The BESITOS Program operates on the premise that acceleration, rather than remediation, is what students need. Students are guided to apply their sociocultural, linguistic, cognitive, and academic strengths to their learning and view them as key to their future success as teachers. The Program graduates bilingual Latino teachers who are advocates for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students and families.
The BESITOS Program is designed to recruit bilingual/bicultural Education students, support them through completion of a high-quality teacher preparation program, and mentor them to placement as grade-level, content-area teachers prepared to address the needs of diverse students in their own communities.
The Program has served as the gateway to higher education for 192 students. The majority continues with their studies to become teachers, and 72% are retained within the Program (including those who drop for extenuating family/medical reasons). The academic success of Program students is reflected in the 3.46 average GPA of graduates and highlighted in accolades students have received.
Currently, the Program has 73 graduates, and 101 students (89% of whom are Latino) have graduated since December 2014. Graduates use their experiences and knowledge they have gained to promote the achievement of K-12 students, especially those who are second language learners. They serve as role models for young Latinos; often BESITOS alumni are the only Latino educators in their entire school.
Graduates recognize that advanced degrees can increase the impact of their advocacy efforts for CLD students and families. To date, 31 graduates are either pursuing or have obtained a Master’s degree; of these, five are pursuing a doctorate. Seventy-two students have attended a national education conference, and 56 have had opportunities to study abroad.