Hispanic Recruitment via Bilingual Language Competence

Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., San Diego State University

$25,000 grant

This program helps recruit Spanish-speaking Hispanic students to careers in public relations by eliminating one early obstacle in the diversity pipeline – lack of competency in basic media writing.

The Three major components of this project are: academic program enhancement, student recruitment and networking and mentoring through community partnerships and internship opportunities.

The primary project component enhances the undergraduate curriculum in the SDSU School of Journalism & Media Studies by offering a course on writing for the mass media that will train students to be competent not only in English-language media-writing skills, but also in those same skills in Spanish.

Recruitment efforts include high school outreach with presentations to appropriate classes coordinated by a student worker, and outreach to high school guidance counselors. A yearly reception is held for high school students and their parents to educate them about public relations as a career option and introduce them to faculty members. Outreach are also conducted to first- and second-year SDSU students to promote the choice of public relations as a major. Community college students will also be targeted.

Networking, mentoring and internship opportunities are arranged through community partnerships built on the school’s strong relationships with potential supporters.

The San Diego State team will also conduct a Diversity Educational Summit in conjunction with the 2014 PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. SDSU has also arranged for possible in-kind support from Allison+Partners for the summit.

Program assessment involves both the program itself and attainment of course learning outcomes among enrolled students. This program could serve as a pilot which could be conducted in schools in cities with large Hispanic populations.

SDSU has a strong record of recruiting, enrolling, retaining and graduating students of Hispanic origin. The university rants 11th in the nation for bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics, and the school of Journalism & Media Studies is accredited by AEJMC. The PI, Dr. Bey-Ling Sha, is highly thought of in the academic community.