Our collaboration with Samueli Academy leverages research to inform continuous improvement in policies and practices that support student success.
Samueli Academy is a STEM-focused high school that serves primarily low-income Latinx youth and operates a unique residential program for foster youth. The school also offers robust services to alumni to help ensure a smooth transition to college. Accordingly, our research centers on (1) equitable STEM pathways, (2) socioemotional development and academic success of foster youth, and (3) college persistence and attainment.
Collaboration between researchers and practitioners began at Samueli Academy before the school opened its doors in 2013. The past and present Deans of the UCI School of Education served on the school’s board to facilitate a close partnership that supports Samueli Academy’s goal of empowering marginalized youth.
A formal RPP began in 2017 with the arrival of Dean Arum, and since then, UCI researchers have developed close working relationships with school leadership and co-designed a robust data infrastructure. Each year, UCI conducts multiple surveys of students, parents, staff, and alumni, which are analyzed in tandem with school record data to answer pressing questions and inform decision-making of Samueli Academy administrators and teachers.
Our research projects have not only supported Samueli Academy’s success as one of the top high schools in Orange County, but multiple publications that have resulted from our empirical studies continue to contribute to the broader field of education.