In July of 1986, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Mount St. Mary’s College and the University of Southern California formed the Education Consortium in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In the fall of 1987, the California Afro-American Museum (now the California African American Museum), California State Museum of Science and Industry (now the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County joined the consortium. During the spring and summer of 1988, a process of formal development of the consortium’s organizational structure took place. As a result of this process, in November of 1988, the Education Consortium of Central Los Angeles (ECCLA) was officially constituted.

The ECCLA is governed by a board of directors. Each member institution appoints 
two representatives. There are also community members who are parents, teachers, school administrators and residents.

The purpose of the organization is to enhance the opportunities for quality education for students from the greater Exposition/University Park area in Central Los Angeles, which is bounded by the Santa Monica Freeway on the north, Western Avenue on the west, Slauson Avenue on the south and Alameda Avenue on the east.
The strategies the organization uses to effect these opportunities are the design, facilitation and implementation of activities, programs and research projects that will improve the learning environment, both formal and informal, from early childhood through adult, higher and continuing education.

The ECCLA constituency consists of more than 60 schools located in the target area: public elementary schools; public middle schools; public senior high schools; public magnets; charter schools, learning centers; continuation high schools, optional high schools, children’s centers, schools for the disabled, parochial elementary schools; parochial middle schools and parochial senior high schools. The target student population is more than 47,000 students from pre-K to twelfth grade.

The member institutions are: Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California African American Museum, California Science Center, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Los Angeles Unified School District, Mount St. Mary’s College, and University of Southern California.