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UC Center to Assess Education Initiatives

December 8, 2009

UC Merced will be among the seven University of California
campuses studying the effectiveness of national, state and UC
education initiatives.

“California often spends billions of dollars on educational
programs with little or no mandate to evaluate the effects of that
investment,” UC Merced psychological sciences Professor

William Shadish
said.

The University of California Educational Evaluation Center
(UCEC) includes the Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced,
San Diego and Santa Barbara campuses. The multidisciplinary team
pulls together experts in economics, psychology, education,
psychometrics and evaluation methodology. Shadish serves as the
campus director for UC Merced.

The center will use a $2.2 million grant for the next
four-and-a-half years. The funding begins Jan. 1, and the center
will become self-sustaining by 2014 by winning contracts to
evaluate other programs.

The seven campus directors will meet in February in Santa
Barbara to plan out their first projects. The center’s other plans
include graduate student evaluation training, grant writing support
and developing cutting-edge evaluation methods.

“UC can play a bigger role in educational evaluations at both
the state and national level,” Shadish said. “UCEC will help make
that happen.”