Dr. Cormier one of only 18 to receive VCU’s PeRQ funding
His project will advance the development of a web-based platform for assessing educators’ cultural competence.
Dwayne Ray Cormier, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Foundations of Education, is one of only 18 VCU researchers to win financial support from the Presidential Research Quest (PeRQ) Fund this year.
Cormier won support for his project to advance the development of the Cultural Proficiency Continuum Dialogic Protocol (CPCDP), a tool designed to assess and codify educators' cultural competence and critical consciousness. The previous version of the CPCDP was in a worksheet format, but due to COVID-19 and social distancing, Cormier is now working with a computer scientist to transform the worksheet into a web-based platform.
Cormier plans to develop three new modules for the CPCDP along with co-principal investigators who have expertise in special education, multilingual learners, and indigenous and LatinX culture. An additional co-principal investigator with expertise in curriculum development, professional development, and adult e-learning, will develop a train-the-trainer protocol for further implementation of the web-based platform.
Cormier said that this project places the university and the School of Education in an ideal position to seek additional external funding to advance the tool’s development. "It positions us to be a national resource accessible by teacher preparation programs and school systems that want to assess educators' cultural competence, ultimately mitigating racial and cultural conflicts in school and in broader society," Cormier said.
A total of $512,000 will fund 18 PeRQ research efforts on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses this year. To qualify for the program, faculty members’ research had to align with VCU's Quest 2025: Together We Transform and an initiative of the newly launched One VCU Strategic Research Priorities Plan.
Seven of the 18 funded projects aim to enrich the human experience, and four aim to achieve a just and equitable society – two of the four aims of the Strategic Research Priorities Plan. Cormier's research aligns with both aims.