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The Department of Education and Community Outreach (ECO) is an amalgam of three formerly independent units within UC San Diego Extension: pre-college; professional, parent, and community education; and programming for learners age 50 and over (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute/OLLI).

ECO attends to the complex and interconnected lifespan learning needs of diverse audiences across the globe, serving over 65,000 students per annum and steadfastly grounded in the research, teaching, and service mission of the University of California. Our commitment to the University’s maxim Fiat Lux (let there be light) drives ECO to illuminate educational pathways from preschool to post-retirement, focusing on individuals, schools, and communities wherever they may be.

Audiences benefit from over 400 online courses by expert faculty, practicing educators and industry professionals. Additional vehicles for dissemination and outreach include three dedicated television channels on the University of California Television (UCTV) pushed to various social media platforms.

Beyond traditional courses and programs, the department works with partners to develop custom-designed programs to attend to the unique educational needs of stakeholders. ECO is also charged with administrative oversight of the University of California Professional Development Institute (UCPDI), a system-wide center for applied research and scholarship in education across the lifespan.

As spiritual guardians of the Morrill Act that established the land grant university in the United States, we purposefully support under-resourced and underserved communities in ways that cultivate capacity and positive social capital. In these undertakings, we are guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the attendant 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proffered by the United Nations. Perspectives also inform our work on individual and civil liberties articulated by Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organization.

The Department of Education and Community Outreach works closely with local and state education agencies to develop a wide array of courses, certificates, and state-approved credentials designed to prepare educators for reflective practice in increasingly diverse classrooms, focusing on equity, excellence, and inclusion issues. ECO also engages entities within and outside the UC San Diego campus to provide cutting-edge programming to practitioners, administrators, parents, and community members locally and across the state.