Sending Texoma's Hispanic Students Off to College

Newschannel 6 is digging deeper into an issue we have been following for weeks. We learned Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the Wichita Falls Independent School District making up 33% of the student population. 

Midwestern State University is stepping in to help those Hispanic students succeed to the university level. Newschannel 6 sat down with an MSU professor and found out they are actively working in our communities to make a difference.

Dr. David Barbosa tells us Midwestern State University has added programs within the last few years to reach out to local Hispanic students and families. Barbosa says MSU is seeing a slight increase in their Hispanic population, but not many of those are local Hispanic students.

Hispanic students are growing in numbers year by year in Texoma and Midwestern State University is trying to make an impact to help every one of those students succeed.  
Barbosa says, "The university is doing a better job at going out and recruiting what we call first generation students. Those parents do not have a college education and many don't have a high school education."

MSU Professor Dr. David Barbosa says Hispanic recruiters have been hired by the university who are capable of communicating and getting those Hispanic families more familiar with the college application process. "We're looking at helping them fill out the necessary forms if they are going to college. It also comes with looking at how scholarships might be available."

And Barbosa says as the Director of MSU's Project Bow, undergrad and graduate students have the opportunity to specialize their educational majors to being bi-lingual and teaching Hispanic students. Project Bow also helps current teachers in rural areas across Texoma to be better educators to their Hispanic populations. "We give assistance to teachers out in more rural areas in working with their ESL students who speak only Spanish."

Dr. David Barbosa tells us there are a handful of local organizations raising money to provide local Hispanic students with scholarship money.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6