INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana University representatives say the school is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive university. The university will be holding a series of virtual programs for students and their parents–fully in Spanish.
Many people dream of getting a college education and many immigrant families make the move to the United States just to reach that goal, either for themselves or their children. As the Latino population grows nationwide, IU representatives say it’s important to create an education system that embraces that growth.
Indiana University has been around for 200 years. And even after so long, it’s reached another milestone: record-breaking minority student enrollment across its campuses.
“In the future you can foresee most of the colleges in Indiana will have a huge percentage of Latino students,” said Rafeal Bahamonde Ph.D, founding dean of the School of Health & Human Sciences at IUPUI.
The university is partnering with the Indiana Latino Expo (ILE) to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. ILE is a nonprofit that in-part focuses on economic development, cultural advancement and more in the Indiana Latino community. The aim is to encourage culture and pride in the community. Part of that pride, Bahamonde says, for many comes from getting an education.
“Our goal is Indiana University it’s to provide a great experience for them..in the future that is the population the major population of Indiana students,” he said.
Indiana University will be holding a series of virtual programs all in Spanish that’ll give parents and students information about college planning, parental support, paying for college, and more. Topics that could get lost in translation due to language or cultural differences.
“The student knows English but the parents don’t know any English and the parents really is the one that tries to encourage students to go to college.”
Bahamonde said he knows the benefits firsthand. He moved to Indiana from Puerto Rico. And he said the opportunities he’s gotten from having an IU education still surprises him.
“The opportunities created by Indiana University have provided tremendous opportunity for me,” he said.
He said with standing centers and programs in place around all campuses, and the creation of the Pandemic Health Disparities fund, more students can expect opportunities they too never expected.
The Virtual programs will be about an hour long. An additional three-part virtual series will cover information about about the 21st Century scholarship partnership with the commission on higher education.