Research & Projects

Research at ECS focuses on the development and implementation of practices that result in positive, durable and scientifically substantiated change in the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families.  Federal and state funded projects support research, teaching, dissemination and technical assistance activities.  Research groups affiliated with ECS currently focus on positive behavior support, inclusive schools, educational equity, transition, and early intervention.



As a research unit housing the OSEP Technical Assistance Center on PBIS, Educational and Community Supports maintains datasets that can be made available for limited use by external users under specific purposes.  Such use requires approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the researcher’s institution and agreement to follow conditions of the IRB protocols maintained by ECS.  ECS developed and currently maintains data from the following PBISApps applications:  School-wide Information Systems (SWIS), Check-In/Check-Out (CICO-SWIS), Individual Student Information System (ISIS-SWIS), PBIS Assessment, and PBIS Evaluation.  The following documents describe the process for requesting collaboration in the use of datasets:

Data Request Policy Statement

Data User Registration Form

Data User Request Form

Data Dictionary




The PBIS Workgroup manages projects focused on research regarding the adoption, implementation, sustainability, and outcomes of school-wide PBIS.  PBIS is a systems-level approach for implementing evidence-based practices in schools to improve school climate and promote positive academic and social-emotional outcomes.  PBIS is currently being implemented in over 25,000 schools across 50 U.S. states and 20 countries.  Research and evaluation results suggest that implementation of PBIS is:

  • Practical and feasible
  • Associated with reductions in problem behavior and exclusionary discipline
  • Associated with increased emotional-regulation
  • Associated with improved academic achievement

Current projects associated with the PBIS Workgroup include:

  • Active technical assistance to states, regions, and districts through the TA Center on PBIS, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Office of Safe and Healthy Students
  • Development and testing of an intervention approach to achieve equity in school discipline
  • Development and testing of an intervention approach to increase self-regulation and school completion in high schools
  • Development and testing of instructional alternatives to suspension
  • Technical assistance to state education agencies, in association with the OSEP TA Center on State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP)

Active funded projects:

  • OSEP Technical Assistance Center on PBIS (OSEP, H326S13004)
  • Project ReACT:  Neutralizing the Effects of Implicit Bias on Racial Disproportionality in School Discipline (IES, R324A170034)

Associated websites:

Center on PBIS




The secondary transition work group focuses on projects – development and research – related to secondary and early post-secondary aged students.  These projects in the past have focused on implementation of high school PBIS, improving the development of IEP to reflect transition services and goals, and increasing access to postsecondary skills training programs.

Currently we have one project focused on increasing the retention and success of freshmen in high school.  This project, Freshmen Success (IES, R305A150010-16) has three primary components – use of a freshmen leadership team, implementation of a student engagement focused curriculum, and use of upperclassmen to emphasize critical skills and knowledge.

The team also works closely with the PBIS Technical Assistance Center on SWPBIS (OSEP, R326S13004).  We play a major role in the High School Workgroup that focuses on establishing demonstration sites at the high school level and disseminating information to increase usability and implementation of SWPBIS in high schools.

Staff include:

  • K. Brigid Flannery, Sr. Research Associate/Associate Professor (
  • Mimi Kato, Research Assistant (
  • Danielle Triplett, Research Assistant (
  • Angus Kittelman, Graduate Assistant (

Previous Projects:

  • Systematic Analysis and Model Development for High School Positive Behavior Support (IES, R324A070157)
  • Building Effective and Meaningful Individualized Education Projects for Secondary Aged Students (IES, R324B70039)
  • High School Positive Behavior Support: Increasing Success for All Students (OSEP, H324D020031)
  • Earning for a Lifetime (RSA, H235M010108)
  • Learning for a Lifetime (OSEP)
  • Consumer Planning Partnership Project (RSA, H235W970172-98)