It is one of the oldest and most widely respected demonstration schools in the country. Its purpose is to provide programs for children and their families as a model for students in education, social work, psychology, medicine and other related fields. The students enrolled at The Broadoaks Children's School reflect the socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the Whittier community. The school also serves children with a variety of special needs, including learning disabilities, behavior disorders, high-risk family situations, and other challenges to learning and development. In addition, the school operates a Summer Academy program for students aged pre-school through eighth grade.
Importantly, Broadoaks serves as a learning laboratory for Whittier College faculty and students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students from courses in a number of disciplines complete various class assignments based on their work directly with Broadoaks students - everything from classroom observation, to participation in instructional planning and evaluation, to teaching lessons under the supervision of Broadoaks' mentor teachers. Additionally, work opportunities in conjunction with academic study are also available for eligible Whittier College students, including undergraduate teaching fellowships and work in child advocacy.