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SGarza: HistoryOnMexicanAmericanLatinosHigherEducation

Romano: Juarez Lincoln University, TX

Juarez Lincoln University was a teacher training institution in the late 1960s-1970s located in the American southland (south Texas). When talking about marginalized students, we need to acknowledge a Mexico-centered tradition that is in contrast to the European tradition. The school was founded as anti-Anglo and anti-assimilation. It granted Master's of Education degrees during its 9 years of operation. The curriculum reflected the social will of the founders--who were students themselves. The moral and ethical imperative for rhetoric is clear from the school's charter. The founders argued for separation based on lack of access for Hispanics. Its very existence reinforces the historically dysfunctional relationship between Mexican Americans and higher education. Children were very often segregated in the public schools at this time. Even though Mexican Americans were 1/6 of the population, only 1/60th of them graduated from high school during the 60s. This graduate school was founded by students who were disenchanted with what was available and grew out of the Mayo student movement. The founders wanted a practical solution to the educational problem of Hispanics. The students were working on master's degrees, at the same time worked with high school students, training them to pass the GED. The curriculum was bario-centered with bilingualism as bedrock. Typically, oral Spanish and written English were stressed. The school felt that graduate writing should be civic involvement writing: power, media, language and the people (rhetoric). The brief flowering and then dissipation of this school shows the deeply flawed relationship with Anglo-centered higher education in this country as well as the roots and endurance of identity politics among Mexican Americans. [CH]

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