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Message from the Director

A message from the director of the UCEC

Welcome to the University of California Educational Evaluation Center (UCEC).

As the educational challenges of today become more and more complex, our ability to identify, assess, and understand the impact of educational programs and practices must keep pace. The UCEC has as its core purpose the development, design, implementation, support, and dissemination of rigorous, relevant, and useful educational evaluations which will help us meet this challenge.

Rigorous evaluation has the potential to transform policy, improve practice, and promote more effective uses of scarce resources. Absent sound information about the effects of educational innovations, we are relegated to “leaps of faith” when it comes to how to best educate students and design interventions, programs, or policies. With our work at the UCEC we hope to move away from a “leap of faith” model, and toward a research-guided innovations approach that generates new knowledge and provides a sound basis for new approaches to educational practice.

The University of California has one of the greatest collections of intellectual capital ever amassed, and the UCEC has the ability to tap into this vital resource. With sites at seven of the ten UC campuses, and collaborators both inside and outside the UC willing to contribute to this endeavor, the Center has unprecedented access to the content and methodological expertise necessary to address any educational challenge imaginable. Our scope and commitment to sustainable knowledge generation sets us apart from many existing organizations that focus on programmatic evaluation, providing benefits beyond the short-term goals of any particular evaluation.

This Center also helps the University of California meet the goals of its “Educational Imperative”—to understand and help solve educational problems in the state, while simultaneously contributing to the educational mission of the UC. The UCEC will do this by developing and testing new research methods and by training students to perform sophisticated evaluations in “real world” situations.

We are excited about the opportunity that the Center represents and invite you to explore our website to consider how we may be able to collaborate. In addition, we welcome any questions and comments that you may have.

Thank you for your interest in the UCEC and we hope to hear from you soon.

Christina A. Christie
Director, UCEC