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CLEE Timeline and Accomplishments


  • Angela Wegner becomes Director.
  • Project RAISE (Rural Access to Intervention in School Environments) contract awarded.


  • CLEE administers the Winter RISE Conferences for 2022 and 2023 with funding from the Tennessee Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.
  • Connie White becomes Interim Director.


  • Multi-year contract for Teaching All Students (TAS) project is awarded.
  • Tennessee Technical Assistance Network (TN-TAN) contract awarded. CLEE serves as the Project Coordination team.


  • Multi-year contract for Access for All Learning Network (AALN) project is awarded.
  • CLEE provides event planning and support services for Tennessee Education Association (TEA) in 2020-21.


  • With funding from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the PD4HS (Professional Development for Healthy Schools) project begins.


  • CLEE awarded a new State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) from Tennessee Department of Education.
  • Transition and Self-Determination grant awarded.
  • Tennessee Department of Education awards CLEE contract for Event Planning and Management. Projects include: CTE (College, Career and Technical Education), CSH (Coordinated School Health), LEAD, PIE (Partners in Education), Conditions for Learning, and Extended Learning.


  • CLEE awarded Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) contract for the LAMBDA project (Library Anchor Models for Bridging Diversity Achievements).
  • CLEE contracts with National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC) to coordinate activities and services for the Leadership Excellence Academies (LEA).
  • Aaron Kohring becomes Director.


  • The Center for Literacy Studies is re-launched as the Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment.
  • CLS Receives a Doing What Works grant form the US Department of Education to improve educational resources for after-school care.
  • CLS receives the largest contract to date. $5.1 Million TNCore Support (DOE).
  • Opened an office for self determination and transition in Memphis to better serve the western part of the state.


  • CLS awarded Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Region 2 Professional Development Center contract from U.S. Department of Education.
  • CLS- 1st Corrections work – Knox Co Assessment research project
  • CLS – LINCS Learning to Achieve online PD modules move to CLS
  • CLS develops web site and expands it to include Math Tennessee
  • Child and Family Team becomes School and Family team
  • CLS completes it’s first year working in tandem with the Center Advisory Committee


  • Center for Literacy Studies and Center for Disability and Employment merge
  • TN Transition Team created (TN DOLWD)
  • EFF—5-year contract w/Oregon
  • Knox Co School Impact Funds grant
  • NIFL closes (LINCS moved under OVAE) LINCS adds transitions to post-secondary ed as online topic
    Note: Adult Literacy Caucus formed in US Congress/House


  • CLS – 1st Tennessee Higher Education Commission grant
  • CLS – Learning to Achieve Train the trainer national project launch- research-based support for Learning Disabilities in AE
  • CLS – Recieves State Personnel Development Grant


  • CLS- Geri Mulligan becomes director of the Center for Literacy Studies
    Note: ADA Amendments Act of 2008
  • CLS – EFF Building Skills for Work online learning Modules (Nicholas foundation)
  • CLS – Physical activity in the classroom
  • CLS – 1st Secondary School work – HS redesign Knox Co


  • CLS- Beth Ponder acts as interim director
  • TN Families First waiver expires (CLS families First Funding ends)
  • CLS – Adult Numeracy Initiative- MPR Associates
  • CLS – EFF Standards in Action
    Note: Subprime mortgage crisis (major effect on Adult Education and employment funding)


  • CLS – EFF Preparing for Work curriculum developed, 1st Preparing for Work training
  • CLS – 1st Early Reading First work – evaluation
  • CLS – LINCS refunded, restructured new special collections –  focus on Program management (Program improvement, Assessment, LD, Workforce Ed (subcontract)
  • New CLS mission/vision/values


  • CLS – 1st Reading First grant ($1.6 million)- 1st big K-12 initiative, summer academies
  • CLS – TN 1st Regional Academies (12 in 3 months)
  • CLS – NSF grant TIAN project, Numeracy partnership TERC
  • CLS – EFF gets first Dollar General and UPS grants (EFF program improvement)
  • CLS – Child & Family team established
  • CDE-Transition from School to Work- TN Division of Special Education
  • CDE-The Employment Services Certificate Program, training conducted by the Employment Consultants, recognized as a National Certificate Program by the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators and the Association of Persons in Supported Employment.


  • CLS – TN State Improvement Grant for parent education
  • CLS – AE Pro established- partnership w/Midwest LINCS
  • CLS – NIFL funding for EFF ends, EFF moves to fee-for-service model
  • CLS begins long term strategic planning process
    Note: IDEA reauthorized


  • UT TIE became the Center on Disability and Employment.
  • CDE – “Tennessee Workforce Action” to address research on employment issues of members of the Olmstead Class Action Lawsuit, shifting services from restricted environments to community based-funded by U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy awarded through the ACR of Tennessee.
  • CDE – “Self-Determination project”- funded by UT Boling Center
  • CDE – “North Carolina Educational Exchange Network” funded by NC Council on Developmental Disabilities.
  • CLS – CMATS for TN launched – Centralized online Federal reporting system online for Adult Education
  • CLS – EFF Sales & service curriculum and funding from SRI International, Workforce Readiness Credential
  • UT College of Education and College of Human Ecology merge to become College of Education, Health and Human Services (CDE & CLS strengthen relationship at UT/college)
  • CLS- ESOL in workplace published TN
  • CLS- LINCS gains new special collection – program leadership/impact
  • CLS- TN Workforce Action- Olmstead


  • CLS -Receives TN Quality commitment award (Now TN Center for Performance Excellence)
  • CLS – Keys to EFF LD Teaching practice published based on research with Tennessee adult education practitioners.
  • CLS – TN DOE Even Start funding– grew 400% to include Statewide family literacy initiative & federal reporting database
  • CLS -EFF Technical assistance & Professional development center moves from Maine to Tennessee


  • UT – TIE- “TN Customized Employment Partnership” combining resources of Career Centers and disability employment programs to support individuals with significant disabilities funded by U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.
  • CLS – Jean Stephens becomes Director
  • CLS – Creates center-wide technology system for tracking PD participation
  • CLS – 1st TN Academy for Instructional Excellence
  • CLS – 1st online course (for TN teachers)
  • CLS  – Quality work begun (Baldridge) with TN Adult Education practitioners Improvement
    Note: NCLB passed


  • CLS – 5-yr grant NIFL to be the Southern Regional Technology Center with special collections: Learning Disabilities and Workforce Education
  • CLS – 1st EL-Civics grants from TN DOLWD
  • CLS – AE TN work greater than $1 mil for first time


  • 1st TN DHS research funding Families First Adult Education
  • TN Adult Ed moves from Department of Education to Department of Labor and Workforce Development


  • CLS- GTE funds Online Workforce Ed Learning Activities Bank
  • UT-TIE- “Employment Training and Development for DMRS Community Providers” funded by TN Department of Finance, Division of Mental Retardation Services.
  • Lessons from the Holocaust published based on work with TN Adult Education practitioners
    Note: WIA re-authorization


  • CLS- 1 of 4 national technology hubs – LINCS created (1st national discussion list)
  • UT-TIE- Corporate Connections established by the TN Developmental Disabilities Council and TN DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services to provide employment resources for Tennessee businesses.
  • UT-TIE- partners with Georgia State University for “Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program for Community Rehabilitation Providers” project funded by U.S Rehabilitation Services Administration (U.S. Department of Education) serves to improve the skills of community rehabilitation professionals and agencies in the eight southeastern states.
  • CLS moves to University of Tennessee Conference Center in Knoxville
    Note: IDEA reauthorized


  • CLS – State Literacy Resource Center funding rescinded
  • CLS- Mary Ziegler becomes Director
  • CLS – 1st becomes research partner with NCSALL
  • CLS – becomes Lead agency for EFF
  • UT-TIE Corporate Marketing Initiative funded by TN Developmental Disabilities Council to develop marketing and outreach to employers
  • 1st PD for Families First – TN DHS
  • CLS – Getting There published


  • CLS – 1st website
  • CLS – Full partner in EFF
  • CLS – World Ed HEAL Project- health education
  • CLS – Teacher as Learner published


  • UT TIE receives “Organizational Change and Management Training and Technical Assistance” grant from Rehabilitation Services Administration U.S. Department of Education) to provide training and TA for community rehabilitation service providers to create more inclusive and community based services.
  • CLS- Equipped For the Future work begins (nationwide)
  • CLS- TRIMS- 1st Statewide Data management system work, NIFL and others funding
  • CLS- TN DHS Evaluate Leader project Families First Memphis, Nashville
  • CLS – NIFL- Partnership with TX to Strengthen tech infrastructure in 14 southern states


  • CLS becomes the TN State Literacy Resource Center – 1st Federal funding through National Institute for Literacy (NIFL).
    Note: National Literacy Act Passed


  • UT-TIE 1st Annual Supported Employment Statewide Conference (ACES)
  • CLS – AAACE Imogene Oaks Award for research – ‘I am Not  a Quitter’
  • UT-TIE Supported Employment Consultants hired through funding from the TN Supported Employment Systems Change Project.


  • CLS- JTPA relationship: “I’m Not a Quitter” published
    Note: National Literacy Act passed


  • UT TIE receives “TN Supported Employment Systems Change Project” funded by the U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration (U.S. Department of Education) through the TN DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services.
  • CLS- 1st TN AE Supervisors Institute (1st state-wide effort AE training)
  • UT-TIE- “Best Practices in Supported Employment” published
    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed
    Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) established/amended


  • 1st CLS publication – Learning Differently
  • CLS – Even Start work begins


  • Center for Literacy Studies (CLS) established, Julliett Merrifield as Director
    funding from TN Division of Adult Education (Ken McCullough) to:
    . . . research the need for literacy services in TN, investigate effective teaching practices, conduct staff development for TN AE teachers and program managers, and provide resource and technical assistance to state and local programs.


  • UT TIE established by funding from U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), provided through the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, Tennessee’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research and Service (UCEDD), UT-Memphis. Carolyn Henderson, Director


  • Tennessee Initiative on Employment (TIE) – Inter-agency management team formed of 41 representatives from various state agencies and organizations to study employment for persons with severe disabilities