$1 Million from Pearson Foundation Creates Applied Psychometric Research Center

The Pearson Foundation has announced the creation of a $1 million endowment and long-term partnership with The University of Texas at Austin's College of Education to create the Pearson Center for Applied Psychometric Research, an endowed professorship and an endowed faculty fellowship.

Dr. Barbara G. Dodd, a professor in the College of Education's Department of Educational Psychology, has been named director.

The five-year endowment will bring together the nationally acclaimed Department of Educational Psychology's resources and Pearson's international expertise in educational assessment. It will provide research support for innovative approaches to online assessment, automated scoring technology and student performance-based assessment.

With a focus on technology-based applications and systems, the endowment will help increase accessibility for all student populations, improve measurement of college and career readiness and determine the characteristics of individuals who have superior problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

By establishing the Pearson Endowed Professorship in Psychometrics and the Pearson Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Psychometrics, the endowment also will support career development and professional opportunities for psychometricians. This will help increase opportunity, measurement expertise capacity and diversity in the field.

"In an era when educational testing has become widespread, both as a tool for evaluating educational policies as well as for assessing individual performance," said Dr. Edmund Emmer, Department of Educational Psychology chair, "we need a solid research base for educational assessment. Having the Pearson Center for Applied Psychometric Research at The University of Texas at Austin will advance knowledge about this important field and give us a strong leadership position for research and policy development in educational assessment."

The University of Texas at Austin endowment builds on the Pearson Foundation's commitment to innovative, pragmatic educational assessment, which includes similar endowments at the University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia. The Foundation partners with leading nonprofit, civic and business organizations to provide financial, organizational and publishing assistance across the globe. It aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found online.

A national leader in education innovation, The University of Texas at Austin's College of Education offers a benchmark in the efficient and highly effective integration of technology into teaching and learning environments. The College of Education is ranked third in the nation among public universities and seventh overall nationally by U.S. News and World Report magazine. It is the most highly ranked college or school at The University of Texas at Austin among graduate programs that receive yearly rankings by U.S. News and World Report. Read more about the College of Education and its award-winning faculty and programs online.

"Pearson Foundation's donation underscores the company's dedication to designing and delivering assessments that advance measurement best practice, help ensure greater educational equity and improve instruction and learning in today's global world," said Steve Dowling, Pearson executive vice president. "Through our endowment with The University of Texas at Austin, we are investing in technology-driven assessment research that will promote and personalize education for all."