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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Urban Initiative

"It is not only about having a presence in our academic community. It is about making a difference in our actual community, outside the walls of the classroom. Thus, the core of the Urban Initiative is not just to serve but to actually change the conditions that cause the need to serve." - Dr. Anthony Collatos; Associate Professor of Education; Director of the Urban Parent Teacher Education Collaborative, and the Pat Lucas Center for Teacher Development.

The Urban Initiative of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) seeks to link community partners committed to understanding and addressing the mental health and educational issues of the underserved in Los Angeles and around the world. The aim of the Urban Initiative is to develop transformative solutions to social problems that have both a humanitarian value and are grounded in problem-oriented perspectives.

GSEP has a long tradition of engagement with its urban neighbors. For more than 50 years, we have been preparing teachers, administrators, and mental health workers for service in their communities. Building on that history of service, we developed the Urban Initiative to deepen the link between GSEP professional preparation programs, community partners, and the education and mental health needs of those in urban settings.

The unique structure of GSEP as a graduate school of both education and psychology affords the expertise in designing interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex urban problems in both the educational and mental health spheres.

The aim of the Urban Initiative is to address topics such as:

1. Multicultural Praxis

2. Culturally Relevant Well Being

3. Health, Education, and Incarceration Disparities

4. Homelessness

5. Civic Engagement

View our Initiative services, partners, and research opportunities.