EDMOND — With the rapid rise in the area’s Hispanic population, high school counselors and students began requesting Spanish-language tours of the University of Central Oklahoma campus.
“On a campus tour it can be stressful for a bilingual student to have to translate information for their parent, as well as soak in all the information for themselves,” said Allison Fannon, coordinator for UCO’s Office of Campus Tours and Events.
Beginning next month they won’t have to. UCO will offer Spanish-language tours at noon the second Monday of each month September through April.
“It was something that needed to be done,” Fannon said. “I have high expectations for the program.”
She put out a call for a student worker and found the perfect person.
Sam Corrales, a sophomore fashion marketing major, will conduct the monthly tours. Corrales graduated from Oklahoma City’s U.S. Grant High School in 2013 and became a first-generation college student in the fall.
He didn’t bring his parents when he came to UCO to enroll and learn about campus life because of the language barrier. That situation can be scary for both students and their parents, he said.
“My parents are proud, but they still don’t know what I’m doing here,” Corrales said.
A campus tour given in Spanish would have helped them understand what their son was undertaking.
“I really would have wished for it,” he said.
“In the Hispanic community family is really important. They want to know their child is safe,” Corrales said. “It’s going to be good for them to feel good about sending their student to a university that caters to them.”
Fannon said her goal is to give all families the same good experience — whether in English or Spanish.
AT A GLANCE
Schedule a tour
Tours are free, but participants should register in advance at www.uco.edu/tours or by calling 974-2610.
On a campus tour it can be stressful for a bilingual student to have to translate information for their parent, as well as soak in all the information for themselves.”
Coordinator for UCO’s Office of Campus Tours and Events