News Home

Research article named best of 2017 by Journal of School Psychology

From left, Susan Sheridan, CYFS director; Amanda Witte, CYFS project manager; and Shannon Holmes, postdoctoral affiliate at the University of Missouri, accept the award for Best Article of 2017.
From left, co-authors Susan Sheridan, CYFS director; Amanda Witte, project manager; and Shannon Holmes, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri, accept the award for the 2017 Article of the Year.

A peer-reviewed research paper highlighting the success of a research-based program designed by CYFS has been named the 2017 Article of the Year by the Journal of School Psychology.

The article, “A randomized trial examining the effects of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation in rural schools: Student outcomes and the mediating role of the teacher-parent relationship,” appeared in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of School Psychology. It was one of two separate articles published about the outcomes of research using Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC), a program now known as Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP). Full Article

CYFS researchers evaluate rural Nebraska after-school programs

CYFS evaluators (from right) Michelle Howell Smith, Susan Pense and Leslie Hawley provide feedback to teachers and school personnel participating in the ELO Design Challenge. The project is supporting five rural Nebraska school districts as they develop after-school and summer programs.
CYFS evaluators (from right) Michelle Howell Smith, Susan Pense and Leslie Hawley provide feedback to teachers and school personnel participating in the ELO Design Challenge. The project is supporting five rural Nebraska school districts as they develop after-school and summer programs.

Brainstorm, develop, implement, modify — and repeat. As rural Nebraska school districts use this adaptable approach to create after-school programs, a CYFS research team is taking similar steps to evaluate their progress.

The team is joining a 30-month project, Expanded Learning Opportunity Design Challenge, which involves Auburn, Beatrice, Boone Central, Centura and Grand Island school districts. Teachers and administrators from each district are developing after-school and summer programs for K-12 students, with a focus on integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Full Article

Team develops virtual reality game to teach children healthy habits

A Nebraska team led by Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created a virtual reality game that teaches kindergarten children about nutrition and physical activity.
A Nebraska team led by Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created a virtual reality game that teaches kindergarten children about nutrition and physical activity.

Trees line the horizon under a bright, cloudless sky. It’s a typical outdoor scene — except for the giant pineapple soaring overhead.

Kindergarteners playing the virtual reality game must make a decision: What is the name of the fruit they see?

Changmin Yan with Google Cardboard glasses
Changmin Yan holds Google Cardboard glasses.

With $15 Google Cardboard glasses and an interdisciplinary research team, Changmin Yan, associate professor of advertising and public relations, has created an immersive experience to encourage healthy habits for young children in rural communities — particularly those from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Full Article

Study: Strong parent-teacher ties drive positive outcomes for rural children

Amanda Witte, co-investigator, and Susan Sheridan, principal investigator
Amanda Witte, co-investigator and CYFS project manager, and Susan Sheridan, principal investigator

When parents and teachers work together, student behavior improves, along with their academic and social skills, according to a recent CYFS study.

Using the research-based program known as Teachers and Parents as Partners, the study examined how emphasis on strong relationships between schools and families in rural communities affects children’s outcomes. TAPP supports collaboration between teachers and parents to enhance students’ academic and social skills, and behavior. Full Article

Radio interview: Kunz discusses teacher coaching

Gina Kunz
Gina Kunz

Gina Kunz, CYFS research associate professor, shared her team’s research on teaching coaching Thursday, April 6 during the Paul Durban Show on KFOR, a Lincoln, Nebraska, radio station.

The team’s original study investigated how ‘coaches’—trained educators—can help teachers enhance instruction, particularly when using new instructional approaches. Their sample included middle and high school teachers in rural schools across Nebraska. Full Article

Witte selected as Rural Futures Institute fellow

Amanda Witte
Amanda Witte, project manager at the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools

Amanda Witte, CYFS project manager, has been selected to participate in an inaugural fellows program through the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute. As one of 15 faculty fellows, Witte was selected for her contributions to rural communities through research. Full Article

CYFS team releases rural research guide

A CYFS team has released a new working paper titled “Studying Educational Effectiveness in Rural Settings: A Guide for Researchers.”

The guide draws from experience gained while conducting research through CYFS’ National Center for Research on Rural Education, which was funded from 2009 to 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Full Article