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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Latino College Day: Boosting Student Diversity at Fort Lewis

Story by Lio Diaz, Photo by Joshua Plutt

Latino College Day: Boosting Student Diversity at Fort Lewis

Latino College Day at Fort Lewis College emphasizes the importance of student diversity. The event occurs once per year in accordance with Skyhawk Saturday, an orientation for prospective students.

The goal of Latino College Day is to introduce what FLC has to offer through workshops available to high school students of Hispanic or Latino background.

The event is hosted by FLC’s El Centro de Muchos Colores, a Hispanic resource center, with help from the Office of Admissions.

Shirena Trujillo Long, coordinator of El Centro, leads the program and oversees her student staff as they operate tours, panel discussions and various activities.

“My most important job that day is to meet and greet the new potential Hispanic, Latino students that would be interested in coming to our school,” Long said.

According to Long, Latino College Day occurs in conjunction with Skyhawk Saturday. The morning half of the event is directed by the Office of Admissions and the afternoon portion is led by EL Centro, where students who registered for the program break off into a more individualized experience.

Initially, the program was aimed towards middle-school students. Now, the program is offered mainly to high-school students within the Four Corners region, Long said.

“In the last four years, we’ve scaled it back because what we found was that instead of a mass audience coming in, it was more beneficial for our staff members and current students to make one-on-one intimate connections with the potential prospective students,” Long said.

According to Long, the first Latino College Day occurred in 2005 and has since been made possible through grants from the Ballantine Family Fund.

One of the goals of the program is to reach a retention of participants who then come back as admitted FLC students. This is the case of Magaly Torres, a FLC sophomore, who attended Latino College Day in February of 2012.

Torres said that Latino College Day influenced her decision to attend FLC.

“I met everyone at El Centro. That’s the number one reason I came to this school,” Torres said.

Latino College day occurs every February. For more information regarding Latino College Day or Skyhawk Saturday, visit El Centro de Muchos Colores’ webpage on the FLC website.



 

The Independent | Fort Lewis College | 1000 Rim Drive | Durango, CO 81301 | 970-247-7405 |  independent@fortlewis.edu