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Press Release for Monday, September 10, 2012

UNF Announces Creation of a Center for Urban Education and Policy

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 


Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 

The College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) at the University of North Florida announces the creation of a Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP), which would benefit the collective knowledge of the education profession and address urgent education-related needs in the Jacksonville community. 


Continued improvement of the Northeast Florida’s educational system is on everyone’s mind, and there is a growing recognition that the complexity of educational issues calls for broad cross-sector collaborations in order to succeed. COEHS has made a commitment to deepen its partnership with the community and assume a stronger leadership and policy development role by creating the Center for Urban Education and Policy. By coming together in creative ways, the University can maximize the impact of the many excellent resources available in the community to improve educational opportunities and outcomes.  


“The Center for Urban Education and Policy is a bold step for UNF and the College of Education and Human Services,” said Dr. Larry Daniel, dean of the COEHS. “This new Center will allow others to access our innovative work in urban education and foster deeper collaborations at the regional as well as the national levels.” 


UNF’s COEHS already has nationally and regionally acclaimed urban education programs and research initiatives. While all COEHS departments have an urban focus and are doing inventive, meaningful work, there is limited capacity for organizing this information and effectively disseminating it to educational leaders. The creation of the CUEP will bring the organizational structure needed to coordinate and enhance existing efforts while providing the leadership that can move the College’s community impact to the next level. 


Funding for Center projects will come from grants and other fund-raising activities. The COEHS plans to use income from the Robinson Eminent Scholar Endowment Fund at UNF, established by the late Fred Schultz, to provide three years of seed money to establish the Center, provide administrative support and hire a project director. The director will be responsible for developing the infrastructure necessary for launching the Center, including website creation, mapping of the COEHS and community assets, strategic planning and community partnership development. The project director will also coordinate fund development efforts to enable the recruitment of a nationally recognized leader in urban education to serve as the executive director.  


Establishing this Center will enhance COEHS’ ability to leverage existing programs and bring new resources to bear on the challenges facing urban schools by attracting new sources of funding; increasing the visibility and impact of COEHS research initiatives; allowing for the expansion of creative urban-based programs; creating a new sense of partnership with community stakeholders; and developing centralized and easily accessible methods for sharing the College’s research and knowledge with a broad audience. 


The COEHS offers a variety of programs to serve educational professionals, with undergraduate programs in fields such as special education, elementary education and secondary education. The College has selected undergraduate programs for non-teaching professionals in areas such as sport management, deaf studies and American Sign Language/English Interpreting, as well as master’s programs in elementary and secondary education, special education, counseling and educational leadership. Additionally, there is a doctoral program in educational leadership. 


          For more information about the Center for Urban Education and Policy, contact the College of Education and Human Services Dean’s Office at (904) 620-2520 or visit .