The Center for Education and Civil Rights provides many opportunities for students, faculty, practitioners, and policymakers to get involved in its programming and research activities. We currently don't have any employment opportunites available at the CECR; however, for students at Penn State, below is a list of ways to get involved with the center. If you have any ideas for collaborating with CECR or you're a Penn State student interested in the opportunities below, please feel free to contact us at


Our research focuses on barriers to civil rights in public education & policies and practices that promote school integration. We currently have research projects aimed at understanding the extent of segregation and inequality. Other CECR projects explore policies to further integration and inclusion such as anti-bias education in preschool and voluntary K-12 school integration.

Opportunities to get involved include participating on research teams to design and implement CECR research projects, including but not limited to reviewing statistical data about school integration, conducting interviews with district leaders, and developing written products for CECR publications and/or academic journals.


CECR supports networks of collaboration through hosting monthly events, including invited speakers, brown bags, and national convenings. On May 10, 2019, we are hosting a national symposium at Penn State to mark the 65th anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education with keynote speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones.

We are currently looking for students to lead collaborative efforts with other centers and organizations in the school diversity field and use social media and other platforms to put CECR work in conversation with others. 


We engage with policy leaders and organizations to inform federal policy to further school integration and equity. We host workshops on a range of education and civil rights topics with local educators and provide opportunities 

Currently, we seek students to help plan and implement CECR events and lead discussions on racial justice in education.

Post Doctoral

Job Number: 87521

We are seeking a Post-Doctoral Scholar to assist with all aspects of the Center including conducting and disseminating research to a wide range of audiences; writing for media, policymakers, and practitioners; helping to develop grant proposals to support the center’s work; supporting collaborations and facilitating change to support racial equity in education; and organizing and planning national convenings and local events. This is a fixed term position funded for one year from date of hire.

Qualifications. The candidate should have a research agenda focused on civil rights and education (early childhood, K-12, and/or higher education). The candidate will be expected to independently develop his/her own research agenda as well as to work collaboratively with CECR staff, colleagues across the University, and other community and civil rights organizational partners. Strong analytical skills, communication in a variety of formats, and the ability to work in a variety of settings to further the goals of CECR are essential. Doctoral degree completion prior to date of hire is required. Experience with grant writing is preferred.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

How to Apply. Applicants should submit cover letter, CV, one example of scholarly writing (dissertation chapter, conference paper, or peer-reviewed journal article) and contact information of three references. All materials must be submitted through Penn State’s Electronic Job Management System ( for consideration. The position will be open until filled. (Link to job announcement:

Deadline. Applications received by May 15, 2019 are assured of full consideration.

Please direct any questions to CECR Director Erica Frankenberg ( using subject line “CECR Post-Doc”.

Graduate Assistantships (2019-2020)

In 2019-2020 academic year, CECR will have two Graduate Assistantship (GA) positions available for graduate students at Penn State. These are educational opportunities for students to develop leadership and research skills through the center. Both available opportunities are one-year, half-time (20 hours per week) appointments that offer:

  • A stipend paid over the ten months of the fall and spring semesters,
  • Graduate School tuition grant-in-aid for a minimum of 9 credits and a maximum of 12 credits, or full-time dissertation credits when applicable, and
  • Eligibility to apply for paid summer tuition for the summer of 2020 (up to 9 credits).

The first CECR GA opportunity will be responsible for contributing to research spearheaded by the center, planning and implementing diversity workshops, identifying new projects and partners for the center, leading and documenting CECR meetings, and managing CECR marketing and communication platforms.

The second CECR GA opportunity will be specifically devoted to anti-bias education in early childhood education. The GA in this position will conduct classroom observations in infant/toddler and pre-school classrooms using an observation matrix developed by the CECR and will facilitate interviews with early childhood educators. This GA will also work with College of Education faculty to use research findings to shape professional development opportunities at the early education centers and to develop papers for publication.

If you're interested in applying, please email CECR directly at with the subject, "CECR Graduate Assistantship 2019-2020."

(Fall 2019)

EDLDR 542: Civil Rights and Education 3 Credits

Examination of civil rights policies and educational equity in the U.S. from the perspectives of law, social science, accountability policy. Civil Rights and Education will examine civil rights policies and educational equity in the United States from the perspectives of social science, education policy, and law. The aims of the course are to build students' understanding of the key principles of civil rights policies and the sources of contention in civil rights, and to enhance students' capacity for participating in issues of civil rights and education through project-based work. We will begin by considering what it means to have an opportunity to learn and how it has been defined. The course will then consider legal and policy developments since the "Brown" decision that have both expanded and constrained the opportunity for certain groups of students. The course is primarily focused on national developments, but does include a focus specifically on educational opportunity in Pennsylvania. The course concludes by considering recent civil rights developments and prospects for the future.​

Cross-listed with EDTHP 542