Impact Report 2023

A message from

Dean Glenn Good

The future is here, innovation is the only option. At the University of Florida, we’re not waiting for change to happen to us. Our faculty experts are actively seeking new opportunities and creative solutions that will shape the future of education — and the lives of all who come in contact with our graduates. From teacher preparation to research and beyond, we are rapidly adapting with our ever-changing world. 

Motivated by infinite potential on the horizon, we remain deeply committed to our roots:

  • Elevating early childhood education to improve health, development, learning and well-being
  • Forging solid foundations for student success worldwide through literacy and reading
    proficiency programs
  • Advancing data-driven policy while mentoring the next generation of education leadership
  • Creating a future where technology meets the needs of all learners

We are so much more than Florida’s flagship university. We are a community of proactive learners and leaders impacting the nation and the world. Whether collaborating with industry innovators, investing in community partnerships or celebrating our alumni, our momentum propels us forward.

We are proud to share this window into life at the UF College of Education. Join us as we look towards tomorrow.

Glenn Good, Ph.D.

Partners in


Florida Department of Education
Institute of Education Sciences
US Department of Education
Scholastic<br />
National Science Foundation

College of Education

By the numbers

The spirit of academic excellence shines through all our endeavors. Trailblazing faculty address crucial education challenges in their research while instructing the next generation of changemakers. Our alumni are driven to create a better future for all, beginning with their local communities.

Together, we are advancing the field of education in Florida, the nation and the world.

Value of our endowment

newly funded awards

Value of
donor support

increase in enrolled students since 2017

research awards

scholarships matched to students

A student on a laptop smiling at the camera.

yesterday’s students supporting

Tomorrow’s Leaders

Driven by a profound appreciation for the college’s legacy of exceptional scholarship and research, alumni are investing in the leaders of tomorrow. The newly established Rosser Family Term Professorship and the Larry C. Kubiak Endowed Professorship will allow the college to recruit, retain and reward exceptional faculty. These alumni recognize the pivotal role dedicated professors play in nurturing the minds of future alumni, and their generous gifts signal support of our mission and college leadership.

Leaders in


Best Online Programs - US News and World Report - 2023 Grad Education
Number 1 Public University - Wall Street Journal
2024 Grad Education Public Universities
2024 Grad Education Special Education
2024 Grad Education Counselor Education



Natalie S. King, Ph.D. (M.Ed. ’11, Ph.D. ’16)
2023 NSF Alan T. Waterman Award Winner

Larry Kubiak, Ph.D. (Ed.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’87)
University of Florida Distinguished Alumni Award

Alicia Lasaga (M.Ed. ’17)
Gator 100 Honoree

Phil Poekert, Ph.D.
UF’s #1 Principal Investigator (FY ’22 & FY ’23)

Jessica Thomas (M.Ed. ’16)
UF Alumni 40 Under 40

Priscilla Zelaya, Ph.D. (B.A.E. ’11, M.Ed. ’12)
UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development

Educating the

Future-ready workforce

Through research and instruction, we are improving society by preparing the people we serve to be lifelong learners with the necessary skills for the careers of the future.

With well-prepared teachers, students will have access to computer science (CS) education that teaches vital skills, including logical thinking and creative problem  solving. Maya Israel, Ph.D., is leading a team to close the CS skill gap in pre- and in-service teacher education. Through CSEveryone, her team is preparing teachers to incorporate CS education in their lessons — regardless of their subject area expertise. Funded by the Kenneth C. Griffin CS Education for All Initiative, they are developing a model for CS education to be used around the world.

OurTo improve the quality of education through personalization, assessment and increased student engagement, our researchers are exploring AI. We are connecting with global experts and industry partners to shape the future of education. This year, Seyedahmad Rahimi, Ph.D., convened leaders from NSF institutes and top-tier universities along with prominent tech professionals for a virtual AI in Education Workshop. We engaged with people from more than 40 countries who learned about AI theory, ethics and education — and how Khan Academy, Duolingo and ASSISTments already utilize this technology. Our applied solutions will transform the way we teach and learn. 

Putting theory into practice, the college’s E-Learning, Technology and Communications department is partnering with the UF College of Medicine on the AI-enabled Quality & Patient Safety initiative. Our instructional design experts are providing sound pedagogical foundations for online workforce development and training. Through this effort, we will prepare medical professionals to utilize AI to improve healthcare efficiency and effectiveness nationwide.

Early Childhood

Empowering communities through research

Researchers from the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies are making a transformative impact nationwide. They are partnering with the states of Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on Embedded Instruction for Early Learning professional development. These collaborations ensure that techniques like the 3R’s of Early Learning: Relationships, Repetition, Routines™ are improving the lives of more children than ever.

The Sunshine State Early Childhood Information Portal is a centralized data system that combines information from key sectors about Florida’s children and families with interactive maps that show trends across space and time. Spearheaded by Herman Knopf, Ph.D., and supported by an additional five-year $5.17 million contract from the Florida Department of Education, this tool is used by policymakers to make data-informed decisions to improve supports and services for young children and families.


Improving wellness and resiliency in schools

The newly established Prevention and Intervention Network (PIN) Center for Youth, Families, Schools, and Communities serves as UF’s translational research nexus for work supporting youths’ healthy development and well-being. Led by Joni Splett, Ph.D., the center is working to provide Florida’s students with the resources they need to become resilient adults. With $4.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the center has entered into a collaboration with Alachua County Public Schools. The project will expand school-based mental health services by increasing the ranks of state-credentialed graduates ready to fill school-based mental health positions. 

The Education Policy Research Center, led by F. Chris Curran, Ph.D., continues to partner with the non-profit Safe Schools For Alex to reduce school violence. After conducting stakeholder interviews across Florida, the team compiled the state’s most comprehensive publicly accessible school safety data ever published. Professional development for school districts and other interested stakeholders will accompany the release of version 2.0 of the dashboard.


Boldly Pushing Accessible Education Forward

Immersive virtual reality (VR) technology can be an empowering learning tool for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Nigel Newbutt, Ph.D., is working in partnership with the ASD community to build interactive virtual experiences for rehearsing real-world scenarios. By creating embodied experiences where people can practice their social skills and reactions to sensory stimuli, Newbutt is providing the research foundation for job-training programs, independent living and more.

As part of the Learning Engineering Virtual Institute, Wanli Xing, Ph.D., is leading a team to develop scalable AI-augmented teachable agents with aims of doubling the rate of middle school math progress for low-income students. In the context of the Lastinger Center for Learning’s Math Nation students’ roles will be reshaped from passive learners into proactive teachers through large language models (LLMs) and other AI technologies using UF’s HiPerGator 3.0 supercomputer. 

Maya Israel, Ph.D., is serving as senior personnel for the $20 million NSF-funded AI Institute for Inclusive Intelligent Technologies for Education (INVITE). Through the institute, UF researchers will study how AI can make computer-based STEM learning more equitable and inclusive.

student success

Advancing literacy in homes and classrooms

Guided by the motto “for teachers, by teachers, with teachers,” UF Literacy Institute’sUFLI Foundations” resonates with educators everywhere. Since publication, it has been adopted by instructors and districts on every continent except Antarctica. Over 200,000 manuals are in classrooms in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, every Canadian province and 47 other countries. Teachers worldwide share their successes and support each other in their Facebook group, which has over 150,000 members. 

New Worlds Reading Initiative, a partnership between the Lastinger Center for Learning, Scholastic, and the Florida Department of Education, completed its second school year supporting students not yet reading on grade level. As of June 30, more than 3.87 million books have been delivered in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and English Braille, helping to build the family libraries of over 259,000 students across Florida.