The upbeat rhythms of salsa music accompany podcast host Douglas Lezameta as he welcomes listeners to the latest episode of “Pacific Oaks College, Hispanic-serving institution, ¡Tu sueño tu Realidad!” which translates to “Your dream, your reality!”
This podcast is part of Pacific Oaks College’s concerted effort not only to enroll but also to serve Hispanic learners in unique and meaningful ways.
Situated in Pasadena, California, Pacific Oaks College has received a $2.5 million Title V grant from the U.S.
Innovative podcast initiative
Department of Education in 2020 to bolster its Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) identity over a five-year period.
This grant has been instrumental in the creation of the Latinx+ Support Success Initiative, which aims to provide support and resources to Latino and other underserved student populations.
The podcast serves as a critical component of this initiative, offering insights into available services and resources for student success, along with firsthand accounts of individuals who have achieved their educational dreams.
While Pacific Oaks College has a commendable success rate among its Hispanic students, the institution is committed to further engaging, retaining, and graduating learners at even higher rates.
Judy Castro, the Associate Vice President of Partnership at Pacific Oaks, spearheaded the podcast’s development to support current students and community members who may benefit from this unique perspective on higher education.
The typical Pacific Oaks student is around 36 years old, primarily comprising older adult students and their families or members of the community.
The podcast’s format allows for on-demand engagement, ensuring that listeners can tune in whenever and wherever they prefer.
Hosted by Fusion Latina Network, the podcast covers various topics related to higher education.
These include success as an immigrant in college, transferring from community college to a four-year university, differences in college degrees, financial aid, first-generation students, and mentorship.
The podcast is recorded in both English and Spanish, offering listeners a choice in their preferred language without compromising quality or content. Some guests, such as Judy Castro, have even recorded in both languages.
The podcast is accessible on various streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Google Podcasts.
While it is promoted internally through email announcements and the college’s social media platforms, the audience extends beyond Pacific Oaks students, with listeners from across the state and in cities outside California.