UMAMS English Language Learners Visit West Chester University
On November 13, 2018, 101 English language learners in grades five through eight traveled to the West
Chester University campus for a guided tour and a professor led workshop with the
objective of making college a “real” and “tangible” goal as opposed to an abstract
and elusive “dream.” Dean Tabetha Adkins, out of the Office of Undergraduate and Student
Support Services, provided the funding for the event, with the support of administrative
assistant, Ms. Andria Young.
Linguistically and culturally diverse students tend to be among students who face the most
significant obstacles in achieving a university degree. Furthermore,
less than fifteen percent of the English learners have a family member who has attained a
university degree, and these degrees were obtained in a foreign educational system—systems
which are dissimilar to the American higher education system.
Fifth and sixth grade students were treated to an animated and interactive presentation in the
planetarium by Dr. Karen Schwarz, while students in grades seven and eight experienced a
career development workshop. Professors from the Department of World Languages
met with students to discuss the value of being bilingual and to answer questions related
related to attending the university. Students were treated to lunch in the
cafeteria and were overwhelmed by all the delicious gastronomic options.
Being on campus that day, which was alive with the many exciting activities and
experiences that universities offer young people, made an impact on all of the students, but
especially on English learners who will be the first to go to college in their families. In their
post-trip reflections, one English language learner remarked, “I know I need to work hard to
get there, but I don’t want to miss out on going to college. It will make my family and my
You can also see a video story of the day at www.umasd.org/vconline