Center for Education Research and Policy Studies (CERPS)

The Center for Education Research and Policy Studies (CERPS) generates and disseminates educational policy research. The Center is particularly focused on education policy that directly impacts the students and families of the Paso del Norte region.

As part of the faculty support system, CERPS identifies grants, help faculty write competitive proposals, and offers administrative management of secured funds. CERPS unites an interdisciplinary array of scholars from across the University of Texas at El Paso campus through externally funded research. The Center also provides a space in the College of Education building to stimulate collaboration among UTEP’s faculty.

The Center publishes quarterly policy briefs that address a variety of topics such as Texas school finance reform, dual language education, local and regional educator labor markets, and programs and policies that address the needs of historically under-served students. The purpose of our policy brief series is to directly impact educational policy locally, across Texas, and nationally by providing evidence-based policy recommendations. Policy briefs are based on research conducted at the University of Texas at El Paso by College of Education faculty.

Elsa Villa, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Education Research and Policy Studies 
David Knight, Ph.D., Research Associate
Rudy Melendez, Administrative Assistant


Center for Counselor Training and Research

The mission of the Center for Counselor Training and Research (CCTR) is to provide a laboratory-based setting in which graduate-level counseling students are provided an opportunity to develop and practice the use of skills necessary to provide counseling services to children and adults. Similarly, the CCTR supports opportunities to develop skills necessary to administer and interpret cognitive and achievement tests for diagnosticians. Additionally, the CCTR offers a setting for conducting research related to counselor and diagnostician training.

College of Education Science Laboratory

The College’s Science Laboratory is an educational setting that provides graduate and undergraduate Education students access to practical science and technology materials as well as methods for direct classroom instruction. The classroom provides a rich setting wherein students can explore the integration of content and pedagogy. The environment also integrates effective technology and materials that can be applied in hands-on experiments and projects.

Educational Technology Research Laboratory

This research laboratory under the direction of Daniel Tillman, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education, is dedicated to assessment and evaluation of the affordances and constraints of digital fabrication as an educational technology within K-20 education. The laboratory has four sections: (1) digital fabrication software/hardware, (2) multimedia production, (3) workspace/graduate assistant desks, and (4) a teaching space/conference table.

Research and Evaluation Laboratory (REL)

Under the direction of Arturo Olivarez, Ph.D., professor of teacher education, the REL provides services to all College faculty and students with the advice, guidance, and instruction in the design of quantitative research studies, the selection and development of research instruments, the design of statistical analyses and support of the use of statistical software. Dr. Olivarez also is responsible for conducting research seminars for groups of faculty and/or students (e.g., use of statistical software such as SPSS and SAS, conducting program evaluations, and qualitative research methodology).

Ethnography of Languages, Literacies, and Learning Lab (EL3 Lab)

Under the direction of Katherine Mortimer, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education, this research and teaching laboratory provides technology and space to support cutting edge ethnographic research on biliteracy education, English language learning, and educational language policy by faculty and students. It houses a suite of digital tools for the collection and analysis of ethnographic data, and space for the collaborative exchange and advancement of ideas, research methods, and grant writing activities.


The Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory

Dr. Ron Wagler, associate professor of science education, is the founder and director of The Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory. Dr. Wagler’s Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory houses different species of living arthropods, laboratory equipment and educational equipment. The living arthropods are all captive bred as to not remove further species from their natural ecosystems. Some of the living arthropods in Dr. Wagler’s laboratory are Critically Endangered (CR) or Extinct in the Wild (EW). Dr. Wagler provides all of the care for the living arthropods in his laboratory to ensure that their care remains at the highest standard of quality and is always humane. The laboratory performs research in the areas of arthropod education, living arthropod curriculum development, human-arthropod relationships, environmental education and the development of new captive breeding arthropod techniques in both laboratory settings and educational settings.  The laboratory is also used for living arthropod and environmental education presentations to universities, schools, zoos, museums, science centers, nature centers and the community; arthropod education consulting; arthropod captive breeding consulting; donating living captive bred arthropods to universities, zoos, museums, schools, science centers, nature centers, other arthropod education entities and the motion picture industry; and many other arthropod education and environmental education activities. Dr. Wagler's living captive bred arthropods have appeared in motion pictures and have been highlighted in many media outlets such as Entertainment Tonight, Vanity Fair, MTV, Variety, ABC News and others. The Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory is unique because it is the only laboratory dedicated solely to research related to arthropod education.

Dr. Wagler’s Living Arthropod and Environmental Education Laboratory Facebook Page