Practice & Research Centers

As a professional school, Penn GSE strives to integrate theory and practice. Our faculty members are engaged both locally and globally and their scholarship has contributed to research, policy, and practice in West Philadelphia and throughout the world. Here are some examples.


PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth)

Dr. Howard Stevenson has consistently used scholarship to inform his intervention work. For example, his PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) program focuses on racial identity, social and emotional development, conflict resolution, and violence prevention. The program is being implemented and studied in West Philadelphia middle and high schools.

Read more about PLAAY.

PEDAL@GSE (Practical English for Daily Living)

PEDAL@GSE (Practical English for Daily Living) was established in September 2012 under the guidance of Dr. Santoi Wagner. PEDAL offers free English as a Second language classes to adult family members of international students, scholars, and postdocs at the University of Pennsylvania. The classes are taught by Master’s students from the TESOL Program in the Educational Linguistics Division at GSE.

Read more about PEDAL @ GSE.

HBCU/HSI Recruitment

Since 2004, Professor Marybeth Gasman has led Penn GSE’s HBCU/HSI Recruitment Weekend. The goals of the HBCU/HSI Recruitment Weekend are to expose juniors from minority serving institutions to graduate school and to recruit masters and doctoral students of color to Penn GSE. Dr. Gasman works with 20 different HBCUs/HSIs to bring students to Penn, exposing them to our faculty, students, classes, and Philadelphia. The program has resulted in strong relationships with HBCUs/HSIs and recruitment of Black and Latino students across the school's programs. 

Read more about HBCU/HSI Recruitment.

NCOFF (National Center on Fathers and Families)

Dr. Vivian Gadsden is the Director of the National Center on Fathers and Families (NCOFF). The center was established in 1994 at the Penn Graduate School of Education. NCOFF is an interdisciplinary policy research center that is dedicated to research and practice and that is focused on the well-being of children and families.

Read more about NCOFF.

The Grad Prep Academy

The Grad Prep Academy was established by Dr. Andy Porter and Dr. Shaun Harper to help prepare promising Black male undergraduate scholars seek admission to – and achieve success in – Ph.D. programs in education. The Grad Prep Academy prepares students to take the GRE, and gives students a taste of graduate school life, exposing them to Penn classes, Penn faculty, and the work of scholarly research.

Read more about The Grad Prep Academy.

PACE (Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education)

PACE (Programs for Awareness in Cultural Awareness) is collaboration between Educational Linguistics/Intercultural Communication and the Greenfield Intercultural Center. It was founded in 1993 by Penn GSE student. Its mission is to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more about PACE.