The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Mi universidad es tu universidad

Spanish billboards for UNK have gone up in several locations throughout the state. The billboards are a part of the university’s ongoing efforts to increase Latino enrollment and further campus diversity.

Recent statistics indicate UNK’s Latino recruitment strategies are succeeding as more students are calling the campus home. These findings represent a major step in UNK’s goal of furthering diversity and enrollment.

This increase is attributed to on-going efforts over the past 20 years.

“It wasn’t always like this,” said Dusty Newton, director of undergraduate recruitment and admissions. “I’ve been at UNK since 1998. I have seen the diversity of this campus change drastically.”

UNK statistics show Latino enrollment has increased from 221 students in 2006 to 627 students in 2018. Latino students now comprise nearly 10 percent of UNK’s student body of 6,327. University officials do not want to stop there, though. Administrators in the office of undergraduate recruitment and admissions are looking to implement several new strategies this academic year to further increase Latino enrollment.

Newton recently added a full-time bilingual employee, Cesar Duran, to his team and enlisted the help of a new Spanish-speaking student intern.

“They allow us to communicate with potential students and their families in their native language when they visit campus,” Newton said.

Starting this semester, UNK will host Latino visit days one Friday each month. These special visit days will be exclusively for potential Latino students and their families to learn about UNK. Bilingual employees will be present to bridge the communication gap and allow visitors to receive information about the importance of secondary education.

Marketing and promotional materials tailored to the Hispanic community and its needs have also bolstered the recruitment effort.

“As we understand the growth potential in that market as well as the specific needs of families who are Spanish speaking and come from Hispanic culture, we have taken numerous steps to give them access to essential information and marketing materials in their native language,” said Kelly Bartling, assistant vice chancellor of communications and community relations.

During its latest redesign, Bartling and her team made sure a majority of UNK’s website and online content was accessible in Spanish. UNK has also released several radio and TV advertisements in Spanish on dedicated Hispanic stations, in addition to publishing Spanish print materials and online advertisements.

Analysis of media consumed by Hispanic families also influenced marketing strategies.

“We are advertising during livestreams of Latino sports and on other streamed content that have high Latino viewership,” Bartling said. “We have also purchased Hispanic mailing lists that allow us to send potential students information directly.”

UNK’s increased Latino enrollment represents a piece of a larger trend across the United States. According to a United States Department of Education report titled “The Condition of Education 2017,” Latino enrollment has doubled from 1.5 million in 2000, to 3 million in the United States today.

Campus officials said they are proud to see UNK be a part of the movement. Diversity is welcome at UNK and the institution continues to work to ensure both potential and current students alike have access to campus resources that can assist them in their pursuit of higher education.

“You can go to college,” Newton said. “UNK welcomes everyone and has the resources to help you succeed.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *