Nivelando el Campo Educativo [Leveling the Educational Field]
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is located in south Texas on the border with Mexico. UTRGV’s goals include broadening student success, building students’ self-confidence, and cultivating a sense of pride in the linguistic and cultural heritage of the Rio Grande Valley. This paper describes several programs that seek to level the educational field by building inclusive and supportive academic environments. The narrative provides a template for institutions developing similar inclusive academic initiatives. We describe the role of Spanish and English in the Valley and offer an overview of introductory dual language courses in the department and their impact on students. These courses are part of a Dual Language Certificate currently under development. The peer groups formed in these courses are powerful. They flip the script of English language dominance in the classroom to an environment where both languages are valued. The focus on cultivating equity and inclusivity through multiple modes of communication and interaction continues in peer groups in the Calculus sequence. These groups are part of an effort to build an academic community to support learning and encourage collaborative problem Case Study | 363 solving. Promoting equity through multi-section course coordination is also discussed. Finally, broader components “para nivelar el campo educativo” continue beyond core courses into students’ professional development through the Center of Excellence in STEM Education. Its promotion of pathways through the university and to broader opportunities is designed to increase the number of Latino students attaining STEM degrees and leadership positions across the Nation.
Voigt, M., Hagman, J. E., Gehrtz, J., Ratliff, B., Alexander, N. & Levy, R. (Eds.). (Submitted). Justice through the lens of calculus: Framing new possibilities for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Mathematical Association of America.
Justice Through the Lens of Calculus