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In the Community

Computer Workshops to Benefit Santa Ana Parents
by Gail Matsunaga


from Dateline (January 30, 2003)

Computer lab

As challenging as it often can be for many high school students to be first in their families to attend college, it can be especially daunting if they come from bilingual and bicultural backgrounds.

Juan S. Muñoz, assistant professor of secondary education, hopes to help change that with a series of workshops aimed at parents of promising and college-bound students living in Santa Ana.

The project, funded by a University Planning Initiative, kicks off at 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana.

The bilingual workshops, developed for Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking parents, will assist participants in learning to use online resources available through the university and provide them with a broader understanding of how the materials are coordinated. Topics will include the application process, financial aid sources and applications, and information related to the English placement test and entry-level math assessments.

Subsequent training sessions – developed and administered by faculty members and students – will be held in February, March and April.

“Typically, parents who have limited command of the English language are inaccurately considered key factors to persistent academic underachievement of students raised in bilingual and bicultural households,” explains Muñoz. “Parents, regardless of social or ethnic background, are generally committed to the academic success of their children.

“This computerized training will prepare Santa Ana parents to become technically proficient and thus more confident academic resources for their children with aspirations to attend college.”

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