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The center was established in 2008 within the College of Education and CSUF community with the leadership of the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Claire Cavallaro, Professor of Educational Leadership and current Director of C-REAL, Dr. Dawn Person and Associate Dean of the College of the Art, Dr. Arnold Holland. Drs. Cavallaro and Person began initial conversations about the formation of the center in early 2008 with the intent of creating a stronger research culture to support the newly established Ed.D. program. Initially, the center began with faculty and student volunteers who were motivated to support underserved communities. The following year, the first group of student research assistants were hired. The center began training students to develop them into scholar-research-practitioners. Initial research projects examined the impact of shifting demographics on school enrollment changes, student achievement, and teacher quality.

Now, every semester the center employs over 15 research assistants and provides opportunities for fieldwork and internship experiences. Further, the center not only supports doctoral research, but also has expanded to support faculty as well as CSUF units and local agencies. The Center contributes to the University and College of Education mission by engaging in activities to improve educational efforts, programs, and services for the surrounding communities so that schools at all levels will have the opportunity to provide empirically grounded practice.

Mission Statement

C-REAL is a data-driven, solution-focused interdisciplinary research center where PK-20 educational institutions in the Orange and Los Angeles Counties partner with the College of Education at California State University, Fullerton to identify and respond to local problems and issues in educational institutions. Both short and long term solutions are used to address the complex challenges of education specific to educational leadership, practice, policy, and change.

Research Colloquium Series

  1. Round Table Hot Topic Discussion Series
  2. Research Symposium
  3. Local and International Professional Development Partnerships

Projects address local educational challenges in:

  • Student achievement
  • Teacher quality
  • School Climate
  • Educational leadership
  • Promotion of a college-going culture
  • College level student persistence
  • STEM major and  career persistence



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Page updated: February 8, 2016