Hispanic-Serving Institutions Are Failing Online

Colleges with large Hispanic enrollments offer almost no Spanish on their Web sites. When it comes to serving the nation’s largest minority group, community colleges, liberal-arts colleges, and large universities fail spectacularly.

The failure of Hispanic-Serving Institutions—roughly defined by the Education Department as colleges that have a Hispanic enrollment of at least 25 percent—to offer Spanish content online is both surprising and disappointing, particularly since some receive federal awards created specifically to improve outcomes for Hispanic students.

An analysis of the 333 American colleges that are members of the largest Hispanic-college lobbying group, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, shows that only 36 have Spanish content accessible from their home pages. (I conducted the analysis as a personal research project, but it has allowed me to successfully persuade my own institution, Eastern Washington University, to soon add Web pages in Spanish.) Half these institutions simply embed a plug-in for Google Translate, an imperfect solution. A few more offer a page or two in Spanish. Of the 36 that offer content in Spanish, only 11 have Web sites with more than 10 such pages.

And the numbers aren’t much better for institutions that enroll the largest proportion of Hispanic students. <Read more.>

Via Jens Larson, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.