Center for Collaborative Research Excellence in Education

Center to Close the Opportunity Gap

Funded through a sub-award from the Center for Closing the Opportunity Gap (CCOG), a project sponsored by CSU Chancellor’s Office and administered by CSU Long Beach, the SJSU Center for Collaborative Research Excellence in Education (CCREE) is the CSU Regional Hub for Northern California to support the educational needs of Youth in Foster Care (FY) and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (HY) in California.

Mission and Vision

Led by Dr. Brent Duckor and Dr. Lorri Capizzi, CCREE’s vision is to build K-12 capacity through the development of comprehensive educational curricula in higher education that infuses and elevates a commitment to students in foster care and youth experiencing homelessness. 

We will focus on the robust CSU credential and certification programs, including Teacher, School Counselor, Social Work, Administrative, and Educational Leadership pathways in addition to Doctoral Programs. 

A “serve the servers, train the trainers, support the future leaders” model, CCREE staff and faculty will utilize CSU capacity and knowledge networks to advance the pipelines of support for Youth in Foster Care (FY) and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (HY) in California.

The mission of the CCREE team will place research, policy and practice-based focus on the children who are the most vulnerable in the State systems of support. Working to inform and learn from LEAs, we will engage CSU faculty providers through curricula and training  to deepen their commitment to the elevation and care of the State’s most vulnerable youth. Intersecting issues of race, class, and language acquisition, we locate Youth in Foster Care (FY) and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (HY) at the center of the work.

The mission of this project under the guidance of CCREE is to engage in “building a pipeline of support” to aid LEAs. Over the next 3 years, we will:

  • Identify current practices from the literature related to closing the achievement/opportunity gaps for higher education providers;
  • Engage in capacity development for educator preparation so that teachers, school counselors, leaders and other school personnel who enter schools are prepared to close achievement gaps;
  • Engage in research in schools to further evidence-based practices for closing the achievement/opportunity gaps by examining higher performing, high poverty schools;
  • Develop and disseminate resources to local education agencies to close the achievement/opportunity gaps.

Our CCREE Project Team

Brent Duckor

Lorri Capizzi

Our CCREE Advisory Board

  • Manny Barbara, Former CEO, Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF)
  • Shimica Gaskins Esq., Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Dr. Michael Kirst, Former President of the California Board of Education
  • Dr. Julia Koppich, Education Consultant,  J. Koppich & Associates
  • Mary Perry, Education Consultant, Former Deputy Director, EdSource
  • Glen Price, Former Chief Deputy, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (CDE)

Press Releases/Media Resources

CCREE Fellow

Sofia Fojas

Our CCREE has awarded a 3-year Doctoral Fellowship to Sofia Fojas through partnership funding provided by the SJSU Ed.D. Leadership Program and the Connie L. Lurie College of Education.

Dr. Brent Duckor, Director of SJSU’s CCREE says the goal of the multi-year fellowship is to engage in applied research that addresses and advances equitable outcomes for students in foster care and students experiencing homelessness in the K-12 population. He notes that this fellowship will provide advanced training in quantitative and qualitative research methods and opportunities for engagement in education policy with a focus on moving research into spheres of professional training and practice. We are extremely pleased and honored to have Ms. Sofia Fojas with us, said Duckor.

“I look forward to serving as a doctoral fellow at San José State University and studying policy for students experiencing homelessness and youth receiving foster care services. I am ready to step into the next phase of my life. I chose to pursue my doctoral studies in the Ed.D. Leadership program here among many other programs because here I see an opportunity for serving as a catalyst for large-scale change at the policy level for the most disenfranchised students in our education system” says Ms. Fojas.


CCOG Educator Summit Erika Zepeda

On Friday, July 30, join CCREE at the online CCOG Educator Summit, where we will feature Dr. Erika Zepeda, Educational Psychologist and CCREE consultant, in our breakout session "Using Trauma Informed Approaches in a Post-Pandemic Classroom for Students in Foster Care and Youth Experiencing Homelessness." Dr. Zepeda will provide educators with “on-the-ground” tools to assess and support students transitioning back into the classroom in a post-pandemic world. Dr. Zepeda will include her experience in working with culturally diverse communities and in identifying student protective and risk factors through a trauma informed approach for all students and in particular for students in foster care and youth experiencing homelessness.
Register to attend the summit by Thursday, July 15

Duckor Capizzi Webinar

Dr. Brent Duckor and Dr. Lorri Capizzi copresented the free webinar "How can Teachers, School Counselors, & Administrators support educational outcomes for students in foster care during extraordinary times?" with the CSU Center to Close the Opportunity Gap in June 2021.

CCOG Launch Event

The CCOG launch event took place in November 2020.