University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)


Efficacy of RENEW for High School Students with Emotional & Behavioral Challenges

  • Principal Investigator: Jesse C. Suter, PhD, CDCI, University of Vermont
  • Co-Principal Investigator: JoAnne Malloy, PhD, Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire

photo of Jesse Suter

Vermont's UCEDD, the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI) at the University of Vermont has received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S Department of Education to test the RENEW intervention (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural supports, Education and Work). CDCI will collaborate with the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability (IOD) to conduct the trial.

Dr. Jesse Suter, research assistant professor at CDCI is the principal investigator on the grant, and he will collaborate with Dr. JoAnne Malloy, co-principal investigator on the grant, developer of RENEW and clinical assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire.

photo of JoAnne Malloy

RENEW was developed by Dr. JoAnne Malloy and IOD staff in 1996 and is a promising individualized intervention for high school students with significant mental health challenges. The primary goal of the grant is to test whether students who receive RENEW have better outcomes than students receiving typical services. The study will test for differences in student engagement, self-determination, social support, as well as academic and behavioral functioning.

Approximately half of students with emotional and behavioral challenges drop out of school, which is the highest rate of any student group. Most don't receive the supports needed to succeed and graduate. The RENEW approach was designed to help these students by increasing their engagement in school, self-determination, social support networks, and long-term academic and emotional and behavioral functioning.

Although RENEW is being used around the country, it has not yet been rigorously evaluated. Ultimately we will use the information gained from this study to help schools, educators, and researchers better understand RENEW, how it works, and what benefits it may provide for students.

The grant runs from July 2015 to June 2019 and is administered through the National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences. About 735 people will participate in this study (385 students and 350 school personnel) in 10 high schools in Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

For questions contact Dr. Jesse Suter.


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Last modified January 25 2016 11:04 AM

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