|Jaime Escalante Math & Science Program|
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The East Los Angeles College Foundation has provided supplemental financial support to the Jaime Escalante Math & Science Program since its arrival to East Los Angeles College. Jaime Escalante, himself, transferred his program to the College.
The intensive program approach was established in 1980 by Jaime Escalante, a teacher in East Los Angeles, whose inspirational teaching methods motivated a group of Latino students at Garfield High School. These students, working with Mr. Escalante, studied calculus in preparation for the national Advanced Placement Examination in that subject. The remarkable success of the students caused the College Board (administering agency) to question the results. The students were retested and their repeated success aroused national recognition of Mr. Escalante and his methods.
Encouraging Student Success
Mr. Escalante's personal success at Garfield High School and the subsequent accomplishments of the Escalante Program have kindled an appreciation of science and mathematics among thousands of East Los Angeles high school and junior high school students, 92% of whom are Latino. The Program is now recognized nationally for its accomplishments in producing outstanding and successful students, and has been chronicled in the Oscar nominated film, Stand and Deliver.
The Escalante Program is an integrated sequence of intermediate and advanced mathematics coursework supported by the commitment of each student and instructor to a rigorous schedule. Class outlines are based on the California math standards and are taught by instructors selected for their teaching skills and history of success with students. All of our teachers, who teach in neighboring districts, possess at least a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics with some even having learned from Escalante himself.
Challenging Students and Teachers Alike
Classes are designed to cover one year of course work (two semesters) in seven weeks. Participants meet for four hours a day, five days a week for a total of 144 hrs. Following such a rigorous schedule is challenging for teachers and students alike. To assure the course content is fully covered, two standardized tests are given throughout the program. All students take the UCLA Math Readiness exams before they finish the program and results are used to evaluate the program and to recommend students for the next level.
The ELAC Foundation continues to provide resources to the program through grants and individual donations. The money raised through these sources is used to go directly into the program support. Unfortunately with only a limited amount of available resources, the program every year turns away an average of 250 potential participants. Program Director Fernando Fernandez, selected in 2002 from a pool of qualified candidates, has invigorated the Escalante program and plans to carry on the legacy left by its founder.