College of Education Faculty Pioneer Inter-American Tertiary Education Association
The University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education is a partner with the University of Missouri and Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia in a one-year, $200,000 planning grant from the Ford Foundation to develop an implementation strategy for La Red Inter-Americana para la Integración, Investigación y Desarrollo en Educación Superior (RIIDES), the first inter-American organization that will work to improve quality, access, equity and development of education above the high school level in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. Ryan Wells, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy, Research and Development, and Joseph B. Berger, Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, will provide leadership for the College of Education on this project. Partners are associate professor Pilar Mendoza (Ed.D. 2005) at the University of Missouri and Carlos Alberto Casas Herrera at the Universidad de Los Andes.
“RIIDES is conceptualized as a pioneering effort that will be the first multinational association of its kind,” said Berger. “It will increase attention on the entire range of institutions above the high school level in the LAC region, from technical institutes to research universities, and serve as a forum for improving the integration of policy and practice across all types of tertiary institutions.”
RIIDES will also promote the creation, application, exchange, and dissemination of knowledge; be a hub for professional development and networking for scholars, leaders and policymakers; assist and contribute to capacity building for governments, sub-governments, institutions, and other relevant stakeholders in developing the tertiary education sector throughout the region; and serve as a catalyst to promote collaborations with regional and global partners.
“One of the purposes of RIIDES is to connect researchers and scholars who have the most current data and evidence about the needs and opportunities of the tertiary education sector, with policymakers who are charged with addressing such needs,” said Wells. “Bridging the gap from policy development to policy implementation and best practices calls for practical and replicable knowledge. This requires dialogue among those who produce the knowledge that will inform policy, policymakers, and administrators. RIIDES will make opportunities for such dialog possible.”