USD Honors Qualcomm Cofounder Irwin and Joan Jacobs at Renaming and Dedication of Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education

SAN DIEGO, CA:  The University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences is proud to announce the Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education (IEE) has been renamed the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education (Jacobs Institute) in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Jacobs.

Since their founding contribution in 2011, Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs have contributed nearly $10 million to the Jacobs Institute. Seven years later, the Jacobs Institute has established itself as a credible and important voice in K-12 education, particularly in advancing innovation and equity in schools. In collaboration with some of the nation's largest urban school districts, The Jacobs Institute’s team of experts has taken a comprehensive approach to identify best practices, build capacity and improve student outcomes through research and evaluation, strategic direction and professional learning. Their support has also made it possible for the Jacobs Institute to establish itself as a thought leader on innovation in education throughout the San Diego region and beyond. Through its research and professional learning, its focus has been on leveraging opportunities made available through technology to level the playing field by strengthening access and learning outcomes for all students, particularly those in underserved communities.

“Irwin and Joan Jacobs have paved the way for USD to serve more than 500,000 students across five states,” says Heather Lattimer, Ed.D., executive director of the Jacobs Institute, and Professor, in USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, Department of Learning and Teaching. “Beyond the direct services we have provided to nearly half a million students through our research and best practices, the Jacobs Institute has significantly contributed to the positive transformation of teaching and learning for millions of students domestically and internationally,” added Lattimer.

“Through their generous support of hundreds of initiatives and education-related causes, Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs have directly improved the quality of life for millions of people around the world,”. said USD President James T. Harris III, D.Ed. “USD is extremely fortunate to have partnered with them on the creation and growth of the Jacobs Institute, which will continue to create new pathways to integrate technology and learning. “Teachers and students from San Diego to New Bedford have been blessed by their incredible generosity and leadership.”

Since 2011, the Jacobs Institute has:

  • Conducted research and evaluation projects with more than a dozen school districts, including Houston Independent School District, El Paso Independent School District, New Bedford, Massachusetts, and numerous districts in the Southern California region
  • The Leadership and Professional Learning team has provided professional development support for teachers, principals, and district administrators in partner K-12 school districts, from Pasadena and Perris Unified to Chula Vista Elementary School District and Brawley Elementary School District.
  • Provided graduate assistantships to five doctoral students
  • Partnered with organizations including Qualcomm, Digital Promise, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Queen Raina Foundation of Jordon, High Tech High, LPA Architects, and the at Stanford University
  • Built an interactive learning laboratory
  • Funded the development of an open source learning platform that will support personalized learning and assessment in K-12 schools


The School of Leadership and Education Sciences houses academic departments, centers and institutes within Mother Rosalie Hill Hall on the campus of the University of San Diego. Among them is the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education. The regionally and nationally-accredited, innovative and vibrant programs offered within SOLES are led by an administrative team, faculty and participatory advisory boards for the school and the centers.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Pamela Gray Payton