To better serve limited-English-speaking prospective and international students, UNCW just launched a website with content translated into Spanish. The site is a portal providing information on topics such as academics, financial aid, housing, orientation and other student services, and was launched in conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
María Elena Gaborov Freites, part of the UNCW Centro Hispano team, translated the information from frequently visited university webpages. She earned her degree in translation through the National University of Córdoba, Argentina.
“This website is going to be an essential tool for international families seeking the best placement for their college-bound children, and for first-generation American students whose parents may still have limited English proficiency,” said Edelmira Segovia, director of Centro Hispano in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. “Having information in their native language assures families that we are invested in them from day one.”
Spanish is the second-most spoken language in America. There are more Spanish-speakers in the United States than speakers of French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and varieties of Chinese and Native American languages combined.
Attracting and retaining high-quality, diverse students, faculty and staff and fostering an inclusive campus culture that embraces a global mindset comprise one of UNCW’s top strategic goals.
The site is just one of the many ways the university is supporting the growing number of Latino and Hispanic students applying to, attending and graduating from UNCW. “The transition from one country to another, even if for one or two semesters as an exchange student, can be difficult,” said Segovia.
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics designated UNCW’s Centro Hispano as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education,” which reflects UNCW’s efforts to support Latino educational attainment and excellence. Last year, the UNCW Office of Admissions conducted its first campus tour in Spanish.
-- Caroline Cropp, UNCW