The UC Educational Evaluation Center (UCEC) has been awarded $332,745 over three years to implement a Summer Research and Graduate Admission Pathways program in partnership with the Department of Black Studies and Center for Black Studies Research at UC Santa Barbara and the College of Education at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida. “Connecting Networks: UCSB and FAMU” will support academic and co-curricular activities designed to train students in educational evaluation, prepare them for doctoral work, and encourage them to consider a UC graduate program by exposing them to the many opportunities and networks the UC has to offer. This program is one of only eleven proposals funded by the UC Office of the President’s University of California–Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative (UC–HBCU). Dr. John T. Yun and Dr. Patricia Marin serve as the co-Principal Investigators for this program.
A rigorous student selection process will begin in Fall 2011 to identify FAMU students (upper division undergraduates or MA students) for a 7-week Summer Program at UCSB in 2012. Each student will have an individualized research plan as well as a team of mentors to address his/her specific academic and professional interests. Summer Scholars will also have a wide-range of opportunities to develop research skills, expand their networks, and consider a future as a doctoral student on a UC campus.
“Our partnership with Florida A&M will enrich us immeasurably,” says Dean Jane Close Conoley of UCSB’s Gevirtz School. “I look forward to welcoming the first scholars from their excellent College of Education. Our goal to develop a cadre of educational researchers with state-of-the-art evaluation skills is timely. There is a critical national need for rigorous assessments of what contributes to solving pressing problems in the education of our nation’s children and youth.”
“I am very pleased that the UC Educational Evaluation Center was awarded this grant because the project builds on a collaborative model of learning across departments, schools, and universities that Black Studies has long advanced,” says Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart, Chair of the Department of Black Studies at UCSB. “Rather than a negative tool, evaluation emerges here an essential instrument of social justice and community enhancement. ‘Connecting Networks: UCSB and FAMU’ will not only train the next generation of educational scholars, but also foster educational innovation as students immerse themselves in Black Studies, the Gevirtz School of Education, and the FAMU College of Education as mutually enriching sites of knowledge production.”
The University of California continues to seek ways to attract and enroll scholars from historically excluded populations. At the graduate level, African Americans/Blacks are the most underrepresented group in UC graduate and professional programs in relation to their U.S. population. The five-year average (2005-2009) for enrollment of African Americans in UC academic doctoral programs is 2.4%. In an effort to improve the representation of African Americans/Blacks in its graduate programs, particularly its Ph.D. programs, the UC will invest in cultivating relationships and establishing programs with communities and institutions that produce African American graduates from high schools, undergraduate colleges, and universities as well as institutions producing graduates with master’s degrees. The UC will invest in such collaborations both to actively demonstrate the value placed on cultural and social diversity throughout its campuses and to make meaningful, sustained progress in addressing longstanding inequities in access to UC. The goal of the UC–HBCU Initiative is to increase the number of scholars from HBCUs enrolling in UC academic doctoral programs.
“We are delighted to collaborate with the University of California Educational Evaluation Center in this initiative,” says Dean Genniver C. Bell, College of Education, Florida A&M University. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and for both institutions to share knowledge and resources. The University of California is to be commended for its commitment to ‘addressing longstanding inequities.’ We are certain that our students are well prepared to meet the challenges as they participate in this prestigious program.”
The University of California Educational Evaluation Center utilizes the system-wide expertise of nationally-recognized scholars to address educational problems through the rigorous evaluation of potential educational solutions. Through these evaluations, the UCEC contributes to the knowledge base of effective policies and practices (PK–20 and beyond) with the goal of improving data use and decision-making. The combined experience of the UCEC Site Directors offers content and methodological expertise to successfully conduct national, state, and local educational evaluations, as well as provide training to those seeking to develop evaluation expertise.
[Patricia Marin and John T. Yun are available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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