About Us


The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a university-based research, development, dissemination, evaluation, and technical assistance center. For nearly 30 years, we have worked with educators and policymakers to improve education. Permeating everything we do is our commitment to engaging collaboratively with our clients to do high quality, important and useful work. Our research efforts include everything from large scale experimental studies to small scale qualitative work on topics ranging from early childhood to high school reform. We conduct project evaluations for states, districts, schools, and organizations. We also publish syntheses of research and specialize in making complex topics accessible. Our goal is to support your efforts to improve education.

SERVE has been awarded over $200 million in contracts and grants, successfully managed 14 major awards including four consecutive contracts for the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Southeast (REL-SE) funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the US Department of Education (USED), four awards from USED for the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), a five-year Technology Grant for Coordinating Teaching and Learning in Migrant Communities.

In addition, SERVE secured contracts from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to operate the North Carolina Homeless Education Program in 2008 and the North Carolina Foster Education Program in 2016. Through these initiatives and many others, SERVE has provided extensive technical assistance at the local, state, and national levels, and has developed and disseminated hundreds of thousands of products aimed at improving youth opportunities and outcomes at school, home, and in the community.

From the Executive Director

Welcome to the SERVE Center!  While you may have been led to SERVE because of our history and experience, I hope you will stay connected as a result of the collaborative partnerships we establish in meeting the needs of your students, families, organizations, or communities.  We believe that education prospers in innovative communities where leaders and organizations work together to nurture and inspire all students and the educators who serve them.

Somewhat unique to SERVE, our professionals include researchers and evaluators who have specialized in high school reform, rural schools, urban schools, the education of highly mobile students, school and district improvement, community organizations, and nonprofits.  Additionally, our staff include former teachers, principals, district administrators, State coordinators…and so much more.  For a sampling of our work, please enjoy a few of our recently published stories to the right.

 We respect the expertise and experience of our clients and work with them to develop customized services to meet their needs, while always maintaining the highest standards of quality.  Whether you are planning the initial phase of your project, working to scale up your efforts, or in need of a systems overhaul, I encourage you to reach out to our team at SERVE!

Very best,

George Hancock

A light in the dark: NCHE brings homeless students out of the shadows

The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina is home to both the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) and the North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP). The programs provide technical assistance to state and local agencies in complying with the McKinney-Vento Act that ensures free, appropriate, public educational opportunities for homeless children and youth. Read the article, “A light in the dark”, in uncg research. (Article found on pages 17-19).

Preparing Students for College: Lessons Learned From the Early College

This article describes a lottery-based experimental design supplemented by qualitative data to examine college readiness within an innovative high school setting: early college high schools. 

Results show that early college students are more likely to have successfully completed the courses they need for entrance into college and that early college students also graduated from high school at a higher rate. Read the article in the NASSP Bulletin.


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