Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming an HSI would allow SLCC to be more intentional in addressing the systemic and historical barriers that have negatively impacted the educational experiences and outcomes of Hispanic/Latinx students, as well as those of minoritized students at large.

Hispanic and Latinx are terms often used to describe people connected to Latin America or Spain. However, they have different meanings and implications.

Hispanic: This term refers to a person with a cultural or ethnic origin from a Spanish-speaking country, regardless of race. For example, someone from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Spain would be considered Hispanic. However, someone from Brazil, Haiti, or France would not be Hispanic, even though they may speak a language derived from Latin.

Latin: This term refers to a person who has a cultural or ethnic origin from a country in Latin America, which is the region of the Americas where Romance languages (such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French) are spoken. This term also includes people from countries colonized by Spain, Portugal, or France, regardless of race. For example, someone from Argentina, Colombia, Peru, or Venezuela would be considered Latin. However, someone from Canada, Jamaica, or the United States would not be Latin, even though they may have some Latin American ancestry.

Latino: This term is a gendered form of Latin that refers to a person who identifies as male or a group of people who identify as male or mixed gender. For example, a man from Chile or a group of men and women from Ecuador would be considered Latino. However, this term may exclude or erase the identities of people who do not identify as male or female.

Latina: This term is another gendered form of Latin that refers to a person who identifies as female or a group of people who identify as female. For example, a woman from Bolivia or a group of women from Paraguay would be considered Latina. However, this term may also exclude or erase the identities of people who do not identify as male or female.

Latinx: This term is a gender-neutral Latin form that refers to a person or a group of people without specifying their gender identity. For example, someone from Uruguay or a group of people from Costa Rica who do not want to reveal or define their gender would be considered Latinx. This term is also inclusive of people who identify as non-binary, transgender, intersex, or genderqueer.

SLCC Preferred Terms: As an institution that values inclusivity and diversity, SLCC prefers to use the term Latinx when talking about people connected to Latin America or Spain. This term respects all people's self-identification and expression regardless of gender identity. However, SLCC also acknowledges that some people may prefer other terms based on personal preferences and experiences—for example, the term Hispanic in reference to the federal designation of HSI. SLCC encourages everyone to ask for and use the preferred terms of the people they are interacting with.

Spanish in the Classroom

The College incorporates other languages, including Spanish, into the classroom in several ways, including English as a Second Language or ESL, Language and Cultural Studies, and Dual Language Learning.

English as a Second Language

Our college provides various English language support services, including ESL classes, to assist students in improving their English language skills. The college has an English as a Second Language or ESL program designed to improve student's English language skills to help students successfully develop personally, professionally and academically at Salt Lake Community College. We encourage students to continuously enhance their English language skills throughout their academic journey.

Language and Cultural Studies

For students interested in learning another language and about other cultures, SLCC teaches several language and culture classes, including, among others, Arabic, Russian and Spanish.

Dual Language Learning

SLCC also has several Dual language classes that integrate the use of Spanish alongside English to help students understand complex concepts and technical terms. They are not language classes but a tool that can be applied to any subject, particularly those with specialized vocabulary, such as science and humanities. The underlying goal of the dual language approach is to ensure that all students have access to the resources they need to succeed, regardless of their background or native language while strengthening their academic growth.

SLCC offers dual language classes to support its Latinx students, who comprise almost a fourth of its student body. As an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution, SLCC is committed to serving this population and addressing their academic needs. Research shows that dual language classes improve grades, engagement, and confidence for Latinx students, especially in subjects that involve technical terms.

Dual language classes use Spanish and English resources, including assignments, research materials, quizzes and exams. Students can choose to use either language or both, depending on their preference and comfort level. The instructor also uses both languages to explain concepts and answer questions. These classes are designed for someone other than those wanting to learn Spanish. The goal is to support native Spanish speakers to understand the concepts successfully.

A growing number of courses from within the Humanities are also being offered in Spanish, among other languages. These courses provide additional opportunities for students to access primary course materials and analysis in different languages/perspectives. Students learn about their academic disciplines in these languages and further prepare to appropriately engage with communities and workforces in culturally relevant ways. Feedback received from students who have taken these courses is how grateful they are to use languages other than English in an academic setting. 

Click here to learn more about dual language classes at SLCC.