San Diego State University Launches Web Pages for Spanish-Speaking Parents

October 9, 2002

San Diego State University announced today that it is the first university in California to make important admissions guidelines and requirements available in Spanish on its Web site. Latino advocates and SDSU say the move bridges an information gap between Spanish-speaking Latino parents and the higher education community and will help more high-achieving Latino children successfully prepare for college.

SDSU’s Spanish-language Web pages, at, were unveiled today at the San Diego County Office of Education’s Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center during Latino Education Summit VII. The pages concentrate on information that parents need to know to help their children qualify for admission to the California State University system and to SDSU. They cover required core high school courses and other eligibility requirements, parent and student orientation events, application information, financial aid and other resources available to help students and parents, and related information.

“This is an essential step to ensure that Spanish-speaking parents have an equal opportunity to help their kids successfully prepare for college academically and financially,” said Dr. Jim Kitchen, SDSU’s vice president of Student Affairs. “Parents should be aware of these requirements and resources while their children are still in junior high or middle school, and these new pages will make sure those who speak and read primarily Spanish have no language barriers to overcome if they want to get this information on-line.”

Gus Chavez, director of SDSU’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), said SDSU has been very active in outreach to the Latino community for years. He also said data from several recent studies and reports indicate a growing need for more colleges and universities to post admissions information in Spanish.

June 2002 tabulations from Neilsen/Netratings show Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group on the Web, with the number of Latino Web users growing 13 percent over the same time last year. Meanwhile, a July 2002 study by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute found Latino parents are largely unable to provide their children with basic information or assistance about attending college. That study also found that language barriers were at the root of most of the problems Latino parents and students encountered in the college information process, and that Latino parents and students viewed colleges themselves as the least informative source about higher education – far behind teachers, friends and guidance counselors.

“Posting our admissions information on the Web in Spanish is one of the most important outreach steps we’ve taken to effectively communicate with Latino parents,” Chavez said. “For years our office has made numerous presentations to Spanish-speaking parents about how to help their children prepare early for college, and this will be a powerful tool that will greatly expand our ability to spread this information.”

David Valladolid, president and CEO of the San Diego-based Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), said the online information will reduce confusion and frustration among parents, and reduce the number of talented Latino students who miss out on college because their families didn’t know about required courses, available financial aid, or other key facts.

“I’m proud that SDSU has become a leader in using Internet technology to reach out to the Latino community,” said Valladolid, whose organization is dedicated to helping low-income, ethnically diverse parents learn how to assist their children’s schooling. “I believe this will help more young Latinos who dream of a college education get the guidance they need to achieve it.”

Chavez said his office will raise awareness about the Spanish-language web pages through announcements to high school counseling centers, Latino organizations, school administrators and other key groups.

San Diego State University is currently ranked fifth in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics, according to The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. The magazine also ranks SDSU seventh among all U.S. universities in Hispanic student enrollment.

San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region. Founded in 1897, SDSU has grown to offer bachelor’s degrees in 78 areas, master’s degrees in 62 areas and doctorates in 14. SDSU’s more than 33,000 students participate in academic curricula distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global future. For more information log on to