When a shrinking Midwestern birth rate reduced our prospective student population, we created Spanish-language content to reach more students.
Published on Nov. 20.
*A note about terminology: “Hispanic” broadly refers to people of Spanish-speaking descent, while “Latino/a” (or the more gender-neutral term “Latinx”) refers to residents of the U.S. who trace their ancestry to Latin America. While many students prefer the term Latinx, in the Higher Education Act, which defines Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the term Hispanic is used. Moreover, the federal government uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably in the census. In the absence of consensus and in order to be inclusive in our terminology, we often use both terms (source).
- The birthrate in the Midwest has been falling for years, leading to fewer prospective students.
- Marquette is predicting a $45 million shortfall by 2022 due to demographic changes and lower birth rates in its traditional cohort (source).
- Most students won’t travel far to attend college.
- Students who attend private nonprofit four-year colleges (like Marquette) travel only 46 miles from home on average (source).
The Hispanic population in Milwaukee and surrounding areas is growing. Milwaukee's total population dropped 4.5% between 1990 and 2014, but the city’s Hispanic population rose 174.4% (source).
While many of these students are fluent English speakers, their parents may not be, and parents play an important role in a student’s college decision.
To help them, we created the Marquette en Español website.
It covers admissions, financial aid, academic programs, student life, and mission and ministry, among other topics. The pages also provide contact information for university staff who speak Spanish and offer information to help DREAMers navigate the admissions and financial aid processes.
- Researched the best way to set up multilingual websites.
- Set up the website.
- Found and edited photos that represent campus as an inclusive and diverse community and as a safe place during the pandemic.
- Conducted design review to improve usability, SEO, etc.
- Updated website templates using HTML and XSL to add a language option that can be changed by non-technical users.
- Added open graph tags to boost engagement when shared on social media.
- Trained non-technical Spanish-speakers on how to add content to the web pages.
- IT Services
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- Office of Marketing and Communication
- Launched Oct. 29, 2020
- While it’s too early to know how many more student applications this website will generate, the early engagement makes me optimistic.
- 2,036 pageviews and 872 unique pageviews in first two weeks
- A lot of enthusiasm on social media