The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) is committed to learning about student, staff, and school success. A large district like WCPSS offers a wealth of opportunities to examine factors that contribute to, and follow from, these successes. To that end, we seek to cultivate partnerships with universities, organizations, and individuals through four pathways:
In the application, you will have the opportunity to identify which research pathways above you would like to pursue, as well as the purpose of your research. If you have any questions while completing the application, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Data and Accountability Department’s Research Review Committee (RRC) reviews applications on the last Wednesday of each month. You may submit supplementary materials during the application process by attaching documents via the application form. These may include parent or student consent forms, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, or any other attachments.
If your application is approved, you will be required to abide by our memorandum of understanding (MOU) and data-use agreement (DUA).
Applications falling under this category include any school- or district-based investigation requiring assistance from WCPSS central office or school-based district staff, including but not limited to original data collection, preparation of data files, coordination between and among external researchers and study participants, or providing external researchers with other relevant content. External researchers are either non-WCPSS staff or WCPSS engaging in independent research (e.g., fulfillment of graduate degree requirements).
The likelihood of research project approval increases when one or more of the following criteria are met:
We are unlikely to approve the following types of projects:
If you would like to submit an external research request, please indicate this on the application.
Research collaborations are joint efforts in which external researchers and members of WCPSS staff partner to pursue questions of interest to both. Here, at least one external researcher and at least one district staff member partner to pursue a project in which they share responsibilities ranging from data collection and analysis to survey development to presentation of results to various stakeholders.
Some examples of recent research collaborations include:
The most successful researcher collaborations occur when external researchers and district staff discuss roles, goals, and expectations prior to the submission of the application. Research collaborations may also serve as an alternative gateway for external researchers who want to pursue projects in WCPSS and work closely with one or more staff members.
If you are interested in entering into a research collaboration with WCPSS, please indicate this on the application.
Action research refers to projects initiated and completed by and for those taking the action. Action research is often conducted to assist a teacher in improving his or her instructional practice. Universities or colleges may require students to conduct action research in order to make some measure of progress toward course completion. An example of action research could be a whole-class proposal from a college or university in which all students in a particular class must complete the same project as part of their graduate studies. It may also refer to efforts by college students to complete a series of classroom observations as part of a larger research project.
Action research may be conducted by a single teacher, a group of teachers/staff members (e.g., a subject-area PLT), or the entire faculty of a school. We encourage university faculty to help their students find and work with existing data whenever possible for action research projects to reduce the burden on schools.
Please indicate in the application whether you are applying to conduct action research in WCPSS.
WCPSS is also committed to providing opportunities for a limited number of graduate students to gain district-level research experience while working on a project of strategic importance to WCPSS. Currently, we have a Data and Accountability Department internship collaboration with North Carolina State University’s College of Education that provides valuable research assistance to the district and provides the student with an embedded research experience.
If you are a graduate student or faculty member interested in a possible research internship in the Data and Accountability Department, please email us at email@example.com.
Updated: February 2, 2015