Riviera campus 1917

Mission & History

Don & Marilyn Gevirtz and Chancellor Yang

Mission & History

Research and Practice for Excellence and Equity in Education

Our Vision
The Gevirtz School of Education (GGSE) will be a leader in addressing pressing social justice issues through interdisciplinary collaborations grounded in educational and applied psychological research, teaching, and service.

Our Mission

  1. To conductscholarlyinquiry into education and applied psychology, especially into community responses to the opportunities and challenges posed by individual, economic, linguistic, and cultural diversity in our multicultural society;
  2. To educate scholar researchers and scholar practitioners to address educational opportunities and challenges arising from diversity;
  3. To develop and maintain exemplary programs that serve as models for teaching, research, and service.

Our Values

  • Embrace our responsibility as a Minority–Serving Institution (MSI) to catalyze the strengths of diversity and address the challenges of our complex world.
  • Teach leaders who will help build equitable communities locally and globally.
  • Transform school and community– based systems to better serve vulnerable populations.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary and community partners to conduct impactful, respectful, equity–serving and community–engaged service and research.

Over a Century of Education and Growth

The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education has its roots in professional work. Santa Barbara State Normal School of Manual Arts and Home Economics was officially established in 1909 as a successor to institutions that traced their roots to the early 1890s. In 1917 the school added a program to prepare elementary school teachers, changing its name to Santa Barbara State Normal School. In the 1920s the school changed its name again, this time to Santa Barbara State Teachers College, and initiated a four-year general education program for teachers, conferring its first Bachelor of Arts degree in 1927. In succeeding years the programs of the college expanded rapidly, the curriculum became more comprehensive, and enrollments included larger numbers of students who did not wish to pursue careers in teaching. These events led to designation of the school as Santa Barbara State College in 1935.

The College took its place as a campus of the University of California in 1944. Within a decade, the University outgrew its facilities on the Riviera and moved to its present site, which had been a military base during World War II.

The School of Education was founded as a separate unit in 1961, followed by conversion to graduate-level status in 1967. 

In 2000 Ambassador Don L. and Mrs. Marilyn E. Gevirtz, longtime UC Santa Barbara supporters, made a $10 million commitment to support the excellence and visibility of the Graduate School of Education. To honor their generosity and dedication to promoting research and developing programs in education, the campus designated the School as The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.

In 2006, the Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology Program was recognized as a full-fledged department. The new department had been in the Department of Education in the Gevirtz Graduate School since 1970. It has been accredited by the American Psychology Association to provide combined-integrated training in the specialty areas of counseling, clinical, and school psychology since 1990. 

The School celebrated its Centennial in 2008-2009 with a series of events including the Gevirtz Centennial Lecture, delivered by Marian Wright Edelman, and by moving into a new, state-of-the-art, LEED-certified building solely dedicated to The Gevirtz School.