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About Us

Our work focuses on helping K-12 schools become future-oriented organizations that build upon their traditional strengths to better serve the students of today and tomorrow.

As part of the College of Education, we Think and Do by inviting and challenging others to innovate with us. Informed by cutting-edge research and in collaboration with partners in education, government and private industries, we empower educators and their students to be forward-thinking learners and leaders. In this manner, we contribute to the social and economic well being of North Carolina and help our schools meet the challenges of preparing students for the global workforce.

Our work is consistent with both the research and land-grant outreach mission of NC State University and its College of Education. We are located on NC State’s Centennial Campus, where university, corporate and government organizations partner with faculty and students in a highly innovative environment.

We are proud to be named in honor of William Friday, former president of the University of North Carolina system, and his wife, Ida, who were passionate advocates and leaders in education for over 50 years.

Our Vision

All learners are prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Our Mission

Advancing K-12 education through innovation in teaching, learning and leadership, we bring together students, teachers, researchers, policymakers and educational professionals to foster collaborations that improve education for all learners.

How We Think and Do

In our work we connect thought and action. We think creatively and act thoughtfully to improve educational outcomes for all learners. Much of our work results in tangible and impactful products, services, and applications. We educate in order to empower policy makers, educators and learners. We innovate to transform ideas into actions. We inspire and motivate others to promote systemic change.

We think and do in order to:

  • EDUCATE by conducting professional learning, research and evaluation.
  • INNOVATE by designing supports, tools and structures for educational change.
  • INSPIRE by convening and catalyzing stakeholders to inform standards, policy and practice.

Our Impact

Our work is shaped by a theory of change. This framework is how we gauge milestones of progress in three significant areas of impact:

To learn more about how our work is organized, see our list of project teams.

Our Culture

We are self-starters who are mission driven with a passion for purposeful educational innovation and cultivating equity-mindedness for systemic change. We value collaboration and celebrate doing good work that supports educators and students. No idea is too big, too small, or too complex — we’ll take it on. We take our work seriously, placing people and ideas at the center of everything we do.

Our Partnership with Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School

Over 20 years ago, the initial vision for Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School (CCMMS) emerged from an idea to bring Triangle school systems closer together. A school on NC State’s campus connected to a research institute offered a way to connect middle school students to professors and college students and deliver innovative teaching and learning strategies into the Wake County Public School System. Today, CCMMS, the Friday Institute and the NC State College of Education have a shared commitment to learners, both students and educators, and have partnered on dozens of projects.

Strategic Plan

2021 Strategic Plan
2018 Strategic Plan
2010 Strategic Plan

Annual Reports

2022-2023 Annual Report

2020-2022 Biennial Report

Land Acknowledgement

NC State University is a land-grant institution for the people of North Carolina and respectfully acknowledges that the lands within and surrounding present-day Raleigh are the traditional homelands and gathering places of many Indigenous peoples, including eight federally and state-recognized tribes: Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony and Waccamaw Siouan. We share an ongoing responsibility to safeguard these lands and to respect the sovereignty of the tribes and Indigenous nations residing in North Carolina. NC State honors all Indigenous peoples who have been and continue to be an integral part of our university’s history and culture.