Strength #1

Access & Inclusion

Education can change the course of a person's life.

Penn GSE faculty apply their expertise to increase the availability of high-quality learning opportunities from pre-kindergarten through higher education—and produce GSE graduates who will do the same. The urgency of this work only increases with each day.

"One of the most difficult problems facing our country and our world is rising inequality, and education represents one of the most powerful solutions," says Dean Pam Grossman. "Penn GSE has incredible strengths to combat inequality in opportunity and outcomes for students."

Penn GSE faculty and students promote better learning opportunities for children in poverty, paths to success for students who face multiple challenges, broader teaching of twenty-first-century skills, and ways to increase college affordability. They bring attention to the accomplishments of institutions that support minority students and challenge policymakers to better connect public education and families’ needs.

"Penn GSE has a vital role to play in ensuring that all youth have access to learning that supports their full development and prepares them for the jobs of the future," Dean Grossman states.

  • Starting early

    Young children exercising in a classroom

    Penn GSE works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education through the Penn Child Research Center led by John Fantuzzo, Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations, and through the National Center on Fathers and Families led by Vivian Gadsden, William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education.

  • Reaching more students

    Students learning coding on laptops

    To expand access to twenty-first-century skills, Penn GSE’s Yasmin Kafai, Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor, leads programs that aim to increase the appeal of coding, or computer programming, for women and minorities. By incorporating electronic components into fabric-based crafts, Dr. Kafai and her team hope to interest a more diverse group of students in the possibilities of computer science.

  • Challenging the status quo

    Female professor talking at a table

    Representatives of Penn GSE offered expertise on diversity, affordability, and other critical campus issues at the New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum in June 2016. GSE panelists included Practice Professor Joni Finney (pictured), Professor Marybeth Gasman, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell, GRD’15, and current doctoral student Zakiya Smith, strategy director, Lumina Foundation.