Program recruits Latino teachers, helps migrant students
Fresno State’s Mini-Corps Program, which recruits Latino teachers and helps migrant students, is one of five programs at four California State University campuses recognized by the White House for narrowing the Latino achievement gap.
The White House released the “Bright Spots in Hispanic Education,” Sept. 15 and the CSU announced the honor in its system-wide newsletter “CSU Leader” Thursday.
The report is an online national catalog that features more than 230 programs and organizations supporting Latinos in education, including the five CSU programs.
“This recognition highlights the CSU’s commitment to providing college opportunity to a diverse California,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro.
Currently, students of color make up more than half of the CSU’s 460,000 students, with Latino enrollment comprising 34.8 percent. Fresno State’s Latino enrollment is 43 percent.
The announcement comes as Fresno State participates in the nationwide observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. More than 20 events are now underway through Oct. 30.
Throughout the month, the White House will continue to highlight the progress Latinos are making in education as it marks 25 years of the Educational Excellence for Hispanics Initiative.
Fresno State’s Mini-Corps program, which is part of the statewide California Mini-Corps Program founded in 1967 with the State Department’s Migrant Education Program, focuses on recruiting Latino teachers as well as assisting classroom teachers in providing instructional services to migrant children who have a priority for services.
The local program began in 1975 and has served more than 40,000 migrant students and helped train over 1,200 teachers, said coordinator Lilly Lomeli.
Fresno State’s Mini-Corps now serves 35 K-12 school sites in Fresno County and in the past year, the program’s tutors collaborated with 165 teachers providing direct instruction services to 676 students, Lomeli said.
“We value the long tradition and partnership Fresno State enjoys with Mini Corps and the thousands of teachers and students served through that program,” said Pres. Castro. “These professionals have marched out into the community to help teach and nurture many young migrant students who in turn strive to create a better life for their families through education.”
Dr. Paul Beare, dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development that houses Mini Corps, said the school is “ incredibly proud” of the Mini Corps faculty and students.
“They make a real difference in our community,” Beare said. “We have Mini Corps alumni on our faculty and others who are leaders in our community. Another program that makes Fresno and Central California a better place to live.”
The CSU also has a systemwide Latino Initiative, which aims to improve preparation, college access and graduation rates for Latino students. Through the initiative, the CSU hosts Feria de Educación events that annually educate tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking parents and youth about steps to prepare for college and provide exposure to career options. This year the feria will be held at Fresno State Oct.24.
The other CSU programs recognized as “Bright Spots in Hispanic Education” are:
• Cal State L.A.: MORE (Minority Opportunities in Research)
• Cal State L.A.: LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation)
• CSU San Bernardino: Latino Education & Advocacy Days (LEAD)
• CSU Northridge: AIMS2
Material from a press release was used in this report.