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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Bilingual Education Program Earns National Honor

Dean Y. Barry Chung, Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa, DLE faculty and NLERAPP officials in Austin.


San Diego State University has been honored by a Latinx education and policy consortium for its success in meeting community needs for bilingual educators.

The National Latino Education Research and Policy Program (NLERAPP) — a consortium of universities and community-based organizations — selected SDSU as one of four National Grow Your Own Model of Education sites. The designation recognizes the work of SDSU’s Department of Dual-Language and English Learner Education (DLE), which has recently grown into the largest bilingual credential program in the nation.

"We’re proud of SDSU’s pioneering legacy and upward trajectory in producing bilingual educators to meet the needs of California’s linguistically-diverse classrooms.” said Y. Barry Chung, dean of the College of Education. “This recognition puts us in select company and provides deserved national visibility for our DLE program. I’m excited for the opportunity to partner with NLERAPP in the work of improving educational opportunity for Latinx students.”

Grow Your Own programs are teacher education initiatives that aim to address student-teacher diversity gaps by creating pathways for high school students and paraeducators in diverse communities to become licensed educators.

“For us, it's really a great honor to be part of this very selective group of organizations that are part of the Grow Your Own network,” said Margarita Machado-Casas, professor and chair of DLE. “Because in DLE, this is what we want to do. We want our students to go back to their communities and make a difference in those communities.”

Chung and SDSU Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa were also added to NLERAPP’s Dean's Advisory Council. Both traveled to Austin, Texas in January to receive the recognition at the organization’s Latino Advisory Board meeting.

The University of Colorado, the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas at San Antonio were also selected as National Grow Your Own Model of Education sites.
DLE has had a long trajectory — more than 40 years — of working with the Latino population in fighting for the rights, education and access for bilingual learners and teachers.”
Dr. Margarita Machado-Casas

A leader in bilingual education 

DLE is the only autonomous bilingual teacher preparation program in California — a position of leadership that gained added significance with the 2016 passage of Proposition 58, which lifted restrictions on bilingual education. It is estimated that the state will need 6,000 new bilingual teachers over the next 10 years.

Thanks to a recent partnership with the Butte County Office of Education that created an online bilingual credential program for paraeducators, DLE has doubled in size. Last May, the program had a record 87 graduates.

“DLE has had a long trajectory — more than 40 years — of working with the Latino population in fighting for the rights, education and access for bilingual learners and teachers,” Machado-Casas said. “Through the work we’re doing with the Butte County Office of Education Future Educator Program, a lot of people who have been classified staff in the school districts for a long time are really coming out of the shadows and becoming teachers. In this way, DLE continues its legacy of opening doors and possibilities for underrepresented communities and students.”