Ameritas Hispanic Pathways Higher Education Breakthrough Models

Ameritas Hispanic Pathways logo
Institution Type: 
For Profit Partnering with Private Nonprofit
Degree Level: 
Associate's and Bachelor's
Start Date: 
Fall 2013

Ameritas Hispanic Pathways is no longer operating. The information below details its plans for the grant it received from NGLC in 2012.


First-Year Enrollment: 500
Anticipated Students Served in First Five Years: 5,000
Tuition Model: $180.00 per credit (First 30 credits)/$360.00 per credit (Second 30 credits)
Geographies Served: National
Targeted Students: Working Hispanic adults for whom college readiness, cost, and language proficiency are major barriers to a college degree
Project Partners: Brandman University and University Ventures Fund

Ameritas Hispanic Pathways is building upon Brandman University’s high quality and affordable degree programs to deliver a blended learning Dual Language English Immersion (DLEI) first-year environment that will significantly increase the success of Hispanic adults seeking higher education. Ameritas will use NGLC grant funds for early-stage development of a Dual Language Content Management System (CMS) which delivers curriculum tailored to Hispanic Learners.  The DLEI platform will provide an essential academic and student support framework for students who need additional support to be successful at the college level, at the same time delivering the degree at an affordable price. Ameritas Hispanic Pathways will partner with other Higher Education Institutions to assist in providing meaningful access to the Hispanic community.  

The Ameritas Hispanic Pathways DLEI model’s goal, unlike other models of bilingual instruction, is to provide students an environment where they develop the confidence to work in an English-dominant workplace where they will potentially serve communities of large Hispanic influence. The DLEI model allows students to leverage their culture and Spanish language skills to support their learning. Discipline-specific instruction to support vocabulary and concept development is incorporated in both languages. The instructional framework maintains equal focus on college-level content and language learning, without sacrificing program learning outcomes.

Degree and course outcomes are grounded in the Lumina Foundation's Degree Qualifications Profile, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) standards, and the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) standards for language learning, instruction, and assessment. The first set of courses was directly derived from Brandman's successful academic framework and curricular materials, expertly converted to a dual-language English immersion format.  For example, in the Psychology course, students learn research methods in the behavioral science field, accompanied by dual language instruction in comprehension of scholarly journals. See here for more information about the instructional framework. Building upon this instructional framework, the courses are modularized and created in such a way that can easily be re-purposed with future partner institutions.

The DLEI CMS will provide the framework and core functionality through a Drupal profile that creates a custom learning environment that will lead to high levels of achievement by personalizing student supports. The model incorporates contextualized teaching and learning, leverages an array of instructional strategies that personalize learning, and instills a high degree of relevancy into the curriculum. These strategies include accelerated learning models, linked course design, learning community environments, modularized learning, and tailored placement testing. Language tools are also uniquely personalized to each student’s needs. The Drupal profile will provide a way to decouple assessment of language outcomes from content learning outcomes, integrate discipline-specific language scaffolding, and provide a more integrated and individualized learning experience.  

Through the development of the DLEI platform, Ameritas hopes to inspire further innovation by providing other institutions with its self-evaluative research. An important result of this initiative is the potential for partnering with other institutions, establishing a national model, and affecting a dramatic increase in the development of expanded postsecondary opportunities for the Hispanic population.

Ameritas College application deck
Application Deck, a snapshot of academic model