Relationships Matter in Recruiting Latino Students

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Many community colleges across the country have seen growing populations of Latino and Hispanic residents in their regions. But that growth often hasn’t translated to increases in Hispanic enrollment on their campuses, especially as overall enrollments decline in a largely recovered economy.
Now this colleges are learning that the key to reaching out to Latino students, in particular, requires more personal effort than just college fairs or new advertising, reported Inside Higher Ed , a digital media outlet serving the higher education space. 

Recruiters are finding they’re no longer just trying to reach the student, but they may also be turning the parents, siblings and cousins into potential students as well, she said, adding that the campus has hired bilingual students and more Latino faculty to assist in recruitment. 

“With the Latino population, it’s important to have Mom and Dad in the room. The family has become an important part of the decision, so recruiting goes beyond the old-school ways of going to high school and talking to the student. We’re in community centers … we’re more intrusive about going around and knocking on doors,” said Deneece Huftalin, president of Utah’s Salt Lake Community College.

Salt Lake has made progress. In 2009, less than 9 percent of students enrolled at the college identified as Hispanic or Latino. That number had grown to 17.5 percent by 2016.

"When institutions say they’ll invest $35,000 in translating their websites into Spanish instead of hiring a community liaison or hosting events in a welcoming environment, she said, they’re not going to see much improvement in Latino enrollment.

As reported Inside Higher Ed.
 

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Posted Date: 
Friday, February 17, 2017 - 5:33am
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Students and staff of Latino Youth Alternative High School, Chicago. Photo: Wikimedia