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Graduate School of Education & Information Studies Funding Opportunity

Part of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, the UC Accord announces a call for proposals in categories related to access to higher education, particularly for underrepresented students.

UC ACCORD—The All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity—announces a call for proposals in several categories. UC ACCORD was established to engage UC scholars in research that will support and inform Californians’ efforts to replace prevailing patterns of schooling inequality and disparities in access to higher education with equitable conditions and outcomes for children from all sectors of our diverse state. UC ACCORD is interested in increasing the number of graduate students and faculty within the UC system who are working in areas that inform its goals. It also supports scholars who have been working in this area for whom additional funding can support a better connection with UC ACCORD activities.

While UC ACCORD will consider all research proposals that are consistent with the goal of making a college education possible for all of California’s students, and increasing diversity within its institutions of higher education, this call focuses on three research categories.

1) Critical transitions in the lives of underrepresented students. There are critical transitions in the lives of all students as they move from family to school, elementary to middle to high school to college, and from school to work. These transitions are especially critical in the lives of low income and underrepresented students. Research is needed to describe these transitions and to test interventions that can facilitate smoother movement from one stage to another such that students’ chances of gaining access to higher education are enhanced.

2) Critical conditions for enhancing college opportunities for underrepresented students. UC ACCORD has identified several conditions that promote college-going among all youth, but that are especially important to develop within the schools and communities of underrepresented students. While we believe that these conditions are key to creating opportunity for students, we do not yet know how to produce these conditions across all schools and communities. Research that describes and analyzes conditions and resources, and tests interventions is necessary to further our goal of making college possible for every student. These conditions are:

    * Safe School Environments

    * A College-Going School Culture

    * A Rigorous Academic Curriculum

    * Access to Qualified Teachers

    * Intensive Academic and Social Supports

    * Opportunities to Develop a Multi-Cultural College-Going Identity

    * Family-Neighborhood School Supports

3) Critical issues related to making higher education accessible to all Californian’s. The last few years have seen cutbacks in outreach and higher education funding throughout California, and an increased concern about the capacity of California's higher education system to accommodate all the students who seek admission to its four year colleges and universities. Moreover, to adhere to the California Master Plan of Higher Education’s mandate to educate the top 12.5% of California's high school graduates, UC admissions criteria have been further narrowed. And, while higher education policies have sought to shift more students to the community colleges, these institutions have not been funded at levels that allow them to adequately serve the students they are expected to educate. Given California's demographics and its heavy reliance on the community college system, especially by low income and students of color, these occurrences are virtually certain to exacerbate an already highly inequitable distribution of opportunity in the state. Therefore, UC ACCORD encourages proposals for research that focus on recent policies, demographic and fiscal circumstances, and other factors affecting the critical problem of equitable access to college in California and equitable distribution of opportunity within the post-secondary system.

ACCORD is also interested in the larger policy issues that affect these transitions and conditions. For example, the environment around college access is being shaped, in large part, by the impact of the new regime of test-based accountability on underrepresented students (e.g., the California High School Exit Exam, increasing emphasis on Advanced Placement courses, etc.). It is also being constrained by an era of limited resources. Scholars interested in investigating the impact of these and other relevant policy trends and issues are encouraged to propose work in this area.

Because access to college is affected by factors far beyond schools, UC ACCORD encourages proposals from scholars in disciplines and professional schools outside education, as well from scholars within the education departments and schools.

UC ACCORD is offering the following opportunities to join the UC ACCORD research community, fundable as early as July 1, 2007. The areas of funding may be augmented or replaced by other types of funding in the coming years.

For more information on application procedures, please visit the following link:

UCLA International Institute