Dr. Joseph Kretovics,
Project Director, GEAR UP

Joseph Kretovics, Ph.D. has worked as a teacher, teacher educator, and school reformer for more than 28 years. He is currently Professor of Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology, a Senior Researcher for the Merze Tate Center for Research on School Reform, the Director of the GEAR UP Learning Centers, and the Executive Director of the Midwest Educational Reform Consortium (MERC) at Western Michigan University. MERC is a collaborative partnership to restructure schools and reform teacher education involving universities, school districts, communities, businesses, cultural centers, and social service agencies from three mid-western states. As part of MERC, the GEAR UP Learning Centers are designed to help children of poverty enroll and succeed in post-secondary education through restructuring schools, establishing a comprehensive program of staff development, providing support for students/families, and engaging the local communities. Dr. Kretovics also served as the Chairperson of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at WMU. In addition, Dr. Kretovics currently serves on the national advisory boards for the Small Schools Workshop (Chicago) and Foundations Inc. (Philadelphia), and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Legacy Scholars program in Battle Creek, Michigan. 

Previously, Dr Kretovics served for five years as Associate Professor and Founding Director of the North Carolina Model Clinical Teaching Network (MCTN) at the University of North Carolina and for seven years as Associate Professor of Education at the University of Toledo.  The MCTN is a consortium of 12 universities and 68 school districts throughout North Carolina helping restructure teacher education and making teacher preparation more field-based. At the University of Toledo, Dr. Kretovics developed and directed the Scott High Accelerated Program in Education (SHAPE).  SHAPE is a model of urban school restructuring that focuses on teacher empowerment, professional development, accelerated learning, and structural reorganization to improve the academic achievement and life chances of students placed at risk. SHAPE received numerous national, state and local awards including two public television (PBS) specials. 

Dr. Kretovics’ research focuses on urban education, children placed at-risk, school reform, the hidden curriculum, and cultural studies. His articles have appeared in Phi Delta Kappan, Journal of Education, Educational Horizons, and Journal of Curriculum and Supervision. He has also co-authored two books, Transforming Urban Education (1994) and All Children Can Learn: The Unmet Promise (1995).