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Center for Learning and Professional Education

Leslie Paguada, ’16, a graduate student in our early education program, gets real-world learning experience through our partnership with the Women’s League Child Development Center in Hartford.

The University-chartered Center for Learning and Professional Education focuses on scholarly activities that inform best practices and contribute to professional discourse around teaching and lifelong learning. It supports scholarly exchange and collaboration among University faculty and students and institutional partners in the Greater Hartford community.

As one of the only private universities in the country with two magnet schools on campus – the University of Hartford Magnet School and the University High School for Science and Engineering – the Center for Learning and Professional Education partners with local education and health care institutions to help answer important questions on teaching and learning and jointly develop strategies that lead to translational outcomes. Initiatives include:

  • College Access: Assistant Professor H. Kenny Nienhusser is leading several research projects examining various aspects of the high school to college transition of youth. One project is exploring the college-going culture of high schools and college choice process of high school students in Hartford. Nienhusser is also using National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data to examine factors that shape students’ college choice process.
  • Magnet Schools on Campus – University of Hartford Magnet School (Pre K-5) and the University High School of Science and Engineering (9-12).
  • Montessori Studies in partnership with the Association Montessori Internationale, Montessori Training Center of New England, and Montessori Magnet School at Annie Fisher.
  • Teacher Quality Partnership Grant: This project is providing secondary social studies teachers with a yearlong professional learning opportunity that targets content areas in history and civics and government, aligned with the new Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks. It also affords participants with opportunities to learn about and apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a scientifically valid framework for proactively designing curricula, implementing instruction, and assessing learning so all students have equal access to learning. UDL complements and promotes an inquiry-based instructional focus, grounded in the idea that students learn best when provided with multiple opportunities and varied, flexible means to access content and apply knowledge. Diana J. LaRocco, assistant professor in the University of Hartford's doctoral program in educational leadership, is the principal investigator and coordinator of the project. Read about the 2015 summer institute, made possible through this initiative. 

    This project is funded by a federal grant under Title II of the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110) administered by the State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education. Opinions and findings expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the State of Connecticut Office of Higher Education, and no official endorsement by either of these agencies should be inferred.        
  • Training Partnership with Rwandan Teachers- Led by Joe Olzacki, director of the Rwandan teacher education program, ENHP faculty and area educators have engaged Rwandan teachers in a strong program of training courses and events designed to broaden their knowledge and skills. They, in turn, share their learning with their colleagues as leaders within the Rwandan schools. The University team is conducting month-long trainings bi-annually in Rwanda with the goal of educating a large percentage of Rwandan teachers over the next 10 yearsView photos

  • Wintonbury – a collaborative agreement benefitting both University and Wintonbury students while informing the practice of professionals and leaders at both sites.


"Freedom and Responsibility" annual conference on October 30. Learn more and register.

More information

For more information on the Center for Learning and Professional Education, contact Paige Bray, Associate Professor, Department of Education at or 860.768.4553.