History of CLASE
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. Now, the Center has become a recognized Research and Development center with multiple research, professional development and outreach initiatives serving the Latino community and P-20 educators.
Housed within the University of Georgia's College of Education, the Center's operations contribute to the University's combined missions of teaching, research, and outreach as they relate to the education of this new population. Cultural-historical theories of development drive the Center's current emphasis is on the socially affected nature of students' higher mental functions and emotion that plays the pivotal role in Latino underachievement in the New South. While the Center began with a focus on traditional English to Speakers of Other Languages pedagogical techniques, focus has shifted to an approach that benefits not only first generation immigrants and English-language learners, but also the increasing population of second and third generation Latinos in Georgia, who may not necessarily speak Spanish. CLASE engages and assists first and second generation, predominantly Latino, English-learning children as well as their parents and educators using a multidimensional 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.