Five Things To Know About Latinx Retention At UNR

Sep 24, 2019

KUNR's bilingual student reporter Andrew Mendez has been looking into the unique obstacles Latinx students may face when they enter college. Along with reporting on the hurdles, he's been researching potential solutions on the local level. He joined our news director Michelle Billman to share his findings.

  1. For the 2017-2018 academic year, the most recent year with available data at the University of Nevada, Reno, just under 77% of first-year Latinx students were retained, compared to more than 81% of their white peers.

  2. There needs to be intentional and inclusive conversations surrounding Latinx student issues, according to Deborah Santiago, CEO and Co-Founder of Excelencia in Education. “Many institutions talk about serving all students and that's a wonderful aspiration," she said, "but if we were truly serving all students we wouldn't see gaps in educational attainment and access and opportunity. I think institutions have to take on more explicit, assertive strategies to make sure that they are including Latinos in their efforts.” 

  3. At UNR, specifically, there has been the recent reestablishment of the Latino Research Center with the hiring of Juan Diego Zarazua as the center's coordinator and Julie Lucero as the director. The changes come after the LRC's assistant director left two years ago, writing a scathing resignation letter that called the university's diversity efforts into question.

  4. For multiple years now, Spanish orientations have allowed for better communication between students, families and the university, according to Saundra Mitrovich, the former coordinator of outreach and retention for The Center: Every Student. Every Story at UNR. “The families that engage in that Spanish orientation, that is humongous, because they're actually able to have more families come in and feel comfortable getting the information where their students are going to go to school," she explained.

  5. This fall, UNR implemented a new Latinx dorm wing.

 

Editor’s note (9-27-19): Since this article was published, the University of Nevada, Reno has provided new language about the Latinx dorm wing. According to UNR: “This living learning community is open to all qualified students with an interest in Latinx culture and history and/or identify as Latinx.” The text for this story has been updated in light of this new language.

 

Noticiero Móvil is a Spanish-English multimedia news outlet for Northern Nevada, run by the Reynolds School of Journalism. As a note of disclosure, the license to this station is owned by the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education.