July 27, 2005
UCCP collaboration with Mexico will provide
online courses in Spanish
By Jennifer McNulty
The University of California's online education program took
a leap forward with the recent announcement of a plan to translate
its online math courses into Spanish.
The university has agreed to share its online materials with
Mexican educators, who will translate the courses and make the
Spanish-language versions available to students in California.
The Santa Cruz-based UC College
Prep Initiative (UCCP) has developed online high school
and advanced placement courses that utilize streaming video
and interactive simulations to help students succeed in subjects
like algebra and calculus.
Many students in California are entering college without
the basic skills they need to succeed in math and could benefit
from such courses, said UCCP director Moisés Torres.
This exchange provides California's native Spanish speakers
with a powerful supplemental tool to support their success in
math, as well as their progress in meeting California's rigorous
Spanish-language courses are also a key step in the development
of a binational high school that would support the educational
goals of students on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, said
Torres. Such collaboration would allow migrant students to finish
their high school education online in Mexico or the U.S. and
would enable students in Mexico to take high school courses
that would help prepare them for admission to colleges and universities
in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, he said.
The language initiative was announced at the third annual UCCP
Online Teaching & Learning Institute, which was held at
the University Inn in Santa Cruz July 20-22. Susan D. Patrick,
director of the Office of Educational Technology of the U.S.
Department of Education, delivered the keynote address during
the institute, which was attended by about 170 educators. The
proceedings were also made available online for those who could
not attend in person.
A delegation of education officials from Mexico attended the
institute, including representatives of Colegio de Bachilleres
in Mexico City, the Corporate University for Internet Development
(CUDI), the National University of Mexico (UNAM), and the National
Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), Mexico's equivalent
of the National Science Foundation. Like UCCP, these organizations
have developed an array of online high school courses designed
to help students complete accelerated and remedial work, and
to fill in gaps in course offerings at some schools. The binational
collaboration grew out of meetings held in Mexico City earlier
Cooperation over the Internet opens a new era for us,
said UCSC vice chancellor Francisco Hernandez, founder and executive
director of UCCP Online.
The distribution of UCCP's online courses outside California
is overseen by Gary Lopez of the Monterey
Institute for Technology and Education. Lopez administers
the National Respository of Online Courses (NROC), funded in
part by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He discussed
technology and Mexico's counterpart to Internet2 with Mexican
Institute participants also discussed plans for a recurring
online learning conference in Mexico City that would complement
the UCCP gathering.
We have problems in each of our countries and between
our countries that can be addressed by both the online learning
environment and by combining the languages and cultures of Mexico
and the U.S., said Torres.
In other news from the institute, Julie Mendoza of UC's All
Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity (ACCORD), based
at UCLA, discussed her research on the high school dropout rate
among Hispanic students in Los Angeles. Hispanic students have
the highest dropout rate in the United States and in California,
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