‘Bridging Historias’ Program to Enhance Humanities Courses

by Diane VanDyke

By participating in a two-year “Bridging Historias” program funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, Montgomery County Community College’s Dean of Arts and Humanities Michele Cuomo serves as the administrative lead for the grant, and in doing so, will have the opportunity to provide resources to faculty to expand Latino/a studies in humanities courses offered at the College.

“Latino history and culture is an extremely important part of American history and culture. ‘Bridging Historias’ provides faculty and administrators with an opportunity to learn more on the subject from leading historians, which will in turn provide greater student access to this important and compelling area of study,” says Cuomo.

“Bridging Historias” is a faculty and curriculum development program directed by the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning in partnership with Queensborough Community College. The program addresses the importance of Latino/a culture in American history and is designed to expand the teaching of this topic across the humanities disciplines.

The program started in September 2013 at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, with 42 selected community college faculty and administrators from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania. The program includes six full-day seminars with guest lecturers at CUNY. Participants also use an online program for reading, discussion and further development of programs to incorporate the Latino/a perspective.

Montgomery County Community College celebrates all diversity and is committed to building and supporting a diverse community and maintaining a campus climate that embraces differences.

According to 2010 census results reported on Montgomery County Planning Commission’s Data Portel at http://www.montcopa.org, Montgomery County’s growing Latino/a population has more than doubled since 2000, increasing by 18,991 for a total of 34,233 persons. This growing segment comprises 4.3 percent of the County’s total population of 799,874 in 2010.

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