The California State University Center to Close the Opportunity Gap opened last month at Cal State Long Beach. Officials unveiled the center during a virtual event celebrating the grand opening.
The center is a system-wide effort to study and eliminate opportunity gaps at all levels of education. The event featured remarks from state Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, who authored a bill to establish the center. Also speaking were Joe Johnson, executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation at San Diego State University, and Loren J. Blanchard, CSU executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
“This center will work to address and close equity gaps for our students from their very first school years,” Blanchard said. “In collaboration with our K-12 partners, the CCOG will accomplish three things. One, strengthen professional preparation of educators, specialists and administrators. Two, conduct original research. And three, disseminate tools and resources.”
In partnership with San Diego State University, Cal State Fullerton and San Jose State University, the center at CSULB will focus on identifying and refining proven strategies to eliminate equity gaps at all levels of education and will share resources, tools and evidencebased best practices with colleges of education across the CSU and with education partners across California.
The Long Beach Unified School District and CSULB have partnered for many years on preparing educators to meet the demands of urban classrooms. The new center will serve as a key resource for aspiring and practicing educators in Long Beach and beyond. CSU's teacher preparation program is the largest in the state and among the largest in the nation.
The center’s goals further include:
- Providing resources and assistance to local educational agencies to eliminate gaps in academic achievement among subgroups of K-12 students as identified on the state Department of Education’s California School Dashboard, including gaps by race, ethnicity, income, English learner and disability status;
- Providing professional educator preparation throughout the CSU and serving as a resource for local educational agencies to close achievement gaps;
- Creating a statewide network by inviting additional CSU campuses and their education partners to establish regional networks to incorporate and disseminate best practices.
CSULB was chosen through a highly competitive request for proposals and committee review process. Funding comes from a one-time state allocation of $3 million.