Friday, November 10, 2006

Tennessee State University hires Spanish-speaking recruiter

Hispanic outreach seeks diversity, growth

According to this story in USA Today, historically black colleges are reaching out to Hispanics, and Tennessee State University (TSU) is one of those schools. The desired result is twofold: to grow the schools, while at the same time offering opportunities to groups who are underserved in higher education.

"Recruiting Hispanics is an extension of the mission to educate 'underserved' groups, says Lezli Baskerville, president of [the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education]. 'Disproportionate numbers of Hispanic families are low-income. Disproportionate numbers are first-generation. We've got a model that works.'""Tennessee State University also wants to grow. In June, the 9,000-student school hired Jose Vazquez to recruit adults and Hispanics."

"Vazquez meets with local Hispanic leaders and recently attended a gathering for Day of the Dead, an annual Mexican celebration."

"'They need to know that we're here, and I'm here if they have any questions,' he says."

"The university advertises in Spanish-language newspapers and yellow pages. 'We see strength in diversity,' associate vice president Evelyn Nettles says."

TSU is also part of a Latino health coalition in Nashville, in partnership with the Hispanic Community Group of Tennessee (story here).

TSU's web site describes the school as "a comprehensive urban coeducational land-grant university founded in 1912 in Nashville, Tenn. The 450-acre main campus, with more than 65 buildings, is located in a residential setting; the Avon Williams Campus is located downtown, near the center of the Nashville business and government district. Through successive stages, TSU has developed from a normal school for Negroes to its current status as a national university with students from 42 states and 52 countries."

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