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To enable the Center to provide the most in depth and meaningful information and analysis to education decision makers, the Center has partnered with the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. The School of Social Work serves as the Research Branch of the Center along with faculty from the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Education.

The subjects of the Center’s research efforts are primarily guided by the Research Agenda set by the Governing Board. The Research Agenda focuses on questions regarding what happens to students before and after critical transitions. All research of the Center will examine how results vary by different critical student subgroups and backgrounds, such as race or ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, language, ability and setting.