SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Pledges $480,000 in Support of UCI School of Education

Funds will be allocated to innovative programs benefiting education students and current teachers across southern California

*New Campus Conference Room to Be Named In Honor of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union*

Bill Cheney, SchoolsFirst FCU CEO (Photo: Business Wire)

IRVINE, Calif.--()--Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, traditional learning has been turned upside down. However, in a time of chaos came opportunities to create change, make improvements and develop new strategies for future learners in a “post-pandemic classroom.”

To support this academic learning shift, SchoolsFirst FCU has pledged $480,000 to the University of California, Irvine School of Education. Established by the UC Board of Regents in 2012, and now home to more than 12,000 alumni, the UCI School of Education ranks No. 15 in the U.S. News and World Report’s top graduate schools of education and No. 7 among public schools of education nationally.

“We are grateful for this generous donation in support of aspiring teachers in our degree programs as well as practicing teachers from throughout the region who participate in our Teacher Academy professional development programs,” said Frances Contreras, dean and professor, UCI School of Education. “In this unprecedented time of pressure on teachers and schools, it is inspiring to receive support that allows UCI to expand services to local and future educators. SchoolsFirst FCU has been a valued partner in serving the education community and we are honored to recognize their philanthropic support with the naming of our new state-of-the-art conference room.”

SchoolsFirst FCU has been a dedicated supporter of UCI’s School of Education, having recently completed a three-year $300,000 pledge to launch the UCI Teacher Academy, a priority initiative in the UCI Brilliant Future campaign. This additional pledge of $480,000 marks a milestone cumulative investment of more than $1.24 million and demonstrates SchoolsFirst FCU’s commitment to supporting the efforts led by the teachers, students and administration of UCI’s School of Education.

The donation by SchoolsFirst FCU will support three key initiatives, including the establishment of an endowment within the Teacher Academy, support for students pursuing a Masters of Arts + Teaching Credential (MAT) and support to the Dean’s Excellence Fund, which is used for needs such as emergency grants to education students.

“We are honored to continue our long-standing support of school employees and strong partnership with UCI’s School of Education. We admire the school’s focus on advancing education and innovation that contributes to better educational opportunities and outcomes that have a positive impact on our communities,” said Bill Cheney, SchoolsFirst FCU CEO. “This aligns well with our mission to help all school employees and their families achieve financial well-being. We are proud that our support will enable both teachers and students to become the educators who help shape our future generations.”

In recognition of SchoolsFirst FCU’s continued partnership, UCI’s School of Education will provide naming rights to its newly constructed conference room. When completed, the new facility will be named the “SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Conference Room.”

Overlooking the Irvine community, the building will serve as the meeting hub for teachers, students and staff. The facility will feature ceiling cameras, online and digital presentation technology and room to accommodate more than 40 people, creating an inviting and dynamic learning environment.

SchoolsFirst FCU is proud to be a supporter of the UCI School of Education community, serving thousands of students, teachers and educational administrators throughout Southern California. Throughout the multi-year partnership, advancements in remote instruction, educational technology, early literacy, writing, math, sciences and the humanities have been made.

For more information about SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, visit

About SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

SchoolsFirst FCU is the fifth largest credit union in the country. Serving school employees and their families, the organization is dedicated to providing World-Class Member Service and improving the financial lives of its Members. Today they serve more than 1.2 million Members with a full range of financial products and services — from savings and loans to investment, retirement and insurance products. SchoolsFirst FCU was founded in 1934, when 126 school employees pooled $1,200 and established a member-owned cooperative to help improve each other's lives. In 2021, the company reported nearly $27 billion in assets and remains the largest credit union in California. For more information about SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, visit


Ann Bouchard
Cell: (916) 783-6161

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SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Pledges $480,000 in support of UCI School of Education.

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Ann Bouchard
Cell: (916) 783-6161