Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center

About Us

The Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is working closely with other technical assistance providers, regional comprehensive centers, national content centers, and regional educational laboratories. It focuses its technical assistance and support on addressing topics identified by the state education agencies (SEAs) and aims to raise the capacity of states to help districts and schools meet the goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), with emphasis on the Secretary of Education’s key reform priorities.


The mission of the Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center is to deliver to state education agencies in the Great Lakes East region technical assistance and support that are tailored to the needs of each individual state and the priorities of the U.S. Department of Education. Great Lakes East is accomplishing this mission by establishing high-integrity relationships and by focusing on state capacity building to improve student performance.


The vision of Great Lakes East is strategic, collaborative partnerships with the Great Lakes East states (Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) that enable these states to build better systems of support for better results for all learners through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), with emphasis on the Secretary of Education’s key reform priorities.

Primary Goal

The primary goal of Great Lakes East is to increase states' capacity to assist districts and schools in meeting their student achievement goals related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), with emphasis on the Secretary of Education’s key reform priorities. The secretary’s priorities address states’ efforts to accomplish the following:

  • Improve school readiness and success.
  • Implement internationally benchmarked college- and career-ready elementary and secondary school academic standards with aligned assessments and instructional materials.
  • Turn around persistently low-achieving schools. 
  • Improve postsecondary success. 
  • Improve achievement and high school graduation rates in rural and high-need schools. 
  • Promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  
  • Meet the needs of diverse learners (regardless of nationality, first language, ethnicity, family income, ZIP code, achievement level, or disability status).  
  • Improve the achievement of English learners.  
  • Recruit, hire, and retain great teachers and leaders.  
  • Enable data-based decision making and evidence-based decision making.

Key Staff Members

Barbara Youngren, Director
Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center
Principal Technical Assistance Consultant,
American Institutes for Research

Frank De Rosa
Great Lakes East State Manger - Indiana
Senior Associate, American Institutes for Research

Gary Appel
Great Lakes East State Manger - Michigan
Senior Associate, American Institutes for Research

Mark Mitchell
Great Lakes East State Manger - Ohio
Senior Associate, American Institutes for Research

American Institutes for Research and
Learning Point Associates

Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to education research, evaluation, and technical assistance, the American Institutes for Research merged with Learning Point Associates, as of August 1, 2010. The merger provides a seamless organization with federal, state, and local education knowledge and knowhow.

Founded in 1984, Learning Point Associates—a nonpartisan, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, began as the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), a single-contract regional organization created by the U.S. Department of Education to provide states with research-based information, best practices, and the technical assistance needed to bridge the gap between education research and education practice. In 2004, NCREL became Learning Point Associates, transforming into a diversified nonprofit consulting organization with clients of all sizes across the country, from state education agencies (SEAs) and single-school districts to private foundations and for-profit corporations.

Founded in 1946, AIR is one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. The not-for-profit is committed to empowering communities and institutions with innovative solutions to the most critical education, health, workforce, and international development challenges.

With 1,500 total global employees, AIR’s foundation is in education research. The organization currently stands as a national leader in teaching and learning improvement, providing the research, assessment, evaluation, and technical assistance to ensure that all students—particularly those who face historical disadvantages—have access to a high-quality, effective education.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, AIR has domestic offices in Atlanta; Baltimore, Maryland; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Concord, Massachusetts; Frederick, Maryland; Honolulu; Naperville, Illinois; New York City; Sacramento; San Diego, California: San Mateo, California; and Silver Spring, Maryland. It also currently works in 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South America and operates project offices in Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Nicaragua, Pakistan, South Africa, and Zambia.

For more information, visit

Photo of administrators.

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