Belize Collage

UT Tyler and Belize

Partnerships within the College of Education & Psychology

About Us

The College of Education & Psychology is devoted to education in East Texas and beyond. Throughout the years, UT Tyler and Belize have worked together to further educational opportunities and advancements in Belize through study abroad opportunities, professional development, research, and through specific Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs).

Current Projects

    • Memorandums of Understanding
    • Research Center for Belizean Studies (RCBS)
      • The RCBS was established to support U.S. scholars in their efforts to conduct research in Belize. In collaboration with COBEC, the University of Belize and Galen University, the RCBS will work to match U.S. scholars' expertise with the interests of Belize scholars. The RCBS will house a collection of publications and manuscripts related to Belizean Studies. For more information about this initiative, please contact Dr. Oliveras at
      • Scholarworks
    • CARSI
      • Dr. Oliveras received a Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) grant ($241,502) to fund the Instructional SuperVision for Educational Excellence in Belize (i-SEE Belize) project.  Through the i-SEE Belize project, in collaboration with the Belize Ministry of Education, Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College, and The University of Belize – Toledo, The University of Texas at Tyler faculty will support efforts to enhance the education of children in Toledo and Stann Creek through the increase of educational capacity of teachers and supervisors in the districts. Through a trainer of trainers model, participating Belize field supervisors, education instructors and principals will develop their instructional skills with the goal of increasing student achievement throughout Belize.
      • As part of the 2-year CARSI Grant, The University of Texas at Tyler in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology in Belize launched the start of a series of teacher training sessions in Dangriga Town:
      • Belize press release: 
    • Study Abroad
      • Students in the School of Education have the oppurtunity to travel and study abroad in Belize to receive international experiences that help broaden their scope of education, service, and research. 
    • Belize Principals in Texas
      • Since the fall of 2015, Dr. Hickey and the School of Education faculty have hosted Belize principals in Texas. While in Texas, the principals visit K-12 schools and universities as professional learning experiences. For more information about this initiative, please contact Dr. Hickey at
    • The Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC)
      • UT Tyler became a COBEC member institution in February 2019. 

      • COBEC was established in the late 1980s to link post-secondary educational institutions in Belize and other countries for the purpose of strengthening and expanding their capabilities in higher education. 

      • In 2020, the College of Education and Psychology, under the leadership of Dean Hickey and Dr. Oliveras, hosted the Summer 2020 COBEC Conference. The conference was the first virtual COBEC conference, and the conference with the highest attendance ever, with over 140 registered participants from U.S. and Belize institutions.

      • As part of the UT Tyler’s work with COBEC, we are supporting the research committee, and collaborating with COBEC institutions to launch the Research Center for Belizean Studies.

      • In 2021, the College of Education and Psychology hosted the Summer 2021 COBEC Conference.

      • Dr. Wes Hickey, Dean of the College of Education and Psychology at UT Tyler was elected COBEC U.S. Co-Chair at the 2021 Conference. 
      • Our CARSI team visited the COBEC Belize Institutions during the Summer of 2021. They visited Independence JC, Centro Escolar Mexico & SC Ecumenical JC, and visited/spent time with the deans from Centro Escolar Mexico JC, San Pedro JC, Muffles JC & Wesley JC.

Research Published

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y., Hickey, W. D., & Jones, J. S. (2020). Leadership in rural Central American villages. In J. O’Connor (Ed.) Strategic Leadership in PK-12 Settings (pp. 53-64). Beaumont: Lamar University.
  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y., Hickey, W. D. & Neel, J. (2019). The impact of short-term study abroad on teachers’ self-efficacy and understanding of diversity. In L. Hemmer, P. Robertson, J. Sanders, & A. Mejia (Eds.) In Crossing Boundaries/Crossing Borders: Narratives of Intercultural Experiences (pp. 57-75). Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. & Hickey, W. D. (2019). Educational leadership in a Mayan village in southern Belize: Challenges faced by a Mayan woman principal. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 1-21. 
  • Hickey, W. D. (2015). Principal perceptions of strategies to increase effectiveness of educational non-governmental organizations in southern Belize. International Journal of Education and Social Science, 2(11), 18-24.
  • Hickey, W. D., Sherman, R., Vaughn, V., & Rutledge, B. (2014). Ethnography of educational leadership in Belize. In S. Harris & J. R. Mixon (Eds.), Building cultural community through global educational leadership (pp. 1-9). Ypsilanti, MI: NCPEA Press. 
  • Hickey, W. D., & Sherman, R. (2013). Readiness for active student engagement: Principals’ perceptions related to the challenges of hands-on activities in a district of Belize. Caribbean Teaching Scholar, 3(2), 111-120.
  • Hickey, W. D., Achtem, J. M., & Nuner, J. (2012). International partnerships: A model for educational organizations. School Leadership Review, 7(1), 47-57.
  • Hickey, W. D., Gill, P., Nuner, J., & Ljungdahl, R. (2011). Educational computer use in the schools of southern Belize. National Social Science Technology Journal, 1(3).
  • Hickey, W. D., Gill, P., & Amonett, C. (2011). A scholar-practitioner approach to international mentoring through collaborative partnerships. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 5(3), 225-236.  
  • Hickey, W. D., Gill, P., & Brown, L. (2011). Scholar practitioner inquiry as international action research: Surveying leadership perceptions of principals in the Toledo district of Belize. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 5(1), 69-81.
  • Hickey, W. D., & Gill, P. (2011). Analyzing principal perceptions of educational purpose in southern Belize through scholar-practitioner research. National Social Science Journal, 36(1), 61-67.

Research Presentations

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. & Hickey, W. (2019). Short-term study abroad and the influence on aspiring principals’ perspectives about diversity and educational issues. 2019 University Council for Educational Administration 33rd Annual Convention.

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. (2019). Rethinking pre-service teachers’ supervision in Belize. 2019 Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision Annual Conference. Augusta, GA.

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. & Hickey, W. (2019). The principalship in rural Central America: Leadership beyond the schoolhouse. 2019 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Toronto, Canada.

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. & Hickey, W. (2018). Film: Transforming education in Belize. UCEA 6th Annual Film Festival. Houston, TX.

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. (2017). Teaching principals in rural Belize: What can we learn from their practices as instructional supervisors? Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision Annual Conference. Austin, TX.

  • Hickey, W. D., Vaughn, V., Sherman, R., & Rutledge, B. (2014). Global Perspectives: Comparison of Administrative Roles Between Countries. Paper presented at TCPEA/TASA Mid-Winter Conference in Austin, TX.

Service & Professional Development

  • Hickey, W. (2014 - Present). Chair, Teachers for a Better Belize, a non-governmental organization that provides support to schools in the southern region of Belize. 

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. (2020-Present). U.S. Chair, Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation Study Abroad Committee.

  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. & Hickey, W. (2020). Hosts, Summer 2020 Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation Conference Planning Committee. 

    • College of Education & Psychology Summer 2020 COBEC Presentations  

      • Oliveras-Ortiz, Garbutt, J. & Vairez, M. U.S. - Belize Partnerships Series: A Partnership to Enhance Teacher Preparation in Belize.

      • Duncan, M. - Librarian Series: Library Discovery Systems. 

      • Delello, J. - Innovative Tools for Active Online Learning.

      • Berman, L.A. & Willis, K. - Data-Driven Decision Making for Quality Assurance.

      • Hickey, W., Babb, C., & Aird, C.E. - Moving Forward after a Global Crisis: Implications of COVID-19.

      • Holm, J., & Avalos, M. – Navigating Mental Health Needs Following a Global Pandemic.

      • Zolkoski, S. – Best Practices for Online Learning.

    • School of Education Online Instruction Webinars for the University of Belize Faculty

      • Hickey, W. (May, 2020). Online Customer Service.

      • Consalvo, A. (May, 2020). Online Assessments. 

      • Consalvo, A. & Delello, J. (May, 2020). Online Assessment Platforms.

      • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. (May, 2020). The Principles of Online Learning.

      • Zolkoski, S. (May, 2020). Recording Instructional Videos.

Professsional Development Sessions for Teachers

  • Allen, K., and Hayes, A. (2021). Managing Anxiety and Stress in the Workplace.
  • Lamb, J. (2018). Hands-On Math. 2018-2019 Belize Ministry of Education Toledo District Continuing Professional Development. Punta Gorda, Belize.
  • Hickey, W. & Oliveras-Ortiz, Y. (2018). Improving Student Learning through Instructional Coaching. 2018-2019 Belize Ministry of Education Toledo District Continuing Professional Development. Punta Gorda, Belize.

  • Mokhtari, K. (2018). Literacy Development. 2018-2019 Belize Ministry of Education Toledo District Continuing Professional Development. Punta Gorda, Belize.
  • Oliveras-Ortiz, Y., Hines, B. & Light, A. (2018). Science through Project-Based Learning. 2018-2019 Belize Ministry of Education Toledo District Continuing Professional Development. Punta Gorda, Belize.