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New Course Style Helps Eliminate Barriers to Student Success

August, 2021
  • Assistant Professor of Accounting and QCC alumnus Eduardo Rivas.
    Assistant Professor of Accounting and QCC alumnus Eduardo Rivas.

QCC is offering bilingual college-level classes for Spanish-speaking students this fall. This new approach to learning will provide Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to listen to lectures and instruction in Spanish and will then be required to complete their readings and assignments in English.

This idea is the brainchild of Assistant Professor of Accounting and QCC alumnus Eduardo Rivas.

“Students feel more comfortable receiving instruction in their native language. I know that for a lot of non-native English speakers, the hardest part is listening and understanding,” Mr. Rivas said. “When I was new to this country I could read English, but I had difficulty understanding when people talked to me. It was too fast. Some of my other friends and I used to watch videos on YouTube in Spanish to understand the concepts better for our classes.”

As someone who has also tutored students in QCC’s Math Tutoring Center, Mr. Rivas found that many Spanish-speaking students would ask for an explanation in Spanish, even if they could speak English fluently. He completely understood and had been fortunate to take a bilingual course when he was in his bachelor's degree program.

“I was able to take a literature class in Spanish as part of my bachelor's degree program. You had to be fluent in the language to be taking that class. I enjoyed being able to talk in my native language in the classroom. I wish I had the opportunity to take some of my other classes in Spanish,” he said.   

Mr. Rivas presented the idea of bilingual courses to QCC administration, who responded positively to the idea. Together with Mr. Rivas, they identified three courses that will be offered this fall. These classes are in a hybrid format and students will need to be online, or on campus at specific days/times. Students must be proficient in Spanish and English to attend any of these courses.

Classes in this new format include:

  • Intro to Microcomputer Applications (Monday, 9:30 a.m. -10:45 a.m.)
  • Financial Accounting I (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. -10:45 a.m.)
  • Introduction to Business (Friday, 9:30 a.m. -10:45 a.m.)

“My goal is to get as many Spanish-speaking students as we can into these classes, and I hope we can offer more classes in Spanish in the future,” Mr. Rivas said.

For questions, email Mr. Rivas at erivas [at] qcc.mass.edu

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