“Whittier College has a long tradition of preparing devoted educators who go on to positively influence the lives of thousands of K-12 students, many from underserved communities, in our state,” said President Linda Oubré. “The online Bilingual Authorization program gives working professionals the flexibility they need to gain greater skills and serve their students well.”
The BILA Program provides academically and professionally rigorous courses and field experiences that will add significantly to an educator's awareness of and ability to address the linguistic and learning needs of students all over Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area. The BILA Program allows students to earn authorization to teach in a variety of bilingual settings in both elementary and secondary education.
“Whittier’s Department of Education offers social-justice-oriented degrees that prepare educators to meet the diverse cultural and linguistic needs of students in today’s public schools by providing an intellectually rich, student-centered, and culturally responsive educational experience,” said Graduate Programs Director Ivannia Soto.
School districts in the Los Angeles area, and all over California, are rapidly expanding their bilingual programs, mostly adding new dual-language immersion (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are the fastest-growing languages) classrooms and programs at the elementary level. Some are also expanding existing programs into secondary schools. In a fall 2020 survey of officials from eight of the largest school districts and nine small, rural districts in the state, the Learning Policy Institute found that most districts still needed more bilingual teachers.
“Whittier College’s partner districts come to us regularly looking for highly qualified bilingual teachers, who are prepared to teach under Whittier College’s teacher education mission and vision,” added Soto.
Whittier’s BILA program prepares educators to teach high levels of bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism in dual-language settings and various content areas in Spanish with the ultimate goal of sending highly qualified and in-demand teachers into Los Angeles-area bilingual classrooms. The BILA Authorization Program can be completed on its own (9 units) or in conjunction with a Master's degree (30 units) or credential.
For more information visit www.whittier.edu/bilingual
Professor Ivannia Soto is the Director of the Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (ICLRT) at Whittier and is an expert in the field, having authored numerous books on the subject including Shadowing Multilingual Learners, ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change, and Moving From Spoken to Written Language With ELLs.