Creando Conciencia: Empowering Hispanic Learning at Humboldt

Historical Information

Creando Conciencia is a ESCALA Approved Program.

In 2017, Cal Poly Humboldt began a partnership with ESCALA Educational Services of Santa Fe, NM to help CPH practitioners understand how to implement culturally responsive pedagogy and equitable practices to improve educational experiences of CPH Hispanic/Latinx students. ESCALA is the premier provider of professional development for HSIs nationally, and is unparalleled in their expertise on training faculty and staff in engaging and culturally responsive methods. To date ESCALA has delivered faculty and staff programming to thousands of HSI practitioners at more than 50 two- and four-year HSIs. 

Creando Conciencia is the final result of a two-year collaborative effort and 24 hours of intensive training and guidance from the staff at ESCALA Educational Services. The facilitation and curriculum team learned how to design reflective and engaging activities for faculty and staff, how to demonstrate equitable teaching methods, and how to center Latinx culture within professional development facilitation. The facilitator and curricular team used ESCALA’s feedback to create CPH’s wholly owned HSI-focused professional development program and utilized many principles from ESCALA to craft the Creando program. In some cases, ESCALA allowed the Creando team to utilize ESCALA reflective tools and curriculum activities. We have credited curriculum where it is owned by ESCALA.

Creando Conciencia

Creando Conciencia means to raise (create) awareness. Our vision is to raise awareness of Cal Poly Humboldt’s strong identity as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and the formidable strengths of our Hispanic/Latixs students, staff, and faculty to create culturally sustaining environments. In this program, we are defining learning environments as … A culturally sustaining environment helps educators create student-centered learning environments that:

  • affirm racial, linguistic, and cultural identities

  • prepare students for rigor and independent learning

  • develop students' abilities to connect across lines of difference 

  • elevate historically marginalized voices

  • empower students as agents of social change 

Program Outcomes

The program goals of the Creando Conciencia PLC are:

  • To critically reflect on your current understanding of Latinx students at Cal Poly Humboldt and their cultural-based strengths.

  • To explore, study, and reflect on specific topics and practices in the literature associated with culturally sustaining educational and community spaces with particular attention to Latinx populations.

  • To revitalize your own educational resources and practices using a culturally sustaining lens.

  • To create and support culturally sustaining educational and community spaces for Latinx students by increasing students’ connections, social integration, and sense of belonging to the campus and community.

Course Roadmap

Creando Conciencia Team

Facilitation Team
  • Margarita Otero-Diaz, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Resources Engineering 

  • Brandilynn Villarreal, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology 

  • Jose Marin Jarrin, Assistant Professor, Department of Fisheries Biology 

  • Rafael Cuevas Uribe, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries Biology

Table Leads/Coaches
  • Michele Miyamoto, Academic Success Coordinator, Learning Center

  • Jeffrey Dunk, Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science and Management 

  • Chris Harmon, Professor, Department of Chemistry

  • Maria Iturbide, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology 

Humboldt/ESCALA Project Coordinator
  • Amy Sprowles, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

ESCALA Home Team Support
  • Melissa Salazar, CEO

  • Jasmine Nunley, HSI Learning Experience and Systems Specialist

  • Angel Martinez, Programs Assistant


Funding and Partners of Creando Conciencia

We'd like to extend our deepest gratitude to those listed below. Thanks to supporters, this effort can provide equitable and culturally responsive professional development to Cal Poly Humboldt faculty and staff who participate.

  • Grants
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence
    • La Comida Nos Une
    • Échale Ganas
    • DHSI Education 
  • Cal Poly Humboldt Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

If you are a course participant, click on the image below.