The college is slated to have Hispanic enrollment up by 25% by the year 2020.
“In order to compete and to recruit students, you have to be where the numbers are,” Dr. Donald Taylor, president of Cabrini speaking about Hispanic students, said.
According to Pew Research Center, 69% of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, while only 67% of their white counterparts did the same.
In preparation for the tentative change in diversity on campus, the school has begun creating a Spanish version of the website, hiring multicultural recruiters and establishing learning communities that can help segue Hispanic students to the campus.
Celia Cameron, vice president of marketing and communications for Cabrini, is heading the attempt to make the website bilingual.
“We just started the project, so the timeline is not set yet. Part of the new project includes building a parent’s section of the website, which will be the first section professionally translated into Spanish,” Cameron, who admits the changes are in their “nascent phase,” said. “After the site launches, we will then begin systematically translating the rest of the site.”
A large compliment to Taylor’s goal is a partnership between
Cabrini and the National Hispanic Institute. Last July the school hosted 125 rising juniors and seniors from high schools across the United States, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for the National Hispanic Institute Collegiate World Series.
Aside from much of the future enrollment attempts for Cabrini being directed towards Norristown schools and Esperanza Academy in Philadelphia, outreach also has been directed at schools that have guidance counselors and principles who are alumni of NHI.
Cabrini’s sorority, Delta Xi Phi, which is a multicultural sorority, is also very excited about Taylor’s announced plans.
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“As a sorority that focuses on multiculturalism, having a more diverse student body would mean having more stories and experiences to learn from and enrich our campus,” Jennifer Cannon, seniors business major and Delta Xi Phi sister, said.
Taylor said that the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on campus were more than in agreement with his ideas to raise Hispanic enrollment because it was a “move Mother Ursula would have made,” because the school was founded to serve diverse learners and immigrants.
“As a consequence it just so happens that now, 60 years later, rather than Irish and Italian-Americans being the major population it’s Latino and Asian-Americans,” Taylor said.
Aside from Taylor, a major player in this enrollment goal is Shannon Zottola, director of admissions for Cabrini.
“Traditionally we recruited from Connecticut all the way down from Virginia and that’s been our focus for years,” Zottola said. “But we’re really thinking outside of that and how we are going to push forward.”
What Zottola is talking about is branching to recruitment outside of the United States.
Thanks to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus having a huge presence in South America and Spain, following this Spring’s commencement, Taylor and Raquel Green, professor of romance languages and literatures, will be going to Argentina on a recruitment trip.
“It [recruiting outside of the United States] needs to be in the plan because we can’t grow in enrollment if we don’t expand,” Zottola said.