CEHD faculty awarded $12.5 million grant from US Department of Education

Sept. 29, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The US Department of Education has awarded two faculty members from the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology a $12.5 million grant. Principal Investigator Dr. Patricia Reeves, and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Jianping Shen will receive funding for the High-Impact Leadership for School Renewal Project over three years.


The High-Impact Leadership for School Renewal (HIL) project is a leadership development program for practicing and aspiring principals that is a collaborative endeavor by Western Michigan University (WMU) and two statewide initiatives called the Reading Now Network (RNN) and the General Education Leadership Network (GELN) through the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Districts (MAISA). 

The HIL project will randomly assign 150 school teams into two cohorts. Each school team consists of the practicing principal and three aspiring principals. In the first 30 months (2.5 years) of this Project, an intense leadership development program will be provided to the practicing principal and three aspiring principals from each of the 75 high-need schools. In the last six months of year three, training for the second cohort of 75 schools that serve as the control group during the first 2.5 years will be conducted.

If funded into years four and five, the second cohort of 75 school teams will receive the full 30-month treatment. The HIL project will then develop a new model for principal leadership development. 


drs. patricia reeves and jianping shenDr. Patricia Reeves, Principal Investigator for the HIL project, is an associate professor specializing in educational leadership and evaluation, measurement and research. Her research interests include school district and superintendent leadership, the development and credentialing of school leaders, educator performance assessment and evaluation, and education policy: school and school systems redesigned for the 21st century using qualitative methods. Prior to joining WMU, Reeves held several positions from teacher to superintendent in Vicksburg Community Schools.

Dr. Jianping Shen, Co-Principal Investigator for the HIL project is a professor of educational leadership at WMU. He teaches, among other courses, leadership theory, policy analysis, research methods, and dissertation seminar. His research interests include leadership theory, data-informed decision making, teacher retention and attrition, alternative certification, systemic change, and others, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Dr. Shen has directed or co-directed several large, externally funded projects.