Latino Students and Their Families will Experience College Life This Saturday at SOU

(Ashland, ORE) – Latino students and their families from across southern Oregon will visit the campus of Southern Oregon University in Ashland on Saturday, April 21. It’s Latino Family Day for students in grades 8 through 11, providing Latino families an opportunity to become acquainted with SOU and what it offers.

“Our goal is to break the imaginary barrier Latino parents have with higher education,” says SOU Senior Admissions Counselor for Minority Outreach Jonathan Chavez Baez. “It’s very important to have family involvement in the college process. Students need a strong support system to succeed.”

Latino Family Day begins with a welcome from SOU President Mary Cullinan and continues with workshops on the college admissions process, financial aid, writing essays for admissions, a Latino student and faculty panel discussion, and a tour of the Ashland campus and SOU’s Multicultural Resource Center.

SOU’s work with the southern Oregon Latino community has been a tremendous success story. SOU’s Latino enrollment jumped 46.3 percent in fall 2010 and another 25.7 percent in fall 2011.

Latino Family Day is the latest of several programs SOU has developed to engage the Latino community:

Academia Latina is a weeklong summer program for Latino students who have completed 7th , 8th and 9th grades. Participating students are exposed to the university setting and learn more about the possibilities of going to college. http://www.sou.edu/youth/latino/

Pirates to Raiders is an ongoing initiative with 8th grade Latino students in the Phoenix Talent School District. A partnership with Latino families, the school district and Southern Oregon University encourages 8th grade students to complete high school and continue on to SOU. http://www.sou.edu/diversity/ptsdspanish.pdf

Cesar Chavez Leadership Conference Last month Southern Oregon University held a one-day leadership conference for Latino high school students in conjunction with several community groups. Students discussed contemporary issues and educational opportunities beyond high school and attended workshops on leadership and community engagement.

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