Ensuring that prospective students and their families could understand information being shared was a focus for Arapahoe Community College (CO) in becoming more inclusive of adult student learners. And that meant ramping up their translation services. So, they started with the campus Welcome Center, translating their viewbook, admissions checklist and other key recruiting documents into Spanish.

They also made on-demand translation services available in many languages, specifically Spanish, Mandarin and American Sign Language, as those are widely spoken within the campus community.

As for admissions counselors, “We do not have a set number of staff that are required to be bilingual or multilingual,” Kayce O’Brien, ACC’s director of Admissions, Recruitment & Outreach told the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) News. “We found that was a real gap in service—not only for prospective students, but also their family and support persons who are helping make decisions about their college experience.”

“It’s lovely to have these services available for the on-ramp experience, but what do you do for students once they come?” O’Brien said in discussing the institution’s translation services expansion. “We set it up so every forward-facing department at the college has access to the translation service—everywhere from our human resources department and academic support services to our testing center and even our IT department.”

Expanding translation services at ACC is made possible through a $20,000, one-year “mini-grant” from the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), which was awarded a $1 million grant from the Lumina Foundation as part of their REACH Collaborative. A Lumina Foundation equity coach is also helping ACC determine additional ways to improve the student experience and make campus more inviting.

Source: Colorado Community College System, 2/23/23

Read more of our 50 Strategies to Support, Engage and Retain Adult Student Learners Digital Strategy Guide here.