The University of California, Irvine embarked on an ambitious effort to recruit faculty through the UCI High Impact Hire Initiative, to bring together clusters of faculty in research areas that are critical to the needs of the university and nation. We recruited faculty in education, psychology, cognitive science, sociology, and related disciplines who work together to address a significant society challenge: Creating opportunity for children living in poverty through effective educational interventions. Faculty hired in the Center for Creating Opportunities through Education (CCOE) work on innovative, research-based approaches to transform the classroom learning experiences of low-income children with focus on programs and interventions that include the use of technology and support gains in foundational literacy and mathematical skills in pre-school and early elementary grades – the time when children’s achievement gains are the largest.
Our mission is to create economic mobility for disadvantaged children, which requires
improving the quality of students’ daily school-based learning experiences. Enriching these
experiences involves dynamic and complex interactions among people and their environments.
High-quality teaching-learning experiences not only depend on teachers who know the scientific and conceptual underpinnings of effective instruction, but also on the close coordination between teacher and student – with the teacher understanding both individual learning needs and effective instructional approaches to meet these learning needs. Managing the demands inherent in such situations is overwhelming under the best of circumstances; it is even more challenging in schools with minimal resources and students with widely varying skills. The members of the CCOE will work together to meet these challenges.