Monthly Webinar Resources

In late October 2013, the Initiative launched its monthly webinar series. Each webinar will aim to connect national and local leaders, while highlighting Bright Spots, throughout the nation, to discuss federal programs and initiatives, relevant policy issues and evidence-based practices that are benefiting the Hispanic community. Invitations for each webinar will be sent via email. Please be sure you have signed up for our email distribution list.

Archived webinar slides, audio files and transcripts can be found on the following topics below:

September 2015 – Hispanic Education Progress under the Obama Administration

  • Summary: This month marks the 25th Anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in our nation’s schools and President Obama has made sure that the Hispanic community is included in efforts to advance education opportunities for all Americans from cradle-to-career. The number of Hispanic students enrolled in college jumped by 45 percent from 2008 to 2012, with over a million Hispanic students enrolled today. Right now, our high school graduation rate is the highest it’s been in 30 years, and the Latino dropout rate has been cut in half since 2000. President Obama has improved the quality of education – particularly in our lowest-performing schools – and has expanded access to college because every child deserves an education that equips him or her with the skills to find a good-paying job and succeed in the workforce. During our webinar, we will hear from the White House’s Deputy Assistant to the President for Education, Roberto Rodríguez, who will provide an overview of the accomplishments in education by the Obama Administration.  Education Secretary Arne Duncan will also provide brief remarks during the webinar.
  • Resources:

August 2015 – Developmental (Remedial) Education

  • Summary: This month, we are focusing on developmental or remedial postsecondary education. Between 2011-2012, approximately 38 percent of Hispanic first- and second-year undergraduates took a remedial course. With these college courses mostly non-credit, this can affect postsecondary students financially while setting them back, impacting their ability to graduate on-time. Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary on Community Colleges at the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education spoke about the Administration’s efforts on reducing participation in this area. Elizabeth Zachry, Senior Research Associate at the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness, shared their research agenda on best practices to reform developmental education.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF]; Audio [MP3]; Transcript [PDF]

July 2015 – Early Learning

  • Summary: This month, we are focusing on Early Learning. There has been a surge of evidence demonstrating the benefits of investing in high-quality early learning and the huge unmet need. This fall, in 18 states, 33,000 additional children from low- and moderate-income families will start school for the first time in high-quality early learning programs through Preschool Development Grants, where were funded in the last Congress. As the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left behind is debated, we must continue to recognize that parents, educators, business leaders, law enforcement officers, retired generals, researchers, and economists all call for greater – not fewer – investments in early learning. We also know that there are programs and strategies already working for Latino infants and young children, and are helping create a foundation for our children’s development and the future of our country. The webinar began with a presentation on the Administration’s Early Learning efforts from Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education. In the second half, Celia Ayala, Chief Executive Officer at Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) shared how LAUP has increased access to early learning in their community.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF]; Audio [MP3]; Transcript [PDF]

June 2015 Webinar – STEM Education

  • Summary: This month’s webinar will focus on STEM education. Between 2010 and 2020 the overall employment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations is projected to increase by 17 percent, yet not enough Latino students are pursuing degrees and careers in the STEM fields to meet the increasing demand. Only 67 percent of Hispanic students have access to a full range of STEM courses (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry and Physics) in high school. The lack of STEM representation is more prevalent at the postsecondary level with only 16 percent of Hispanics and 8.8% percent of Latinas completing their STEM bachelor’s degree. To counter this, the Administration has taken broader action to ensure that all of America’s young people have the skills, tools, and knowledge necessary in STEM including hosting the annual White House Science Fair. The webinar began with a presentation from Kumar Garg from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy who will provide an overview of Administration’s STEM Initiative. In the second half, Velinda Reyes and Karen Dorado from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley shared how they increase STEM access to Hispanic students through Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week (HESTEC) Week.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF]; Audio [MP3]; Transcript [PDF]

May 2015 Webinar – Community Colleges

  • Summary: This month’s webinar will focus on community colleges. Earlier this year, President Obama announced the America’s College Promise proposal that would make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost.. This proposal would have a major impact on the Hispanic community. Nearly half (46%) of Hispanics attend community colleges. The webinar began with a presentation from Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, who will provide an overview of the Administration’s efforts to strengthen community colleges. In the second half, Dr. Greg Peterson, Vice President of Student Support Services at Long Beach City College (LBCC) – a Hispanic-Serving Institution – presented information on LBCC’s efforts to promote academic achievement for Hispanics students.
  • Resources will be posted shortly.

April 2015 Webinar – First in the World Program

  • Summary: This month’s webinar will focus on the U.S. Department of Education’s First in the World (FITW) Program. The FITW program provides grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. The webinar began with a presentation from James T. Minor, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, who will provide an overview of the program. In the second half, leaders from LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York – a Hispanic-Serving Institution – presented information on the programs and activities they are implementing with a FITW grant they received.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF]; Audio [MP3]

April 2015 Webinar – Commitments for Hispanic Students

  • Summary: September 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (Initiative). To commemorate this historic occasion U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Initiative launched the “Anniversary Year of Action: Fulfilling America’s Future” from October 2014 through September 2015. Throughout the Anniversary Year of Action, the Initiative is encouraging the public and private sectors to invest in increasing educational outcomes and opportunities for Hispanic students across the country. This national call for Commitments to Action (Commitments) will make a meaningful and quantifiable contribution to increase and support educational outcomes for Latinos, from cradle-to-career.
  • Resources will be posted shortly.

March 2015 Webinar – Latinas

  • Summary: This webinar focused on Latinas in honor of Women’s History Month. It began with a presentation from Kimberlyn Leary, Advisor at the White House Council on Women and Girls, who shared the Administration’s efforts to expand opportunity and address unique challenges facing women and girls of color, including Hispanics. During the second half, Patricia Gándara, K-12 Subcommittee Co-Chair of President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics presented information on an upcoming report on U.S. Hispanic women in the U.S., focused on the current status of Latinas in key areas such as education and economy.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 280KB; Audio [MP3, 7MB]; Transcript [PDF, 184KB]

February 2015 Webinar – P-12 Education, Civil Rights, and Equity

  • Summary: This webinar featured guest speaker, John B. King, who recently joined the U.S. Department of Education as Senior Adviser Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education. In his recent weekly address, the President said, “In today’s world, we have to equip all our kids with an education that prepares them for success, regardless of what they look like, or how much their parents make, or the zip code they live in.” King talked about the need to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—also known as No Child Left Behind—with a law that not only ensures students are prepared for college, careers and life, but also delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 512 KB]; Audio; [MP3, 7MB] Transcript [PDF, 92KB]

January 2015 Webinar –  Postsecondary Completion

  • Summary: Early in his administration, President Obama set a goal for the United States to once again lead the world in the share of our population with a college degree by 2020. To achieve this goal, we must continue to support, strengthen, and expand efforts that lead to increased postsecondary completion for Hispanics. The webinar included a presentation by Eric Waldo, Executive Director of the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative about the administration’s commitment and efforts to increasing postsecondary completion. In the second half, James Sandoval from the University of California, Riverside provided a brief overview of the programs and efforts at the university to strengthen postsecondary completion among Hispanics and all students.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 838 KB]; Transcript [PDF, 117 KB]

December 2014 Webinar –  Financial Literacy

  • Summary: Financial literacy is a vital component of a family’s well-being, especially for families and students making investments in education. The focus of this webinar is to help inform stakeholders about the resources and information available around financial literacy, especially as related to knowledge about financing education, and to highlight some effective work being done to assist families in managing their finances. The webinar included a presentation from Dubis Correal, Strategic Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator, Office Financial Education, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, highlighting some of the tools and resources that the Administration has made available for students and families. In the second half, Oscar Cruz, President and CEO, Families in Schools, provided an overview of the work of Families in Schools, an organization based in Los Angeles, CA, that seeks to involve parents and communities in their children’s education to achieve lifelong success.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.43 MB]; Transcript [PDF, 115 KB]

December 2014 Webinar – Evidence-Based Programs for Hispanic Males

  • Summary: The webinar focused on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative (MBK) and show how there are evidence-based programs in local communities that align with the goals of the initiative. On September 30, 2014, President Obama launched the MBK Community Challenge, a call to action for local communities to design and implement strategies that are proven to work to address the challenges facing young Americans including Hispanic males. This webinar included a brief overview of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the recent launch of the MBK Community Challenge from Rafael Lopez, Senior Policy Advisor, The White House. This was followed by a presentation from the National Compadres Network, who shared their El Joven Noble curriculum. El Joven Noble is a comprehensive indigenous based, youth leadership development program that supports and guides young men through their manhood “rites of passage” process while focusing on the prevention of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, relationship violence, gang violence and school failure. They shared their best practices and provided tips in how to build an evidence-based program.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 2.27 MB]; Transcript [PDF, 208 KB]

November 2014 Webinar – College Application Process

  • Summary: The President recently designated November as National College Application Month, and in the proclamation, he stated, “This fall, high school seniors across our Nation are making the decision to invest in their future by earning a postsecondary degree or credential, and as they navigate the college admissions process, my Administration is dedicated to supporting them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.” Michael Itzkowitz, Special Assistant at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, highlighted some of the tools and resources they have made available for students and families. Alex Hitch, Educational Programs Manager, Student Latino Fund, provided an overview of the work of his organization, based in Washington, DC, that is providing opportunities for a strong academic foundation for PreK-12th grade students of Hispanic descent to promote higher education and professional leadership.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 10.2 MB];  Transcript [PDF, 127 KB]

October 2014 Webinar – Bright Spots

  • Summary: The Initiative celebrated its webinar one-year anniversary by introducing its newest project, Bright Spots for Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and how participants can nominate groups for consideration as a bright spot. The Initiative shares information with our stakeholder network about programs, organizations, or schools that address key topics in the Hispanic community and achieve real, and positive results. For example, these Bright Spots are featured on monthly webinars, are selected to participate in panels at our policy action forums and other events, and are the subject of blog posts on our website. As the Initiative embarks on its 25th anniversary year of action: Fulfilling America’s Future, we will seek to learn about and highlight more bright spots throughout the nation, culminating in a kind of catalog – a listing of numerous entities that demonstrate promising practices. The webinar included a presentation from The Concilio in Dallas, TX – an example of a bright spot that is achieving impact in the Hispanic community they serve.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 492 KB]; Audio [MP3, 7MB]; Transcript [MP3, 160KB]

September 2014 Webinar – College- and Career-Ready Standards

  • Summary: September’s webinar focused on college- and career-ready standards. Education systems only are as strong as the expectations they hold for their students. But for too long, our nation’s schools have not set consistently rigorous goals for students. There is growing consensus that America’s students need to be prepared to compete in a world that demands more than just basic skills. Over the past several years, states have taken the lead in developing and adopting rigorous standards in English language arts and mathematics that build toward college and career readiness by the time students graduate from high school. During the webinar, Terra Wallin, Management and Program Analyst, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, described the Department’s agenda on college- and career-ready standards, and how states have worked on this issue. In the second half of the webinar, Gabriela Uro, Manager for English Language Learner Policy and Research at the Council of the Great City Schools, shared information about valuable resources and tools developed by the Council to support implementation of the new standards with Latino students and English language learners (ELLs) in mind.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 736KB]; Audio [MP3, 8.08MB]; Transcript [PDF, 196KB]

August 2014 Webinar – Hispanic Teacher Recruitment

  • Summary: With Hispanics composing nearly one-quarter (about 24 percent) of public school students in the nation, only 8 percent of our nation’s teachers are Hispanic. August’s webinar focused on Hispanic Teacher Recruitment, looking at both the state of Latino teacher recruitment and some practices to increase recruitment of Hispanic teachers. Dr. Belinda Flores from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Dr. Cristina Alfaro from San Diego State University shared effective work and practices being made to recruit Latino teachers, whose diversity offers benefits to all students and to fellow educators.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.66MB]; Audio [MP3, 9.11MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 228KB]

July  2014 Webinar – Educational Technology

  • Summary: Last year, President Obama announced a new initiative, ConnectED, that will connect 99% of students to next generation broadband and high speed wireless within five speed. As the Hispanic student population continues to grow, it is important that students have access to the latest cutting-edge technologies and digital content in the classroom. During the webinar, Richard Culatta, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education, discussed the Department’s focus on leveraging technology to create personalized learning experiences for all students. In the second half of the webinar, Misa Gonzales, a teacher from Alta Vista High School in Tucson, Arizona, shared her experiences using advanced technology in the classroom.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 2.27MB] ; Audio [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 124KB]; Additional Resources [PDF, 166KB]

June 2014 Webinar – Hispanic Families and Special Education

  • Summary: This month’s webinar focused on Hispanic families and special education. Approximately 1.3 million Hispanics receive early intervention and special education services. The webinar shared information about how Hispanic families can become knowledgeable about special education and their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) so that they can advocate for their children with disabilities. The webinar included two presentations: the first by David Emenheiser from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Dept. of Education. He provided details about IDEA and described the Administration’s commitment to its investments in parent training and information centers. The second half of the webinar featured a presentation by Isabel Garcia and Lauren Bustos-Alban of Parent to Parent of Miami, a community parent resource center, in Miami, FL. She shared information about programs they offer and described their efforts to empower parents to get the support they and their children need.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 476KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 245KB]

May 2014 Webinar – Summer Melt

  • Summary:  “Summer melt” is the phenomenon of college-enrolled high school graduates not showing up to school the following fall – they “melt away” during the summer.  What can we do to stop this from happening, and increase the number of Hispanic college eligible students who access and complete higher education? Please join us for our Webinar on summer melt May 21, 2014, which will feature Greg Darnieder, Special Assistant for College Access, U.S. Department of Education, Lindsay Page, Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Education and Benjamin Castleman, Assistant Professor, Curry School of Education (UVA).
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 786KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 8 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 104KB]

April 2014 Webinar – Improving Educational Outcomes for Hispanic Males

  • Summary: This month’s webinar looked at ways to improve the educational and life outcomes for young Hispanic males in the United States. Data shows that Hispanic and other boys and young men of color, regardless of socio-economic background, are disproportionately at risk throughout the journey, from their youngest years to college and career. To ensure the economic and social viability of our nation, it is critical that the education and life outcomes for students, particularly Hispanic and other boys and men of color, are enhanced. Drs. Victor Sáenz and Luis Ponjuan, co-founders of Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), presented an overview of their organization and efforts to address this issue. Project MALES is an organization that aims to increase Latino educational outcomes through research and mentoring. Following them, Rafael López, Senior Policy Advisor at the White House, provided a summary of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.26MB]; Audio File [MP3, 9.85MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 132KB]

April 2014 Webinar – New High School Equivalency Assessments – HiSET and TASC

  • Summary: In the second part of a special series on high school equivalency exams, this month’s webinar focused on two new high school equivalency tests available in certain states. Since January 2014, two new tests other than the GED have become available, and a number of states have begun to adopt and recognize them. It is important to understand which states offer the option of taking one of these new tests, and the features of the tests, to prepare Hispanic learners most effectively to achieve their academic potential. Deborah Shine, Director of Student and Teacher Assessment and Outreach, Educational Testing Service (ETS), gave the overview of the ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), and Mike Johnson, National Adult Education Manager, CTB/McGraw-Hill, shared a summary of the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) exam. Both presenters shared links and resources regarding their high school equivalency exams.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 756KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 98KB]

March 2014 Webinar – English Learners

  • Summary: This month’s webinar focused on English Learners (ELs).  There are an estimated 4.6 million students learning English in the United States, the fastest-growing student population in our schools. As the percentage of students that are enrolled in EL courses increases, more attention will need to be directed toward these students and their unique needs in the classroom. During this webinar, Supreet Anand and Francisco López, who oversee the Title III programs (English Language Acquisition State Grants) at the U.S. Department of Education, presented an overview of EL programs at the U.S. Department of Education and discussed in-depth about ESEA Flexibility and how it affects EL students. The second half of the webinar featured Jose Rodriguez, regional director at the National Council of La Raza, who shared effective best practices in working with EL students from his experience as an English as Second Language (ESL) Coordinator in Bexar County, TX.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 464KB] ; Audio File [MP3, 7 MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 114KB]

February 2014 Webinar – GED Test

  • Summary: Nicole Chestang, Vice President and Chief Strategist, College and Career Success, American Council on Education, provided a run-through of the revised GED Test, one of the ways students can obtain high school equivalent credentials. In addition, she provided links on resources for test-takers and educators. Afterwards, President Andrew Sund of St. Augustine College, abilingual (dual-language) institution of higher education in Chicago, IL, created under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese to make the American system of higher education accessible to a diverse student population with emphasis on those of Hispanic descent; to strengthen ethnic identity; to reinforce cultural interaction; and to build a bridge to fill cultural, educational, and socio-economic gaps discussed his college’s GED program, providing programmatic details and shared results from the program’s exit tests. This was followed by an engaging conversation between the speakers and participants. This was the first of a special series on high school equivalency exams now available.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 5MB]; Audio File [MP3, 8MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 118KB];

January 2014 Webinar  – Student Financial Assistance

  • Summary: Wendy Bhagat, Director, Awareness & Outreach Group, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, provided a run-through of the U.S. Department of Education’s recently launched financial aid toolkit ( Afterwards, Claire Dennison, Vice President, uAspire, and Elsa Martinez-Pimentel, Assistant Director, Eastern Massachusetts, uAspire, discussed the mission and programs of their organization, ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through a postsecondary education, and provided tips on working with Hispanic students. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.0MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 104KB]; Audio File [MP3, 9.0MB]

December 2013 Webinar – Family Engagement

  • Summary: The webinar on family engagement featured two bright spots facilitating and encouraging strong engagement between families and their children’s schools – WestEd and Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA). Maria Paredes, Senior Program Associate at WestEd, shared her research and experience with the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (based in Arizona). Then, Aurelio Montemayor, Senior Education Associate at IDRA provided an overview of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) Comunitario based in South Texas. IDRA has been supported over the past five years. Lourdes Flores shared her experience as a parent leader in the program.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.7MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 106KB]; Audio File [MP3, 8.7MB]

November 2013 Webinar –  Immigrant Integration

  • Summary: Debra Suarez, English Language Learning Education Specialist, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, provided an overview on the challenges immigrants face in America and discussed Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA). During the second half of the webinar, Deputy Director of Welcoming America, Rachel Steinhardt, discussed the mission and programs of her organization, highlighting ways to make local communities welcome to immigrant populations. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.22MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 185KB]

October 2013 Webinar – The inaugural policy webinar centered on Early Learning and Hispanic children.

  • Summary: Steven Hicks, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education, and Yvette Sanchez, Director, Office of Head Start, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provided an overview on the importance of early care and learning and discussed the President’s Preschool for All proposal. During the second half of the webinar, National Program Director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, Sandra Gutierrez, discussed the mission and programs of her organization, emphasizing the critical piece families play in their children’s development and educational career. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
  • Resources: Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.16MB]; Audio File [MP3, 7]


Topic Suggestions: Suggestions for future topics and presenters should be sent to