Teaching Interests
Research Interests
Educational Background
Courses Offered

Department of Chicano Studies

National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies

College of Natural & Social Sciences

Valerie Talavera-Bustillos
Associate Professor

Office: King Hall B3023
Phone: 323-343-2197


I have the privilege and responsibility to prepare students for the realities they will face when working in public schools and other occupations serving youth and communities in California. My courses seek to engage students in research relevant to contemporary contexts. Latinas/os comprise the majority of students enrolled in California’s K-12 public schools, but the systemic inability to address issues of race, language, immigration, and poverty, restricts their access to higher education (e.g. Chicanas/os are the least likely of all major racial/ethnic groups to graduate from a four-year college or university). Across the nation, and here at Cal State L.A., many Chicana/o university students express a strong motivation to “give back” to their communities. I strive to make sure these students are prepared to sustain this work. Specifically, I facilitate students’ theoretical and empirical understanding of the historical and contemporary issues relevant to Chicana/o education. I work to prepare students for graduate school and beyond. Throughout my courses, I remind students that Chicana/o education remains sorely underresearched and encourage them to address the gaps in the literature with their own scholarship. It is my hope that they survive and succeed at CSULA, but also that they go on to re-envision policy, enact empowering teaching strategies, and effect positive social change. Drawing on the educational philosophy of Paulo Freire, I encourage students to ask their own questions and seek means to change the inequities they identify in society and in particular, the educational system. For example, my courses push students to question explanations of school success or failure that blame race, culture, and language while ignoring the racialized layers of structured social inequality. I challenge students to be critically reflective of course readings and to incorporate personal and academic experiences into their research and writing. Because writing can be an isolating process, I facilitate an in-class writer’s workshop where students act as peer-editors with a fellow student in all of my courses. I pose a series of questions for them to address and they each describe for the class how they plan to develop their paper and address their peer’s constructive criticism. This peer-editing process is beneficial to their development as scholars in training and results in a more focused paper (See Attachment A.1, p66). I also engage students by offering a sequence of collaborative working groups to answer questions from the readings and later use these questions to structure a “Family Feud”-style game that gets students excited about learning and the competitive spirit electrifies the room; in the end, student apply their knowledge through a fun learning exercise. These learning games have allowed student to be engaged in course knowledge and enjoy sharing the information they learned in a fun positive manner in the classroom (See Attachment A.1p. 66, ) Throughout my teaching career, I initiated numerous pedagogical and curricular changes. For example, I arranged my lectures to allow for more structured group-discussion with questions focused on the weekly readings. Based on student-feedback, I also altered course readings and utilized the library electronic reserves. My attempts to maintain an active learning environment to compliment my critical pedagogy have shifted slightly to accommodate an increasing student-teacher ratios in the general education Chicano Studies course CHS 111. Nevertheless, I remain committed to preparing all students for graduate school and beyond.


Research interests are focused on understanding the dynamics of college preparation for first-generation college students. Primary goal is to expand on the dissertation, Chicana College Choice and Resistance.

Representative Professional Activities



2010 Co-Author with Medina, A. Parental Involvement and Community Cultural Wealth Knowledge: What Schools Do Not See.
2007 Book Review, Critical Race Counterstories Along The Educational Pipeline. Journal of Latinos and Education
2007 Edited book chapter, Chicanas and Transformational Resistance: Analyzing College Aspirations within the Family Context (2007) In J. Figueroa and Baker Munoz Jr, Vega, Mosupyoe, Maeda (Eds.) Introduction To Ethnic Studies Second Edition.
2006 Edited book chapter Chicana Student Navigation Of Ideal And Real Gender Roles: Familia, the Pursuit of Higher Education and Resistance (2006) In N. P. Hein and J.E. Stokes (Eds.) La Familia Chicana. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt.
2003 Chicana Resistance: Fostering College Aspirations. (2003) In R. Orona-Cordova (Ed.) Chicano/a Studies Reader: A Bridge To Writing. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt


BA Social Sciences 1992
University of California, Irvine

Irvine, California

Ph.D. Education 1998
University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Fall 2003 SCHEDULE

CourseSect. No.TitleUnitsDay & TimeRoom
CHS 111 3,4 Cultural Diversity and Chicanas/os 4 M/W 9 and12:40 KH4070



University Courses
Univ 101 Introduction to Higher Education
Natural and Social Science Courses
NSS 101 Introduction to Higher Education
NSS 301 Transition into CSULA for transfer students
Chicano Studies Courses
CHS 111 Cultural Diversity and Chicanos
CHS 205 Composition in Chicano Studies
CHS 255 Latinos in Southern California
CHS 406 Hispanics in US Society
CHS 430 Chicano Political Behavior
CHS 470 Chicana and Chicano Educational Issues
CHS 471 History of Chicanas/os in Education
CHS 472 Chicana and Chicano Educational Theory and Research
CHS 473 Chicana/Latino High School Drop Outs
CHS 490 Critical Race Theory and Chicano Studies
Graduate Courses
CHS 504 Chicano Psychological Issues
CHS 509 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Chicano Studies
CHS 510 Chicana/o Educational Pipeline: Teaching Seminar
Return to the top.