This broad-reaching partnership, started in 2001, connects Centro Hispano with many colleges and departments of University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), with multiplying benefits to both institutions. Centro Hispano de East Tennessee is a community center developed by the Latino Task Force (LTF) and its umbrella organization, the Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee (CEDnet), and serves as gathering place for the growing Hispanic population in our community. UT undergraduates with advanced level Spanish are able to apply directly their language skills outside of the classroom in the Centro’s community programs. UT’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Law, College of Engineering, and others also facilitate student and faculty engagement opportunities in partnership with Centro Hispano.
Community partners include Centro Hispano and other local community organizations that serve the Hispanic community. UT partners include the College of Art and Sciences’ Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, International Service, and Culture Programs; the College of Law; and UT Service Learning (Office of Provost).
Impact on UT
Our partnership with Centro Hispano offers undergraduates with advanced level Spanish the opportunity to apply directly their language skills outside of the classroom in community programs designed to service the needs of many Hispanics. Through these lived experiences, Centro Hispano has enabled these and many other UT students to make a stronger connection between their formal educations and their roles as socially responsible citizens by enabling them to engage with the realities and meanings of multiculturalism.
Impact on Community
As the community sees a steady increase in the size of our Hispanic population, the need to offer effective services in both Spanish and English requires an adequate number of professionals who have bilingual and bicultural skills. UT is able to provide students who have those skills primarily through the Spanish-language service-learning project with the Centro Hispano as well as internships conducted at Centro Hispano by the Language and World Business students. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement: students receive training and experience that enhance their professional skills in an increasingly bi-lingual country, while the local Hispanic community benefits from essential services not easily accessible to non-native speakers or new arrivals in our community.
Related Story: Centro Hispano Connects UT Students to Broader Community>>
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