Tapping Transnational Talent

Tapping Transnational Talent in a Global Economy: Towards Education for Creative Human Capital in the Demographic Transition

Katherine Richardson Bruna Ryan Gildersleeve Kimberly Greder

Katherine Richardson Bruna

Ryan Gildersleeve

Kimberly Greder

Funding type: Intramural Seed Grant

Principal Investigators (PIs)
Katherine Richardson Bruna, PI, CI
Ryan Gildersleeve, Co-PI, ELPS
Kimberly Greder, Co-PI, HDFS

Amount Awarded: $9,674

Duration: 6 months

Contact: Katherine Richardson Bruna, krbruna@iastate.edu

Abstract: This project is designed to provide pilot data that will support the implementation of a federal grant proposal to create a Plazas Comunitarias program in central Iowa.


Plazas Comunitarias is a sophisticated pedagogical model developed by the Mexican government’s National Institute for Adult Education and National Council for Life and Work. The Plazas model represents the very transnational model of schooling called for by the demographic transition of globalization. It provides Spanish-speaking persons 15 years or older free access to educational services, based on a flexible curriculum of meaningful, real-world themes, that prepare them for an eventual General Education Development (GED) certificate, even if they begin as preliterate. The Plazas philosophy is that all adults have knowledge, skills, and infinite creative potential to exert positive influence over their own lives, and those of their families and communities.


The project will:

  • document the educational experiences, resources, attitudes, and needs that exist among the Latino population to which a Plaza could respond
  • describe the formal and informal leadership structures that exist amongst the White and Latino population on which a Plaza could build
  • determine the degree of necessity and readiness for a Plaza
  • disseminate this new knowledge back to key Plazas stakeholders ( i.e., ISU administration and field staff, the Mexican Consulate and Institute for Adult Education; and the Marshalltown community) and apply for future Plazas-related funding based on these pilot data.


The project’s data will support an ISU proposal to initiate a Plazas Comunitarias.