UC Irvine's Department of Education is now recognized as a school within the college.
The UC Board of Regents approved the designation requested by the department
"In some ways, the change was really what they call a simple name change," said education department Chairwoman Deborah Vandell. "We had in many ways already functioned as a school."
The department, housing both graduate and undergraduate degree programs, will not require any additional funding to make the switch to a full-fledged school, Vandell said.
It had been operating with the amount of faculty, space and student support services that are typical of a school, she said.
With the change comes opportunity for the education department, which went from a program to a department on the Irvine campus in 1991.
"I think that being a school of education will reflect the status and prestige of the faculty," Vandell said. "It will help us to recruit outstanding students, compete for grant dollars and help us to seek philanthropic donations."
In 2009, a proposal to make the department a school was drafted, but put on the back burner because of the financial downturn and a newly created doctorate program, Vandell said.
At the start of this year, a revised proposal passed the university level before making it to the Board of Regents.