The University of Georgia is relaunching a program to recruit more Latino and Hispanic students to enroll at the university.
“Padres e Hijos” (or Parents and Students) is an English/Spanish bilingual student recruitment program that brings a few dozen underrepresented but academically competitive high school seniors and their families to visit campus. Padres e Hijos, or Padres for short, aims to address the students’ interests in academic and campus life and provide practical information to help families support students who want to enroll.
A grant from the Goizueta Foundation funded the original iteration, which ended in 2016. The program served more than 200 students, half of whom enrolled at UGA.
Now, the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community has provided $30,000 in funds to reestablish the program this fall and in future years and provide much-needed recruitment to an underrepresented group.
Some Latino students in Georgia, particularly those whose parents did not attend college, see attending UGA as an unattainable goal, said Rosa Arroyo Driggers, the associate director of admissions for access and inclusion.
“This program provides us with an opportunity to serve our community and recruit highly qualified students who may not have considered attending the University of Georgia,” she said.
Padres prepares students and their parents or guardians for the college application process and introduces them to various student support services at UGA in a bilingual format.
When it’s relaunched, Padres will bring academically competitive students and those who show the most potential. By introducing them to current student leaders, the program introduces potential UGA students to academics and student life and helps them begin building a social network on campus. For families, this visit provides bilingual information to help them support their students.
“Families want to make sure there is a support network for their students,” said Arroyo Driggers. “This program helps build a sense of ‘familia’ in Athens.”
As Admissions staff work to relaunch Padres, coordinators will ask current students what they wish they had known to improve the program for the next class of students.
“Working with our current students the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will introduce more members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities to the educational opportunities available at the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “This program is an example of our continued commitment to increasing the pipeline of underrepresented students to UGA.”
The revival of the program came thanks to the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community, which examined issues related to race, ethnicity and community and developed recommendations to improve campus culture and strengthen the learning environment. President Jere W. Morehead committed $1 million of private resources from the UGA Athletic Association to support the task force’s recommendations.