Contemporary School Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 31–46 | Cite as

Building Bridges for New Immigrant Students Through Asset-Based Consultation

  • Yolanda C. BarbaEmail author
  • Andrew Newcombe
  • Rachel Ruiz
  • Natalya Cordero


The number of immigrant students enrolling in California schools is increasing and teaching them effectively requires adapted approaches to affirm their linguistic and cultural diversity. Educators feel underprepared to meet the complex needs of students who represent hundreds of languages and cultures. Many immigrant children are frequently also dual-language or English learners who struggle to meet the academic demands of today’s fast-paced schools, and teachers need to know specific information about newcomer challenges to maintain and affirm their linguistic and cultural strengths. Given this cultural shift, how can school psychologists break down barriers and assist teachers in working with newly arrived immigrant students? This paper provides school psychologists with strength-based practices to begin building educational bridges for immigrant students through an adapted consultative approach. The proposed Asset-Based Consultation model combines instructional consultation and the Cultural Assets Identifier within a multicultural, response-to-intervention framework, individually tailored to support school psychologists as they consult with teachers on how to best address the academic, social, and emotional needs of newcomer students in our increasingly diverse educational landscape.


Immigrant students Strength-based practices Cultural assets Asset-based consultation Multicultural consultation Culturally responsive interventions Culturally competent school psychologist 



This article was funded by a U.S. Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) grant T365Z120192, Cultural-Linguistic Advocates for Spanish-Speaking English-Learners.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling and School PsychologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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