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Migrant Worker Outreach and Education Program

This innovative program draws undergraduate students from across campus based on their shared commitment to social justice and desire to expand their own intercultural competencies for their future careers. Selected students find a challenging academic experience both in the classroom and in the field as student teachers working with diverse local populations with mixed English proficiency. Alumni of this program attest to the many ways that it honed their leadership and communication skills, enhanced their ability to think on their feet in unpredictable circumstances, and provided them with a savvy and sophisticated view of the rapidly changing national demographics.

This program is offered in collaboration with the English Language Institute and the Department of American Culture.



Principles and Practices of Teaching ESL in Migrant Communities (WINTER 2022: Tu/Th 1:00PM - 2:30PM)

Students in this course explore the themes of "language and community" by focusing on the experience of migrant farmworkers in southeast Michigan. What is the economic, cultural, and historical context of migrant farm work in the US? Who are the workers? Where do they come from? How do they live? What is the history of migrant outreach and education efforts? To answer these questions, students will rely on academic materials (articles, documentaries, among others) and presentations from community partners working with the migrant community.

As students investigate these questions, they will also learn and practice the methods and techniques for teaching ESL to a mixed-proficiency, primarily Spanish-speaking population. These include drafting and revising lesson plans and creating teaching materials to be taught to their peers. There is the possibility of internships with community partners for additional credit (dependent on COVID restrictions). This course is intended for students interested in exploring the structure of the US agricultural system as well as those interested in the educational, health, and legal obstacles affecting the migrant community. This course satisfies the R&E requirement.


For more information, please contact Mabel Rodriguez at or Deborah DesJardins at