The University of Texas at Tyler College of Education and Psychology has created a collaborative center to help address educational challenges facing area schools, universities and communities.

The East Texas Center for School-Based Research and Instruction stems from an initiative designed to engage a cross section of educators. The center consists of a partnership between the College of Education and Psychology, seven Smith County independent school districts: Arp, Bullard, Lindale, Troup, Tyler, Whitehouse and Winona; as well as The University of Texas at Tyler Innovation Academy, which consists of its three campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

The center will help build capacity for its partners by offering professional development and educational services, as well as coordinating joint programs and activities within their respective districts.

“Through this collaboration, we are committed to providing the highest quality of education to the 40,000 students attending our public schools in Smith County,” said Dr. Ross Sherman, college dean and center co-director.

Participating school districts, in turn, enhance their connection with their communities by providing leadership for the center and its activities. They also serve as a channel between schools, universities and community organizations to foster innovative ideas.

“The complex, multi-faceted and wide-ranging educational challenges facing our schools and communities require shared commitments, leadership and collaboration among universities, public schools and community organizations. Therefore, having this center is so important,” said Dr. Kouider Mokhtari, The University of Texas at Tyler Anderson-Vukelja-Wright Endowed Chair and center co-director.

In addition, the center will act as an informational resource for center partners and other education professionals, Mokhtari added. Resources include webinars, research briefs and reports on critical issues featuring new and established research findings, as well as best instructional practices and materials.



Center partners contribute an annual membership fee based on the percentage of each district’s enrollment.

The University of Texas at Tyler College of Education and Psychology is actively seeking additional center partners and supporters. For more information, contact Sherman, 903.566.7218 or or Mokhtari, 903.566.7177 or

For additional information about the center, visit