An Expert’s Experience in Access for Bilingual and Low-Income Learners

By Dr. Patricia Gándara

Exposing learners to the opportunities that lie ahead begins with establishing equitable learning environments and exposing them to a myriad of possibilities. For Dr. Patricia Gándara, ETS Board of Trustees Member, Research Professor of Education in the School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA and Co-Director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, discovering what was possible began with exploring educational opportunities outside of what she was exposed to growing up.

After individuals in her school and local community took time to contribute to her personal and academic development, Dr. Gándara was able to progress in her learning journey and serve as a role model for not only the next generation of English-language learners, but for peers who came from similar backgrounds. As an advocate for bilingual learners, Dr. Gándara has encouraged these students to believe in and voice their perspectives on the world and to serve as mentors for others to see the possibilities available to them, both in and outside of the classroom.