The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) strengthens and revitalizes Catholic education through the recruitment and formation of faith-filled talent and with an array of programs and services specifically designed to address the challenges facing today’s Catholic schools. Through ACE and its many initiatives, Notre Dame has become a national leader in strengthening Catholic schools in all aspects of its mission to raise awareness and commitment to Catholic education among bishops, clergy, and laity of all walks of life, and to expand access to Catholic schools for low-income and marginal-ized families, both in the United States and abroad.
The Institute’s Interdisciplinary Minor in Education, Schooling, and Society (ESS) provides Notre Dame undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain diverse perspectives on this remarkable human accomplishment. ESS students grapple with important questions about the goals of education, the challenges of educational inequity, and the ways education can and should contribute to the development of good citizens and a just society. As students consider the theory, they gain knowledge about the psychological, societal, political, and economic factors that influence learning and educational achievement. Through this process, students construct a deeper understanding of social structures, human development, and themselves.
The University of Notre Dame Center for STEM Education sits within the Institute, but collaborates extensively with departments and programs across the campus, state, and nation. It leverages Notre Dame’s vast network of K-12 school partners, particularly Catholic schools, to research and serve marginalized populations. Dr. Matthew Kloser, along with the Center's faculty, has adopted two levers for increasing student interest in and learning of STEM disciplines for its research and broader impacts: 1) improving the quality of STEM teaching and 2) increasing students’ access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities.
The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) conducts basic and applied research on schools and the learning process. CREO scholars consider the formal and informal organization of schools, the curriculum, teacher practices, and student so-cial relationships to determine how these factors interact with student background and learning. Special attention is given to less privileged students and Catholic schools. CREO is currently composed of four sociology faculty, a postdoctoral fellow, a statistician, and ten graduate students.
Across the nation, policymakers and educators make decisions about educational policies, programs, and practices without knowing whether these decisions lead to improved student outcomes. The current state of educational research has not fully addressed this need of educators and policymakers to know “what works.” For this reason, the University of Notre Dame is launching an interdisciplinary pre-doctoral training program, the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship, that prepares students in state-of-the-art quantitative methods to rigorously examine the impact of educational practices, programs and policies.