CREATE STEM Success Initiative


An initiative to leverage UC San Diego’s STEM resources alongside the San Diego education community’s, to collectively improve the region’s K-20 STEM education pipeline

The CREATE STEM Success Initiative (CSSI) is a visionary collective effort linking UC San Diego faculty, staff and students and the San Diego education community in a shared effort to support K-20 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in the region. STEM skills are more necessary than ever today, and STEM-related jobs will employ many of today’s young San Diegans; but many of our students currently “leak” out of the K-20 education pipeline (kindergarten through graduate school) in STEM. In the CSSI, we’re exploring with hundreds of partners how our university can leverage its resources to help create local opportunities to learn for students and teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, even as we also spread opportunity in social sciences, humanities, and the arts.

Launched in July 2013 by Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, the CSSI supports key CREATE staff to spend each day linking UC San Diego faculty, staff, programs and students to the local education community, to design outreach and education projects that help meet local needs from kindergarten through graduate school. We focus particularly on broadening opportunities to learn for K-12 students and teachers who wouldn’t otherwise access them. We also work with campus and community partners on improving the pipeline at the university level (12-20).

CSSI staff a) know K-20 partners in the region, b) deeply understand the region’s educational needs, and c) have skills in program and professional development, education research, and evaluation. We’re pinpointing learning opportunities our region’s students need and networking university resources with local partners’ to create those opportunities. We help partners design and shape UC San Diego STEM outreach and education efforts supporting students, educators, and community programs. We help to assess efforts and build on lessons learned. In 2014, the CREATE STEM Initiative team was awarded the UC San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Diversity Award.

In the CSSI, we support campus and community colleagues to make deep local impact with their programs, research, expertise, energy, and grants. For example,

  • We link UC San Diego faculty, students and staff to schools, districts, educators, and students that would value specific UC San Diego contributions.
  • We help partners on and off campus plan education interventions that help students succeed in STEM-based courses, majors and careers. For a multiplier effect, we’re particularly working to invest in teacher development.
  • We help partners on and off campus to research and evaluate their STEM education interventions. (see Research).
  • We have helped hundreds of UC San Diego professors and research scientists to design competitive outreach and broader impact plans for their grants, matching outreach design to local need and funders’ interests. (see Testimonials).

In this campus-wide initiative, we seek to increase UC San Diego faculty, staff, and student participation in education outreach programs; to design and improve education outreach efforts serving underrepresented students and their teachers; and to provide essential research and evaluation services to colleagues. Together, we also seek to increase community awareness of and satisfaction with UC San Diego among educators, students and community groups and to provide additional opportunities for UC San Diego students to engage deeply in service learning and research. We believe we are designing a sustainable way for any university to support K-20 education in its “backyard.”

Read about Year 1 accomplishmentsYear 2 accomplishments, and Year 3 accomplishments. Explore ways CREATE and hundreds of colleagues are leveraging and multiplying UC San Diego’s resources for campus and community impact.


Join us to help leverage UC San Diego to support local opportunities to learn!

Have ideas about shaping university outreach, or designing education programs in partnership with educators?
Contact Susan Yonezawa, CSSI Network Coordinator and CREATE Associate Director, at

Have questions about evaluating your education effort?
Contact Larry McClure and Monica Sweet, CSSI Research and Evaluation Co-Coordinators, at and

Overall input and questions?
Contact Mica Pollock, CREATE Director and Professor of Education Studies, at

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