Research & Training

CFS Research and Training Activities by Topic

Early Childhood

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)

The ECTA is operated by the Frank Porter Graham Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and subcontracts with USF. Project faculty provide training and support to state and community leaders for the inclusion of young children with developmental disabilities within early childhood classrooms and programs. 

Contact: Lise Fox, PhD
Funder: Frank Porter Graham Center, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, through funding received from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Effect of Definitions, Contextual Support, and Cognate Status on 4th Grade Spanish-Speaking English Learner’s (ELs) Understanding of Unfamiliar Words in Text

This project involves a series of studies to inform the development of instructional strategies intended to help Spanish-speaking 4th grade English learners learn the meanings of new words in English. The studies test the benefits of providing students with definitions in English versus Spanish, supportive text context, and cognates—words such as profound-profundo which are spelled similarly and mean the same in Spanish and English—on students’ ability to independently learn new English words. Project findings will provide evidence of potentially promising practices for helping English learners learn new academic vocabulary  
in English.

Contact: Maria Carlo, PhD
Funder: U.S. Department of Education

Exploring Heterogeneity Among the U.S. Latino Dual Language Learner Head Start Population: A Secondary Data Analysis

The purpose of this project is to gain a better understanding of the academic achievement and socioemotional functioning of the Latino dual language learner (DLL) population within Florida Head Start classrooms. With the intention of informing instruction and assessment for DLLs, this secondary data analysis will identify subgroups of DLLs based on their: 1) levels of cognitive, linguistic, literacy, and math achievement in both English and Spanish prior to kindergarten entry; 2) growth trajectories for language, literacy, and math in English and Spanish as DLLs transition from preschool into kindergarten; and 3) trajectories for socioemotional functioning from preschool into kindergarten. Home and malleable classroom factors associated with the subgroups will be examined. Preliminary results show that there are four subgroups of DLLs (English Dominant, Balanced Average, Spanish Dominant, Emerging Bilinguals) and that bilingual development is not associated with risk for poor educational outcomes.

Contact: Matthew Foster, PhD
Funder: U.S. Department of Education

Florida Implementation of the Pyramid Model to Improve Young Children’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes in Early Care and Education

This project provides capacity-building technical assistance and training to regional Early Learning Coalitions for the implementation of the Pyramid Model. Activities include establishing and guiding community implementation teams, implementation specialist training and support, training of trainer workshops, and technical assistance related to data systems and the use of data for decision-making.

Contact: Lise Fox, PhD
Funder:  Florida Division for Early Learning, Florida Department of Education, through the preschool development grant funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

HIPPY: Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters 

HIPPY is an evidence-based, home visiting program that partners with parents of children ages two through five to help prepare parents and children for school success. The Florida HIPPY Training & Technical Assistance Center at USF funds, licenses, and provides training and technical assistance for all HIPPY programs in Florida. The Florida HIPPY T&TA Center partners with local agencies who provide local HIPPY services in their counties at no cost  to participants.

Contact: Tracy Jordan, PhD
Funder: Florida Department of Education

HIPPY Hillsborough Parental Involvement Program (HHPIP)

The HHPIP collaborates with CARD-USF to deliver HIPPY services in Hillsborough County to 350 families with children diagnosed with Autism and related disorders. HHPIP also subcontracts social and mental services for HIPPY families through Success for Kids and Families. The HIPPY program is free to parents and is delivered by HIPPY home visitors who live in the same targeted high-need communities as the families they serve.

Contact: Tracy Jordan, PhD
Funder: Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

HIPPY Martin County Program

HIPPY in Martin County (HIMCO) is funded to establish a HIPPY program in Martin County. The funding supports a coordinator and two to three home visitors from the community serve 60 – 75 families residing in communities with a school readiness rate below 20%.

Contact: Tracy Jordan, PhD
Funder: Children’s Services Council Martin County

National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL)

The NCECDTL provides a subcontract to USF to provide training and guidance to Head Start programs. The NCECDTL helps early childhood programs use best practices that lead to positive child outcomes across early childhood programs. Project faculty at USF provide training and guidance related to preventing and addressing challenging behavior and the coaching of classroom teachers.

Contact: Lise Fox, PhD
Funder: Vanderbilt University/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations provides resources, training materials, practical tools and materials, develops guidance, and assists state and program leaders in addressing the needs of young children with or at-risk for developmental disabilities with a focus on improving children’s social-emotional development and addressing challenging behavior.

Contact: Lise Fox, PhD
Funder: U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Pyramid Model Expansion to School-District Implementation in Preschool and Kindergarten Classrooms

This project is a collaboration with Metro Nashville, Tennessee, Public Schools to implement the Pyramid Model in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. The USF team is developing the training materials and will train teachers and coaches in the implementation of the Pyramid Model.

Contact: Lise Fox, PhD
Funder: Metro Nashville Public Schools, U. S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Validity of a Nonspeech, Dynamic Assessment of the Alphabetic Principle (DAAP)

This project involves the development and validation of a dynamic early literacy assessment for English speaking children in prekindergarten and kindergarten. The new test involves very simple instructions and requires only nonverbal touch responses, making it ideally suited for young learners and children with speech, language, or intellectual disabilities.

Contact: Jason Anthony, PhD
Funder: University of Kansas/U. S. Department of Education