The Inter-American program is an outgrowth of Pacific’s historic commitment to international education and cross cultural understanding. During the 1960s through the early 1980s a unique bilingual program called Elbert Covell College was based at Pacific. Students came from Latin America and the United States and all classes were taught in Spanish. The pioneering approach of Covell forms the basis for our new Inter-American program (see a timeline of events). Specific components include a bilingual living/ learning residential hall that opened in 2008, a cross cultural certificate program for the professions, an innovative Hispanic outreach program to our local community, and joint academic programs with universities in Latin America.
Casa Covell, a bilingual, multicultural housing unit, opened in the Fall of 2008. The residents are first year students from Latin America, sophomores who are both native speakers of Spanish and who are at least advanced intermediate students of Spanish to provide a mix of native and non-native speakers with different language and cultural backgrounds. The mentors or resident assistants for Casa Covell will be drawn from more advanced students of Spanish or from Latin America, and the appropriate head resident will be chosen with consideration for language skills, cross-cultural competence and other relevant qualifications. All the residents will pledge to maintain the use of Spanish in their daily activities, as well as in special programs, activities and whenever possible in their coursework. In the 2008-09 academic year, five classes are being offered in Spanish including classes in Spanish literature, history and sections of anthropology.
Community Outreach: Stockton is located in one of the most multicultural regions of the country with over forty languages spoken in the Stockton Unified school system. Hispanics, however, make up largest proportion of the population. The community outreach program will focus on ensuring the Hispanic students are prepared for college and supported while at the University of the Pacific, will provide a forum for community leaders to discuss important issues related to the Hispanic community, will organize workshops for community groups to learn about social entrepreneurship and sustainability and will work with the migrant population in an educational grant funded by the Migrant Education Office and implemented by the Benerd School of Education. Additional activities may include a microcredit fund and a youth entrepreneurship program