Information gleaned from a recent conference on Latinos and Community Colleges, sponsored by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University and the PEW Hispanic Center, reveals that, for Latinos, the community college is their first and last chance at a college education. The majority, however, are not graduating from the community college or transferring to a university. The authors present and innovative, FIPSE-funded strategy that retains Latino students in the Dallas County Community College District and helps them transfer to a university. The model centers around a Cultural Studies course at Mountain View College that makes use of ethnography and a field school in its pedagogical approach. Specifically, ethnography is incorporated in the core course to interest Latino students in exploring social problems in their communities with the expectation that the experience will motivate them to continue their education beyond the junior college level.
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