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									Strategies that Promote Latino Student Involvement and Success in the Classroom
Tuesday, November 17th ~ 1-2:30 EST

Overview

Chicano/Latino students present both challenges and opportunities to instructional faculty: The challenge is to understand the
developmental learning needs of these students; the opportunity is to be effective with this student population by putting into
practice specific strategies that “generate clarity of learning and greater interest and involvement in the process of learning” by
Latino/a students.
This workshop will present theory and practice relevant to (1) understanding the various motivational characteristics that Latino/a
students bring with them to the classroom that impact their style and participation in learning; (2) how to establish a powerful
teaching/learning relationship with Latino/a students and (2) how to support the development of confidence and competence in
Latino/students within the classroom.
This workshop is based on an invited presentation developed for the national conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges
and Universities (HACU). The session was of the best attended and most highly rated sessions at the 2005, 2007, and 2008 HACU
national conferences. It is also based on Dr. Rivas’ 33 years of experience as a professor, counselor, and administrator working with
diverse student groups, including extensively with Latino/a students.
Objectives


Participants will learn the following:



        Develop and utilize culturally appropriate individual and group teaching methods based on theory and effective practices
        Assist students to shift attributions from ability to effort and strategy attributions
        Assist students to shift from being ego involved to becoming task involved, which promotes more focus in the process of
         being an effective learner
        Learn specific classroom strategies that encourage greater Latino/a student participation in the classroom, as well as with
         tutoring and office hour visits
        Assist students and faculty to employ the 0-100% Competence Development Teaching and Advising Method as a
         means for promoting greater student involvement with learning and responsibility and confidence toward learning



Who is the speaker?

Mario Rivas, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus. Dr. Rivas has
taught at the psychology community college, undergraduate, and graduate levels of higher education. Dr. Rivas was also
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at San Francisco State University, and Vice President of Student Services at Berkeley City
College. Currently, Dr. Rivas is a permanent Psychology Professor at Merritt College in Oakland, California. Dr. Rivas has also served
as co-chair of the Multicultural Concerns Commission of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and has authored
and co-authored several chapters and articles focused on improving the achievement and learning success of students of color.

Dr. Rivas is a first-generation to college Latino who was raised in a single parent home, welfare-assistance home. Initially, Mario was
disqualified from community college, but found his way in U.S. society through having had an initial success experience as a radar
air traffic controller in the United States Air Force. Subsequently, he re-entered college as an Educational Opportunity Program
(EOP) student and completed a B.A. in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Counseling, and a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in
Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology. Dr. Rivas’ dissertation was entitled “An Exploratory Study of a Group Intervention
with Underprepared Minority Students in University.” In this study, Dr. Rivas found that “Task-involved” college students of color
performed more effectively than ego-involved students. Dr. Rivas served as Assistance Director of the Martin Luther King
Undergraduate Leadership Advising Office, which served as the primary advising department for students of color. Following
completion of his doctorate, he assumed the position of Director of the Undergraduate Advising Center at San Francisco State
University, where he also developed the Learning Assistance Center. Dr. Rivas left SFSU to become Vice-President of Student
Services at Berkeley City College, a position he held for seven years.

Currently, Dr. Rivas is a full-time professor of Psychology at Merritt College in Oakland, California, where he teaches a full-range of
Psychology courses. As part of his assignment at Merritt College, he is responsible for working with local high schools to increase the
enrollment of Latino/a college students. One of Dr. Rivas’ foci in working with Latino/a students is to use Gestalt Educational
Counseling Methods to empower them to understand experientially how their early emotional learning lessens their ability to be
effective high school and college students.
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