Early Childhood Education (ECE) ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support

ECE ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support students holding a photo prop.
Reading Area Community College (RACC)
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs at Reading Area Community College (RACC) prepare students to be qualified, culturally responsive early childhood educators who integrate theory to best practices in diverse, equitable, and inclusive early childhood settings. This program focuses on developing the skills of the incumbent ECE workforce, which includes a significant number of Latino students. The program provides the first three courses of the ECE college credit certificate/associate degree program to students of all levels (no prerequisites). Embedded ESL support in the form of peer mentoring and ESL coaching is available in each course and instruction has been redesigned to meet Universal Design for Learning standards with culturally responsive principles.

Program Description

An early partnership with United Way helped establish the practice of one dedicated ESL coach (partner provided) and one in-class peer mentor (provided by the college). Grant support has provided tuition assistance, embedded ESL tutoring, peer mentoring, and intentional revision of instructional materials which include the adoption of Open Educational Resources and the development of videos to show class concepts and assignments with Spanish closed captions. The program incorporates bilingual, Spanish-speaking staff and mentors that support students in and out of the classroom.


The success of the United Way partnership resulted in a 6% increase in Latino student participation and allowed RACC to replicate this for more students from Latino-operated childcare centers. Replication increased the number of Latino students earning credits for the Child Development Associate credential which in turn helped area childcare centers improve their statewide quality rating. The redesigned courses have seen a higher course success rate for Latino participants than the Latino student success rate in all 100-level courses.

  • In the 2021-22 school year, the average success rate of Latino students in these courses was 74%, compared to 66% for Latinos in all 100-level courses.
  • In 2019-2020, those same numbers for Latino students are 86%, compared to 65%, and in 2018-2019 the rates are 71% compared to 67%.

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