Grants Awarded

Integrating mental health professionals into interprofessional health care teams is still an emerging concept in the U.S. The School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is taking a leading role in advancing that concept to benefit underserved and vulnerable people in the urban core, via a major grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the two-year, $353,340 grant, awarded in the summer of 2014,  students studying for a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the UMKC School of Education will work in community-based interprofessional teams.

The new interprofessional education program will be called Psi CARE (Psychologists Collaborating and Advocating to Restore Equity: An Integrated Training Program in Behavioral Health Care for Underserved Urban Communities). The goal is to increase the number of psychologists who have the knowledge, skills and experience to meet the behavioral health needs of vulnerable and underserved communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area, including refugees and immigrants, through prevention programming and competent care. The training model emphasizes respect for individual and cultural diversity and is inherently aimed at promoting social justice.

Under Psi CARE, doctoral candidates will take four new or revised courses designed to prepare them to work in primary health care centers focusing on urban populations, including a two-semester practica in a primary health care setting. The School of Education will admit seven students in the program in each of the next two years.


Chicago-based Spencer Foundation has announced its funding for the small grant proposal, “Cross-Cohort Changes in Civic Attitudes in Three Countries:  Measurement, Contextual Predictors, and Participatory Outcomes,” submitted by Carolyn Barber, Ph.D., associate professor in the UMKC School of Education.

Barber’s grant proposal aligns with the Spencer Foundation’s strategic initiative that sees “civic education not simply as a grounding in historical and procedural knowledge of systems of government, but, more broadly, as education, whether in schools or elsewhere, that develops skills, knowledge, and dispositions that lead to informed and reasoned civic action.”

The two-year grant will support the study of how patterns of civic attitudes have changed among 14-year-olds in 16 countries by comparing cohorts from 1999 and 2009, using data from the IEA Civic Education Study (CIVED) and the International Civics and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS). Unlike ‘variable-centered’ designs that focus on correlations between one attitude and another, this work will take a ‘person-centered’ approach that identifies categories of young people based on their profiles of responses on multiple relevant attitudes, providing a more holistic approach to the study of civic engagement.

The work will be conducted in three steps. First, measurement models will ensure that attitudes are measured in equivalent ways in the 1999 CIVED and 2009 ICCS Studies. Second, profiles of civic attitudes and how the frequency of membership in these profiles varies across cohorts and countries will be identified. Finally, the work will consider how experiences in educational contexts are associated with profile membership and whether those with different attitudinal profiles have different current experiences in, and future experiences for, civic action.

This grant was one of nine announced by the Spencer Foundation in late 2013; the $43,276 award commenced in January, 2014.