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EDU|CAL is based at California Lutheran University and is a combination of the Spanish word Educa, which means "to educate", and Cal which refers to the State of California, pointing to the importance of providing teaching pathways for Latina/o/x students in California.

California boasts the title of being one of the world’s most diverse populations and yet Latina/o/x and other underrepresented teachers remain a small percentage of teachers. Overall data trends reveal that the public school teaching workforce is becoming more diverse, but at a slow rate. EDU|CAL  provides various resources into the teaching profession, with a specific focus on Latina/o/x students.


Gabriela Cázares

Gabriela Cazares, Ph.D.Program Director, EDU|CAL

Dr. Cázares has spent her career as an administrator and educator bridging broader campus communities. She has extensive experience working with underrepresented populations both within public and private universities as well as organizations outside of the university. As the first in her family to attend college, she received her B.A. in English and Ethnic Studies from UC Riverside, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Latina/o Literature from UC San Diego. She has dedicated her career to helping first generation and/or underrepresented students attain access to and matriculate from institutes of higher education. Her teaching and research is focused on Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Latina/o Studies, Education, and Ethnic Studies.
(805( 493-3933

Gabriela Cázares
Gabriela Cazares, Ph.D.

Program Director, EDU|CAL
This position is vacant.

Vacant PositionMath Center Specialist, EDU|CAL

This position is vacant.
Vacant Position

Math Center Specialist, EDU|CAL
Brenda Solis

Brenda SolisSpanish/English Bilingual Writing Specialist

Brenda Solis is a passionate guide and educator who brings with her experiences that range from working with students in Middle Schools to Universities. She hopes these experiences will help her aid students at California Lutheran University, by ameliorating their foundational knowledge and problem-solving skills in writing. Ms. Solis holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from California State University, Northridge. Her knowledge of linguistics and TESL theory and methodology has helped her assist students understand language structures and context. She has a passion for linguistics but even more so an affinity to foster the development and success of students.
(805) 493-3634

Brenda Solis
Brenda Solis

Spanish/English Bilingual Writing Specialist
Samantha Vasquez

Samantha VasquezEDU|CAL Program Coordinator

Samantha Vasquez is a first-generation college student and recent graduate from California Lutheran University, where she obtained a BA in Liberal Studies in Education. She is working towards obtaining her Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and a M.E in Education. Samantha is very passionate about the field of Education and aims to support students in establishing a strong foundation in their educational careers.

Samantha Vasquez
Samantha Vasquez

EDU|CAL Program Coordinator

Why Teaching?

Teacher in Front of Class

Be a leader and give back to your community!

Becoming a teacher allows you to contribute to your community in a meaningful way! Did you know that in California 54.6% of students will be Latina/o/x in 2018-2019? Teaching is a valuable contribution and, if you are ready to make an impact, this is one of the most rewarding careers you could have. If your experience in school was difficult, maybe you grew up in an area where schools had little resources or lived in a working-class neighborhood, then you can relate to the experience of students who come from low-income families and go to schools with little funding. Perhaps you had a teacher that inspired you, and you want to share that inspiration with a new generation of students.  Whatever your educational and life experience has been you can share your resiliency and life lessons with a younger generation. You and your students can help transform the world!

Young Student in Class

Be a positive influence in the lives of students!

Teachers do so much more than teach! They are able to open doors, inspire students, and change lives. A good teacher can impact his/her students. Teachers have many roles, they are educators, mentors and role models. Teachers have an impact on individual students and on the next generation. Teachers encourage students to fulfill their potential and accomplish their goals. You can be the person who motivates and inspires them to make their dreams a reality!

Learn More About Culturally Responsive Teaching

Educational Pipeline

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

Did you know that as of 2015 for each 100 Latina/o/x students who entered elementary school, only 13 graduated from college? Of those students few had Latina/o/x teachers or teachers that truly understood their diverse backgrounds. Many students rarely see themselves in the curriculum taught in school. Research has shown that having teachers who understand and value the diverse backgrounds of their students and teaching K-12 curriculum that reflects the experiences of diverse students can positively influence academic engagement and achievement for Latina/o/x students and other marginalized populations.

You have the opportunity to change statistics, graduate from college and make a difference in the Latina/o/x community! You have the opportunity to teach and create a curriculum that reflects all students’ experiences and communicates the critical role of every student as a valuable part of society. You have the power to be a leader in society and create pathways and bridges for more Latina/o/x students to graduate. As the world leader Nelson Mandela says “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Your college journey starts even before you get to college. The first step is to choose colleges to apply. Complete the college application during the fall semester of your senior year in high school.