. This model enables national research-based educational transformations to be situated in a local context. The transformation is evidenced through the CET’s commitment to learners, educators, and systems.



The Center for Educational Transformation (CET) serves as Iowa’s PK-20 education research and development center supporting and conducting transformative education research, building collaborative relationships across Iowa, and sharing innovative, research-based best practices to inform policy and drive practice.



group of children smiling at school

Research Characteristics

We value research that is:

  • collaborative, participatory, and transdisciplinary
  • community- and school-based
  • culturally responsive and ecologically valid


Teacher helping students

Research Scope

We value research that takes into consideration:

  • the whole student, the whole school/university, and the whole community
  • the implications of systems (e.g., school, family, and neighborhood systems)
  • traditionally understudied populations


Kids running

Research Outcomes

We value research that yields:

  • prevention and intervention points for critical and emerging issues related to education and health
  • long-term school and community improvement
  • evidence-based and empirically-supported best practices
  • implications for state and national policymaking





Research Foci 


Within our overall focus on education, health, and culture, our research addresses specific topics (i.e., critical and emerging issues) of interest to the state of Iowa and the nation. Our current research foci are: 

  • education and immigrant populations 
  • health and immigrant populations
  • education and race/ethnicity
  • health and race/ethnicity
  • mental health in schools 
  • trauma-informed care in schools and communities 
  • urban and rural education 
  • urban and rural health 
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education access and equity