CASA's community program, La Clase Mágica was founded as a research project, and we still hold true to many of the research precedents.
Every year 130 -150 undergraduates enroll in a Practicum course and through field study hours, these students volunteer in our programs as project facilitators and mentors. The undergraduates are trained in qualitative methods, in participant observation techniques, reflexive thinking, and field note writing and during site visits students apply theoretical perspectives to promote children’s and their own intellectual, social, and academic development. Following each visit, they write ethnographic accounts and observations. This data is later analyzed by our core research team, headed by Program Founder Dr. Olga A. Vásquez, to guide development on theory, practice, and improving our programming.
CASA’s programs actively engage in ongoing self-evaluation in order to monitor and track our progress towards program objectives. In addition, this analysis will also serve to enhance CASA’s collaborative spirit as we also share and discuss our findings with the following research partners in order to effectively pool our resources to meet our common goals of community empowerment.
CA Statewide Partners - UC Links (www.uclinks.org) which represents a consortium of similar projects throughout the University of CA system.
Domestic Partners – Three Texas universities, UT Austin, UT San Antonio, and Rice University are gearing to launch our CASA Program La Clase Mágica within their state.
Global Partners - CASA is currently developing partnerships with the following international institutions for both research collaboration and future program participant Skype web conferences, bringing together undeserved communities representing three continents, three languages, and numerous cultural backgrounds: La Universidad Nacional Abierta y Distancia (UNAD) of Colombia, La Universidad de Pablo Olavides in Sevilla, Spain, and the University of Augsburg, Germany.