Midwest Comprehensive Center


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The Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) at American Institutes for Research (AIR), funded through a U.S. Department of Education grant since October 2012, provides technical assistance for the state education agencies (SEAs) of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. MWCC services focus on building capacity and providing support for SEAs, districts, and schools to improve student outcomes. MWCC is experienced in engaging stakeholders in policy design and implementation, providing research and content expertise, and planning for high-quality implementation and sustainability.

Technical Assistance Aligned With Federal Priorities
Technical assistance is tailored to each state’s individual needs while aligning with U.S. Department of Education priorities. MWCC staff and regional SEA leaders work together to develop an annual scope of work that also aligns with U.S. Department of Education priorities.

MWCC collaborates with the network of federal technical assistance providers—seven national content centers and the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest—to connect state education agencies with current research and high-quality resources.

Stakeholder Engagement
MWCC provides expertise in bringing together internal and external stakeholders to offer input on policy design and implementation. MWCC facilitates groups of diverse stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes and synthesizes stakeholder input into clear and actionable recommendations. MWCC has helped state education agencies convene task forces, advisory groups, and cross-division teams in a number of content areas.

Research and Content Expertise
MWCC offers expertise in identifying and compiling relevant data and information, and in translating complex information into accessible resources. MWCC’s expertise in using evidence and research to inform decision making and deep content knowledge enables MWCC to provide strategic guidance in the development of initiatives.

Implementation and Sustainability
MWCC supports initiative and policy implementation by developing a course of action. MWCC leads processes to help state education agencies, districts, and schools undertake specific tasks and achieve the outcomes outlined in the course of action, assess progress, and document lessons learned to inform sustainability. MWCC provides support in developing guidance, training, tools, and other resources key to successfully implementing and sustaining initiatives.


Alicia Garcia, Director
Lisa Shimmel and Taishya Adams, Co-Deputy Directors

TA Providers email


Regions Served


States Served


Level of Support


Specialty Area

Alternative Routes to Certification
Career and Technical Education
Early Childhood Educators
Early Childhood Leadership
Education Leadership
Educator Effectiveness
Educator Preparation
Educator Retention
Evidence Based Practices
Family Engagement
Intensive Supports
Multi-tiered Systems of Support
Organizational Leadership
P-3 Systems (Prenatal to Grade 3)
Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS)
Response to Intervention
School Climate
Social and Emotional Learning
System Alignment
Teacher Mentoring and Induction

Primary Audience

State Education Agencies


Content Expertise
Convening Stakeholders