Occupational Research Group College of Education The University of Georgia UGA COE Resources & Services Research & External Affairs COeNews COE Events COE Departments & Directories COE Admissions COE Academic Programs About the COE About the COE
Occupational Research Group
ORG Home

About ORG

Research Projects and Reports


Resource Links


About ORG

Welcome to the Occupational Research Group. We are a research and service branch of the College of Education at The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. The Occupational Research Group provides educational research, curriculum development, and program evaluation services at the state, national, and international level.

Dr. Dorothy Harnish, Associate Research Scientist and Co-Director, Occupational Research Group

Dr. Richard L. Lynch, Professor and Co-Director, ORG


Our mission is to work collaboratively with state, national, and international agencies in the development and continuous improvement of education, focusing on workforce preparation, lifelong learning, and connections between education and economic development. We conduct applied research and evaluation activities and provide curriculum development, technical assistance, program evaluation, and information analysis services to a broad audience of educational decisionmakers and practitioners. Our research intent is to provide a knowledge base for educational practitioners and policy makers to assist them in understanding complex issues and making recommendations for actions.

Our approach to research is collaborative, client-centered, and interdisciplinary, and uses multiple modes of inquiry. We actively seek partnerships with schools, state agencies, and other organizations interested in collaborating on the design and conduct of research into critical issues in Georgia, with a focus on preparing a globally competitive, solidly educated, and flexible workforce appropriate for the 21st century.

Staffing and Resources

Our research, development, and evaluation activities are conducted by full- and part-time professional staff of the Occupational Research Group, working cooperatively with diverse, nationally recognized faculty members and consultants at the University of Georgia and elsewhere.

ORG program specialists and faculty have professional backgrounds and expertise in educational practice, industry applications, educational research, curriculum development, and evaluation assessment. University administrators, faculty, and graduate students work as research associates, technical consultants, and project team leaders, providing research design expertise and support for ORG projects.

Funding sources include university contracts, grants, and agreements with state, national, and international education agencies and other client organizations.


  • Research and Evaluation
    • Focus group, survey, case study, on-site observation, experimental, and interview research and evaluation on topics related to educational change and preparation for work
  • Review, synthesis, and reporting of literature on education and work force issues
  • Collection, analysis, and reporting of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Curriculum Development
    • Development, evaluation, and revision of secondary and post secondary occupational/technical curricula programs, and instructional materials responsive to the needs of business and industry and the appropriate educational level of the learner.
    • Identification of occupational skill standards for career and technical education, based on business and industry input
  • Information Dissemination
    • Creation of research briefs, newsletters, publications, and presentation software summarizing critical issues in education and the workforce
    • Use of computer networks and electronic communications for database management and distribution of information

Areas of Expanding Involvement

  • Appropriate Assessment of Student Skills and Knowledge
  • Business and Industry Partnerships with Education
  • Connections between Learning and the Workplace
  • Contextual Teaching & Learning
  • Distance Learning and Alternative Educational Delivery Systems
  • Evaluation of School Improvement Initiatives
  • Implications of Technology for Work and Learning
  • Industry-driven Occupational Skill Standards
  • Integration of Academic and Technical Education
  • Multicultural Diversity Issues in Education and the Workplace
  • Professional Development of Educators
  • Program Planning and Development for Technical Education
  • Responses to At-Risk Learners
  • School-to-Work Transition Models and Issues
  • Situated Learning for Problem-Solving Skills
  • Tech Prep, Youth Apprenticeship, Cooperative Education
  • Work-based Learning Models
  • Work Ethics and Work Attitudes
  • Workforce and Workplace Issues and Trends
  COE photo


  Building the New Learning Environment