College News Releases

White House names Gateway Bright Spot for Hispanic education

September 15, 2015 | Lee Colony

Gateway Technical College today was honored as one of more than 230 Bright Spots in Hispanic Education for its commitment to improving the educational attainment of Hispanics.

Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, made the announcement at the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the initiative’s 25th anniversary in Washington D.C.

“There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential,” said Ceja.

Gateway serves the needs of Hispanic students and community members in a number of ways, through outreach to academic initiatives and support. Outreach includes not only providing English Language Learner education to the Hispanic community, but also to help further their education and career opportunities.

“Gateway is honored to be recognized by the White House for service to our Hispanic community,” said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht. “We recognize the importance of diversity and value the strength that all cultures bring to our learning environment.”

Highlighted in the nomination process was a groundbreaking, beginning level English Language Learner program developed between Gateway and the Delavan-Darien School District to provide local ELL services at no cost to area residents. It was determined the ELL services provided on the college’s Elkhorn Campus weren’t being used to their full potential because of barriers presented by transportation, child care needs and a low comfort level among participants to engage in the learning at a college.

A program was developed to provide beginning level ELL courses at Phoenix Middle School in Delavan, which resulted in increased enrollment in the courses and a higher rate of students from those courses connecting with Gateway’s intermediate and advanced-level ELL courses and its academic programs.

The ELL program in Walworth County increased 27 percent from Fall 2013 to Spring 2015, and 61 new students have engaged in the ELL classes at Phoenix Middle School in the first four semesters it was offered there.

As a Bright Spot, Gateway will be part of a national online catalog which includes more than 230 programs which invest in key education priorities for Hispanics. It can be found here: www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative

The initiative seeks “to leverage these Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle to career.”

Gateway Technical College collaborates with communities in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties to ensure economic growth and viability by providing education, training, leadership and technological resources to meet the changing needs of students, employers and communities.