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New degree opportunities for Spanish-speaking students at WSU

Weber State graduate Eva Martinez with her diploma after the 2021 Latinx graduation ceremony.

On March 19 Weber State University announced the Building Puentes program, which will bring courses and degrees in Spanish to the university.

Because of a $2.5 million grant from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the university now has the funding to provide courses and degree pathways that will be entirely in Spanish.

Weber State University is on its way to become an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution, with Hispanic students making up the second largest ethnicity group at the institution. This funding and program will help to push WSU to serve its Hispanic student population even more.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ogden is 29.6% Hispanic, as of July 2023. With such a high population of Hispanic citizens, WSU’s new program will better serve the community around it.

The program is breaking barriers, being one of the first programs nationwide to do something like this. The program will be going through a “soft-launch” to start, but will bloom further and further through the next five years.

The first degrees and certifications to be a part of this program will include computer engineering and cybersecurity, with nine other high-demand certificates that should be available in 2028. The beginning of this program will focus on high-demand degrees.

“Our ultimate goal is student success in both the classroom and the workplace, so we’re going to offer additional bilingual support courses and services,” WSU President Brad Mortensen said in the university’s official press release.

WSU plans to begin hiring Spanish speaking staff and faculty to help facilitate this program in the coming year.

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Brisa Odenthal
Brisa Odenthal, News editor

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