In late October 2013, the Initiative launched its monthly webinar series. Each webinar will aim to connect national and local leaders, while highlighting Bright Spots, throughout the nation, to discuss federal programs and initiatives, relevant policy issues and evidence-based practices that are benefiting the Hispanic community. Invitations for each webinar will be sent via email. Please be sure you have signed up for our email distribution list.
Archived webinar slides, audio files and transcripts can be found below on:
- Early Learning (October),
- Immigrant Integration (November),
- Family Engagement (December),
- Student Financial Assistance (January),
- GED Test (February),
- English Learners (March),
- New High School Equivalency Assessments – HiSET and TASC (April),
- Improving Educational Outcomes for Hispanic Males (April),
- Summer Melt (May),
- Hispanic Families and Special Education (June), and
- Educational Technology (July).
July Webinar – Educational Technology
- Summary: Last year, President Obama announced a new initiative, ConnectED, that will connect 99% of students to next generation broadband and high speed wireless within five speed. As the Hispanic student population continues to grow, it is important that students have access to the latest cutting-edge technologies and digital content in the classroom. During the webinar, Richard Culatta, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education, discussed the Department’s focus on leveraging technology to create personalized learning experiences for all students. In the second half of the webinar, Misa Gonzales, a teacher from Alta Vista High School in Tucson, Arizona, shared her experiences using advanced technology in the classroom.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 2.27MB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 124KB]; Additional Resources [PDF, 166KB]
June Webinar - Hispanic Families and Special Education
- Summary: This month’s webinar focused on Hispanic families and special education. Approximately 1.3 million Hispanics receive early intervention and special education services. The webinar shared information about how Hispanic families can become knowledgeable about special education and their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) so that they can advocate for their children with disabilities. The webinar included two presentations: the first by David Emenheiser from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Dept. of Education. He provided details about IDEA and described the Administration’s commitment to its investments in parent training and information centers. The second half of the webinar featured a presentation by Isabel Garcia and Lauren Bustos-Alban of Parent to Parent of Miami, a community parent resource center, in Miami, FL. She shared information about programs they offer and described their efforts to empower parents to get the support they and their children need.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 476KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 245KB]
May Webinar – Summer Melt
- Summary: “Summer melt” is the phenomenon of college-enrolled high school graduates not showing up to school the following fall – they “melt away” during the summer. What can we do to stop this from happening, and increase the number of Hispanic college eligible students who access and complete higher education? Please join us for our Webinar on summer melt May 21, 2014, which will feature Greg Darnieder, Special Assistant for College Access, U.S. Department of Education, Lindsay Page, Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education and Benjamin Castleman, Assistant Professor, Curry School of Education (UVA).
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 786KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 8 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 104KB]
April Webinar – Improving Educational Outcomes for Hispanic Males
- Summary: This month’s webinar looked at ways to improve the educational and life outcomes for young Hispanic males in the United States. Data shows that Hispanic and other boys and young men of color, regardless of socio-economic background, are disproportionately at risk throughout the journey, from their youngest years to college and career. To ensure the economic and social viability of our nation, it is critical that the education and life outcomes for students, particularly Hispanic and other boys and men of color, are enhanced. Drs. Victor Sáenz and Luis Ponjuan, co-founders of Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), presented an overview of their organization and efforts to address this issue. Project MALES is an organization that aims to increase Latino educational outcomes through research and mentoring. Following them, Rafael López, Senior Policy Advisor at the White House, provided a summary of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.26MB]; Audio File [MP3, 9.85MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 132KB]
April Webinar – New High School Equivalency Assessments – HiSET and TASC
- Summary: In the second part of a special series on high school equivalency exams, this month’s webinar focused on two new high school equivalency tests available in certain states. Since January 2014, two new tests other than the GED have become available, and a number of states have begun to adopt and recognize them. It is important to understand which states offer the option of taking one of these new tests, and the features of the tests, to prepare Hispanic learners most effectively to achieve their academic potential. Deborah Shine, Director of Student and Teacher Assessment and Outreach, Educational Testing Service (ETS), gave the overview of the ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), and Mike Johnson, National Adult Education Manager, CTB/McGraw-Hill, shared a summary of the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) exam. Both presenters shared links and resources regarding their high school equivalency exams.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 756KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 98KB]
March Webinar – English Learners
- Summary: This month’s webinar focused on English Learners (ELs). There are an estimated 4.6 million students learning English in the United States, the fastest-growing student population in our schools. As the percentage of students that are enrolled in EL courses increases, more attention will need to be directed toward these students and their unique needs in the classroom. During this webinar, Supreet Anand and Francisco López, who oversee the Title III programs (English Language Acquisition State Grants) at the U.S. Department of Education, presented an overview of EL programs at the U.S. Department of Education and discussed in-depth about ESEA Flexibility and how it affects EL students. The second half of the webinar featured Jose Rodriguez, regional director at the National Council of La Raza, who shared effective best practices in working with EL students from his experience as an English as Second Language (ESL) Coordinator in Bexar County, TX.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 464KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 114KB]
February Webinar – GED Test
- Summary: Nicole Chestang, Vice President and Chief Strategist, College and Career Success, American Council on Education, provided a run-through of the revised GED Test, one of the ways students can obtain high school equivalent credentials. In addition, she provided links on resources for test-takers and educators. Afterwards, President Andrew Sund of St. Augustine College, abilingual (dual-language) institution of higher education in Chicago, IL, created under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese to make the American system of higher education accessible to a diverse student population with emphasis on those of Hispanic descent; to strengthen ethnic identity; to reinforce cultural interaction; and to build a bridge to fill cultural, educational, and socio-economic gaps discussed his college’s GED program, providing programmatic details and shared results from the program’s exit tests. This was followed by an engaging conversation between the speakers and participants. This was the first of a special series on high school equivalency exams now available.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 5MB]; Audio File [MP3, 8MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 118KB];
January Webinar - Student Financial Assistance
- Summary: Wendy Bhagat, Director, Awareness & Outreach Group, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, provided a run-through of the U.S. Department of Education’s recently launched financial aid toolkit (www.financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov). Afterwards, Claire Dennison, Vice President, uAspire, and Elsa Martinez-Pimentel, Assistant Director, Eastern Massachusetts, uAspire, discussed the mission and programs of their organization, ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through a postsecondary education, and provided tips on working with Hispanic students. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.0MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 104KB]; Audio File [MP3, 9.0MB]
December Webinar – Family Engagement
- Summary: The webinar on family engagement featured two bright spots facilitating and encouraging strong engagement between families and their children’s schools – WestEd and Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA). Maria Paredes, Senior Program Associate at WestEd, shared her research and experience with the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (based in Arizona). Then, Aurelio Montemayor, Senior Education Associate at IDRA provided an overview of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) Comunitario based in South Texas. IDRA has been supported over the past five years. Lourdes Flores shared her experience as a parent leader in the program.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.7MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 106KB]; Audio File [MP3, 8.7MB]
November Webinar - Immigrant Integration
- Summary: Debra Suarez, English Language Learning Education Specialist, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, provided an overview on the challenges immigrants face in America and discussed Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA). During the second half of the webinar, Deputy Director of Welcoming America, Rachel Steinhardt, discussed the mission and programs of her organization, highlighting ways to make local communities welcome to immigrant populations. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.22MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 185KB]
October Webinar - The inaugural policy webinar centered on Early Learning and Hispanic children.
- Summary: Steven Hicks, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education, and Yvette Sanchez, Director, Office of Head Start, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provided an overview on the importance of early care and learning and discussed the President’s Preschool for All proposal. During the second half of the webinar, National Program Director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, Sandra Gutierrez, discussed the mission and programs of her organization, emphasizing the critical piece families play in their children’s development and educational career. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
- Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.16MB]; Audio File [MP3, 7]
Topic Suggestions: Suggestions for future topics and presenters should be sent to WHIEEH@ed.gov.