Currently the largest minority group in the U.S., Latinos are projected to account for most of the nation’s population growth from 2005 through 2050 and to represent a significantly larger share of the students seeking college admission.
In light of these demographic changes, how can ACM colleges best educate and support their students – both Latino and non-Latino – in the classroom, on increasingly diverse campuses, and in other areas, such as preparing students to take part in community service projects in Latino communities?
That question was the focus of the recent Teaching of Latino Studies Conference, hosted by Beloit College on April 17-18 and supported by the ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project.
In what one participant called an “extremely valuable” conference, 16 faculty members from ACM colleges:
- Reviewed demographic data and information about college access for Latinos;
- Shared course outlines, curricula, and reading lists;
- Discussed instructional approaches and strategies;
- Talked about Latino Studies departments and other curricular issues, and
- Explored ways that faculty at the ACM colleges can continue and expand their collaboration in Latino Studies.
The keynote speaker for the conference, Dr. Lourdes Torres, spoke about the growing number of Latino Studies programs in U.S. universities, their interdisciplinary nature, and the emerging field of queer latinidades. The Vincent de Paul Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University, Dr. Torres is the author of Puerto Rican Discourse and Tortilleras: Hispanic and Latina Lesbian Expression, and is co-editor of Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism.
Participants noted that the conference provided a structure through which they can share resources and ideas and discuss common challenges with peers at other ACM colleges. One participant reported that she “feel[s] a great deal less alone now that [she has] met colleagues at other ACM colleges” interested in Latino Studies.
More details about the conference are on the FaCE Project webpages.
The ACM FaCE Project supports a variety of activities that foster collaboration among faculty at the ACM colleges and develop successful models for teaching and learning. FaCE is funded by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.