Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Limited English Proficient Students

West Hills College Hispanic Role Models

Hispanic Role Models

College: West Hills Community College District

College Contact: Cathy Barabe, Director Grants, Research and Planning

300 Cherry Lane, Coalinga, CA 93210

(559) 934-2147 cathybarabe@westhillscollege.com

Description: West Hills community college endeavors to provide education and educational support services to limited English proficient students by using Hispanic and nontraditional role models who can encourage students to succeed. Hiring decisions are consciously made to provide Spanish speaking staff and instructors who can serve as role models for students. Through contract education projects and grants, staff who are reflective of the community are hired to work with the Hispanic student population. For example:

· The Dean of Student Services is a West Hills Community College alumni and is the oldest of nine children in a single parent farm working family

· Outreach staff to high schools are often young Hispanics

· Central American Teachers, on scholarship to study American teaching techniques work with elementary school children

· Tutors hired for After School and elementary tutoring are often Hispanic graduates from the community’s schools.

· Child Development courses are taught in Spanish.

It has been an administrative decision to hire staff reflective of the community. To do this, the college employs widespread recruitment efforts to attract qualified Spanish speaking applicants. They actively use advertising, local connections and media stories to attract qualified applicants interested in working for the community college system.

Following this decision, the percentage of Spanish speaking students has risen steadily over the last five years.