The mission of the University of Iowa Cooperating Schools Program is to provide researchers information on Iowa public school districts and provide recommended procedures/documents to aid in obtaining a statement of cooperation from Iowa K-12 public schools.

General Information

The University of Iowa Cooperating Schools Program (CSP) is a university-wide service to facilitate the placement of research projects conducted by faculty, staff, and students in public schools throughout Iowa. The purpose of the CSP is to provide information needed to obtain permission to conduct research in Iowa schools and school districts. All University of Iowa personnel (faculty, staff, and students) who wish to conduct research or projects involving students, their families, and/or staff of K-12 schools in Iowa are required to first obtain permission through the appropriate K-12 administrator(s). This requirement was established at the request of school administrators charged with the responsibility of approving research projects in their schools.

Assistance in Identifying Potential Schools

The CSP web site provides contact information for all public school districts in Iowa and their willingness to participate in research projects with personnel at the University of Iowa. Contact information and research participation information is updated annually.

Contact information can be located in the Iowa Educational Directory.

The Cooperating Schools Program is available to assist you as you prepare to conduct your research.

Recommended Procedures

The following procedures should be followed when submitting a project for approval from an Iowa school district. CSP staff are available to answer questions researchers may have with regard to the approval-seeking process and/or specific Iowa schools or school districts.

  1. University policy directs that all research projects involving human subjects which are conducted under the auspices of the University are subject to IRB (Institutional Review Board) review. This is to insure the protection of the rights and welfare of the individuals who are participating. For more information, contact the Human Subjects Office, 300 CMAB, 335-6564.
  2. For projects requiring IRB oversight, an informed consent document must be used. Templates and instructions for completing the form can be downloaded from the Human Subjects Office Application Forms and Consent Templates web page. Projects that are determined to be exempt from IRB oversight do not need to include an informed consent document. For more information, contact the Human Subjects Office, 300 CMAB, 335-6564.
  3. No data is to be collected until the researcher obtains formal approval for the project from the appropriate school district administrator and final approval has been received by the Human Subjects Office. However, informal contact may be made with school or school district personnel (but not students) in order to determine interest in assisting with the research or project.   District Administrators do not assist with locating project participants such as staff and students.
  4. Recommended materials to submit to the school district administrator(s)
  5. The researcher should send a cover letter and materials listed in #4 to the appropriate school administrator(s). No data is to be collected until approval is received from the school administrator(s) and from the Human Subjects Office.
  6. In cases where the school administrator approves the project, it is the responsibility of the researcher to contact the school district office and/or specific school personnel to make all logistical arrangements related to the project.
  7. In cases where a school administrator rejects a project, the researcher may choose to obtain approval from another school or school district. In such cases, the researcher should refer to the CSP Web site for information to assist in identifying other potential schools/school districts.

Contact Us

Teresa Garringer
Cooperating Schools Program
N438 Lindquist Center
The University of Iowa
College of Education
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1529

Phone: 319-335-6289

Fax: 319-335-6004