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Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education

The Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) is an educational research and development center at the Mary Frances Early College of Education.

Our Mission

Students work in a classroom

Using a multidimensional, cultural-historical framework focused on reducing academic achievement gaps while promoting strong bicultural identities and resilience for culturally and linguistically diverse students, CLASE provides:

  • Professional development and resources for P-12 educators
  • Outreach support through mentoring/tutoring
  • Program support in developing a pipeline to post-secondary education
  • Research to inform educators on ways to improve teaching and learning, especially those struggling in Georgia

As a recognized research and development center, CLASE engages in a variety of research, professional development, and outreach initiatives serving first- and second-generation, predominantly Latino, culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as their parents and educators, using a multidimensional, cultural-historical framework focused on reducing the academic achievement gap while promoting strong bicultural identities and resilience as means to support positive integration into the majority society.

Upcoming Dates

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Our Research

Research results used in the classroom

Research conducted by the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education has helped develop new pedagogies, change the understanding of cultural adaptation and learning, and investigate how first-generation students adapt to the United States.

Research topics include:

  • Instructional Conversation pedagogy
  • Cultural adaptation across cultures
  • Longitudinal immigration and education

Our research creates long-term, positive effects on education across the United States.

Learn More About Our Research

Professional Development for Educators

Teachers in a PD

Our professional development program is a direct outgrowth of CLASE’s research, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, to study the impacts of Instructional Conversation pedagogy on the academic success of English-language learners.

CLASE offers several professional development options for teachers, instructional coaches, and districts. Our professional development facilitators work with districts across Georgia, across the country, and internationally. Find out how our Instructional Conversation pedagogy can work for your classroom or district.

Learn More About Professional Development for Educators

Tutoring and Mentoring

The CLASE Tutoring and Mentoring program is an after-school enrichment program for third- to fifth-grade English learners that takes place twice a week at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School in Athens, Georgia. The program mobilizes volunteer tutors and mentors from The University of Georgia to work with kids to build their motivation and confidence as well as their academic achievement.

Working with students at Oglethorpe Elementary

Tutors give their time and knowledge to Latino and English language-learning children, and in return, they receive personal knowledge and understanding about the Athens Latino community. Our undergraduate and graduate volunteers act as role models while at the same time gaining valuable, real-world experience working with kids. Tutors help students with homework, work on reading skills, and play learning games.

Mentoring and tutoring also build bridges between University students and the Athens community, offering children a window into the possibilities made possible by education.

Learn More About Tutoring and Mentoring

Courses Taught by CLASE Faculty

Faculty members affiliated with CLASE lend their expertise to a variety of courses in the Mary Frances Early College of Education with a particular focus on issues relating to Latino students, culturally responsive pedagogies, and addressing the achievement gap. For full course details, please refer to the UGA Bulletin .

Topics covered by our courses cover a broad range of topics, but often touch on the following ideas:

Language and Language AcquisitionIn courses designed for both pre-service and in-service teachers, our faculty explore theory and practice underpinning instructional conversations, the scientific study of language, and the relationship between the study of language and other disciplines.
Issues in Latino EducationOur faculty teach courses that touch on statewide and national issues relating to Latino students in P-12 and postsecondary education, as well as the role of language and culture in forming gender differentiation in society.
The Achievement Gap and Social AchievementCourses offered by our faculty review the latest perspectives on learning, teaching, and human performance, including how learning environments and culturally responsive pedagogy can support learning.

Our History

The Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) was created in 2003 through a generous grant from the Goizueta Foundation, to support the educational success of the growing Latino population in Georgia. Housed within the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education, the Center contributes to the University’s combined missions of teaching, research, and outreach, with the specific goal of creating a P-16 pipeline of educational support for Latinos and all culturally and linguistically diverse students across the state.

Our Goals

CLASE aims to narrow the achievement gap of Latinx and other culturally and linguistically diverse students placed at risk due to poverty and language barriers and to improve the quality of education for all students (PreK-20) across Georgia. Our goals include:

  • To develop, pilot, and implement effective programs that can leverage federal, private, and state funding
  • To research and disseminate promising/best practices for the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students
  • To create and enhance partnerships to optimize the learning and social outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students

The CLASE Goizueta Foundation Graduate Assistants

Kimberly Resendiz Chavez

Ph.D. student in School Psychology

Jean Costa-Silva

Ph.D. candidate in Linguistics

Jacky Fuentes

Ph.D. candidate in Counseling Psychology

Frank Granados-Orozco

Ph.D. student in Philosophy

Diego Morgado Innocencio

M.Ed. student in Learning, Design and Technology

Dominique La Barrie

Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology

Lucia Quezada

Ph.D. student in Counseling Psychology

Undergraduate Assistants

Sunny Mathauer

Linguistics and International Affairs major

Leslie Velasquez

Health Promotion major

Instructional Coaches

Faculty and Staff

Rebecca K. Hixon
Associate Director of Program Development and Research
Paula J. Mellom
Interim Director
Shannon P. Rodriguez
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Jodi P. Weber
Associate Director of Professional Development

Contact Info

Interim Director: Paula J. Mellom
  • Phone: 706-542-3997
125 Aderhold Hall 110 Carlton Street Athens, Georgia 30602
© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602