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ISU Central Academic Advising surveys LatinX students to improve graduation rates

April 23, 2019

BJ Fillingame, Karina Vega and Erika Rueda
From left, BJ Fillingame, ISU Credit Union, Karina Vega, recipient of survey prize, sophomore in elementary education with ESL endorsement and Erika Rueda, CPI survey designer, administrator, Interpreter and graduating senior.

POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s Central Academic Advising Office surveyed LatinX, or Latino/Hispanic, students at ISU this spring in an effort to improve their graduation rates.

ISU Career Path Intern Erika Rueda designed the survey, which attracted 280 respondents. ISU Credit Union helped support the project by sponsoring a $500 prize that was awarded through a random drawing to survey respondents. The lucky $500 winner was sophomore Karina Vega from Blackfoot, who received her prize at a ceremony on April 18.

From 2010 to 2018 LatinX enrollment at ISU increased by 71 percent, but the overall graduation rate during that period is 16 percent, Rueda said.

“We designed the survey to find what needs of the LatinX students are being met,” Rueda said. “The goal of the survey was to get information about LatinX student experiences, asking things like ‘do you feel welcomed’ and ‘do you feel valued.’”

The students were also asked about their involvement in clubs, cultural events, sporting events, and what academic and non-academic student services they used.

Rueda is in the process of finishing the report about the survey results, which will be reviewed by Central Academic Advising Office and the Office of Student Affairs to help improve the retention and graduation rates of ISU LatinX students. Her report will assist ISU with better coordination, expansion, and possible development of services for this rapidly growing and vital student population at ISU.

“Our roots run deep with Idaho State University, so when Susanne Forrest came to us for help on this research project, we were excited to jump onboard to help see the project through,” said BJ Fillingame, ISU Credit Union marketing manager. “The CPI program holds a special place in our hearts at ISU Credit Union so it was fun to see Erika go through the research process.”

Forrest,  an ISU academic advisor, said she enjoyed working on the project with Rueda , who shown professionalism while working on the project.

“I am ever so pleased that the results of her findings will help us make ISU an even better place for LatinX students to attend,” Forrest said. “It is very rewarding to see a graduating senior tackle such an important project as successfully and independently, as well as collaboratively, as Erika has done”

Forrest also thanked ISU Credit Union for providing the prize money, which contributed to the fine response rate the survey had. 







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