Effective Monday, Sept. 20, the Graduate School of Education will officially become the School of Education, or SOE. The new name will reflect the scope of the school’s research, community engagement, and academic programs, specifically the undergraduate degree program, which was approved in 2017 and now accounts for 60% of the school’s enrollment.
The simple name change was approved at the University of California-system level in August.
“For more than 50 years, our school has advanced educational research and policy through our partnerships and graduate programs, and has produced expert teachers,” said Interim Dean Louie F. Rodriguez. “Now, with our burgeoning undergraduate programs, this name change will be more inclusive of our students, and better reflect the impact we are making across education, and within our communities. We look forward to this next chapter in our school’s history.”
In 1958, the teacher education program was established in the College of Letters and Sciences, now the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and in 1967 the Master of Arts degree in Education was approved. In 1968, the School of Education was formally founded as its own entity, and two years later the Ph.D. in Education was approved. The school was renamed the Graduate School of Education in 2000, and over the next two decades, a number of centers and programs blossomed, including the school psychology Ph.D. program, which is the only American Psychological Association-accredited doctoral program in Southern California.
In 2017, the undergraduate major was launched, and now includes two education minors, including the UC’s only athletic leadership minor program.
"UCR is a world-class university prioritizing research experience and public service in all levels of education. In line with that mission, the School of Education's degree programs amplify student success through community-engaged, research-based learning. The school's name is now fully inclusive of all the top-tier programming they have to offer,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Watkins.
The School of Education is ranked No. 55 in the U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Grad School rankings, up 24 spots from No. 79 from the previous year.
Over the past five years, SOE faculty were awarded $21.1 million in funded research projects, including in the past year external funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, McCormick Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Spencer Foundation.
According to a 2020 University of California Office of the President report, SOE boasts the most diverse faculty of all education schools in the UC system, and includes six recent recipients of the prestigious American Educational Research Association, or AERA, awards.
SOE is home to several centers and initiatives including the UC’s first autism research center, SEARCH Family Autism Center, UCR Civic Engagement Research Group, Project Moving Forward, UCR AP Readiness, and Center for Transformative Education.
Julie Porter is director of marketing and communications for the School of Education.