Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Long-Term Focus on Latinos Pays off at Utah University

Utah Valley University has seen its Latino student enrollment and bachelor's degree attainment numbers triple since 2007 after focusing efforts to better engage Latinos. 
Source: Flickr/ via uvuphotos

Six years after Utah Valley University announced it would boost its efforts to reach Latinos, school officials are reporting positive, dramatic results.

Fox News Latino (via Agencia EFE) reported last week that Latino enrollment and bachelor’s degree attainment numbers at UVU have more than tripled since 2007, when school leaders decided it would be necessary to work on an approach to better recruit and engage Latinos. Official efforts kicked off in 2009 with a new president who pushed for the “authorization of funds, resources and personnel” for the Latino Initiative

Since then, UVU’s Latino population has grown to represent 10 percent of the student body. Leaders of the initiative hope to see it grow to 13 percent — the same percentage as the state’s Latino population

According to its website: 

The UVU Latino Initiative aims to increase educational and career opportunities for Latino students and their families in our local communities. By networking with community partners, engaging parents and students along the PK-16 educational pathway, and providing culturally sensitive and relevant educational information, UVU is committed to improving services and informing policy decisions concerning access to higher education for the Latino population. 

The Initiative holds various events at schools, churches and nonprofit organizations to advise the surrounding Latino community about the importance of college and walk attendees through the college admissions process. This includes talking about which classes are best for high school students to take to prepare for higher-level courses, as well as where to find scholarships and apply for financial aid, according to the article. 

UVU also has initiatives for the recruitment and engagement of Native American and Pacific Islander students and was recently named an “Institution Committed to Diversity” by Minority Access Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to diversifying education, among other goals.