How 5 colleges are giving students a bilingual boost

Colleges are offering orientation, degree programs and student services in multiple languages

A linchpin in San Jose City College’s bilingual outreach to its students is “Dia de la Familia,” or “Family Day.”

Students of the two-year college and their family members get a bilingual tour the UC Santa Cruz campus to better understand the transfer process, financial aid and other key components of the four-year college experience.

“We want to address parental anxiety about seeing their child go on to a four-year college,” says Elizabeth Gonzalez, the college’s grant manager for Title V Hispanic-serving initiatives. “It’s uncharted territory for parents, and communicating in their native language is essential when talking about things like finance and having students move out. It builds trust.”

The entire program, which has been funded by a Hispanic-Serving Institution grant the college received in 2015, is offered bilingually.


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While most of the college’s admissions and financial aids staff are bilingual, parents can also request headsets to listen to interpreters translate presentations by non-bilingual speakers into Spanish.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”How 5 colleges are giving students a #bilingual boost @SUNY_Orange @SJCityCollege @DaltonState @matcmilwaukee @uarizona https://universitybusiness.com/5-college-universities-give-hispanic-latinx-students-bilingual-boost/” quote=”How 5 colleges are giving students a #bilingual boost” theme=”style6″]San Jose City College’s efforts represent an increasing number of initiatives by which colleges nationwide are connecting with students and their families in their native languages.

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Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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