This conversation took place on December 5, 2018. The interview facilitators were Bonni Stachowiak and Shannon Jonsson. Participating on the panel were Drs. Tara Sirvent, Sylvia Kane, and Terrelle Sales.
The department of education designates institutions as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), based on those universities that have at least 25% of their undergraduate students who identify as Hispanic. Vanguard has around 1,500 undergraduate students, 41% of which are Hispanic and 54% of whom are students of color.
Title V Grants
Vanguard’s first Title V grant (Award #PO31S150199) was awarded by the Department of education to strengthen and enhance the pipeline of Hispanic and low-income students from before then enrolled to well beyond their graduation. This $2.6M has two primary foci: student support and faculty development.
Our second Title V grant (Award #PO31S170149) provided $3.8M in funding to create comprehensive integrated pathways for Hispanic students to enter the teaching professions in collaboration with Orange Coast Community College (OCC), another Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) in Orange County. The emphasis for this grant was to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students and to target STEM education and teacher preparation students.
More information about these Title V grants is available on the Vanguard University website, including the ways in which these two grants are serving our students.
In the panel, Dr. Tara Sirvent stresses that we are a Hispanic-SERVING institution, not a Hispanic-ENROLLING institution. The emphasis is on how we can meet our students’ needs.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Dr. Terrelle Sales provides his perspective on what it means to be a culturally-responsive teacher. He shares about what it meant to him when he was getting his education in Vanguard’s program how much Dr. Mikki Gill supported him in his learning.
Dr. Sylvia Kane offers the definition of culturally responsive instruction that comes from two well known researchers (Gay, 2010; Ladson Billings, 1995):
…teacher intentionally uses the cultural background and knowledge of his or her students to inform curriculum and increase academic success of students that historically experience school failure.”
Culturally Un-responsive Teaching
Sylvia also shares about the impact that our expectations can have on our students. Sylvia really the Rosenthal experiment, when teachers were provided with a roster of students with highlighted names on it that they were told identified the individuals with high IQs. In fact, the students who were highlighted had average IQs, but had disproportionately higher academic results when the teachers expected them to perform better. In educational research, this type of effect is known as The Pygmalion Effect (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1966).
Finally, Dr. Kane gives a definition of microagressions:
The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, where intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership” (Sue, et al., 2007).
Gay, G., & Banks, J. A. (2010). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice (2 edition). New York: Teachers College Press.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465–491. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312032003465
Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1966). Teachers’ Expectancies: Determinants of Pupils’ IQ Gains. Psychological Reports, 19(1), 115–118. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.19220.127.116.11
Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: implications for clinical practice. The American Psychologist, 62(4), 271–286. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.62.4.271