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Austin Peay State University’s Latino Advisory Council makes supporting Latino students a campus-wide initiative

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Last year, Austin Peay State University (APSU) unveiled its newly rebranded and redesigned Latino Community Resource Center (LCRC) in the basement of the Morgan University Center.

The inviting space – decorated with couches, tables, a television, and even a small kitchen area – provides students with a safe place to relax, study and connect with friends.

The center is one of the reasons why the Education Trust of Tennessee applauded the University’s efforts last year in enrolling and supporting Latino students. According to the trust’s report, Austin Peay State University had “the highest Latino access score of any public institution in the state.”
Yanaraliz Barnes, the center’s director, is proud of the work the LCRC does, but she doesn’t want it to become the only source of support for Austin Peay State University’s growing Latino student population.
“Sometimes when people think about Latino students, they think about the center, but we wanted Latino initiatives to be university-wide efforts,” she said. “We wanted to bring a group together and work on things that will improve their quality of life for Latino students here at Austin Peay.”
Last fall, Barnes partnered with LaNeeça Williams, APSU chief diversity officer, and Title IX coordinator, to establish the APSU Latino Advisory Council of Resource Advocates. They recruited members from offices across campus, and last October, the group hosted its first meeting.

During the meeting, they set the council’s goals, which are:

  • Focus on identifying areas of need within the Latinx community at APSU.
  • Collaborate in the implementation of new strategies that will contribute to the recruitment, success, and retention of Latinx students.
  • Recommend speakers, programs, and collaborations for the Latino Community Resource Center events.

Almost a year has passed since that first meeting, and the council has been busy over the last few months making strong progress on the goals it set. What has it achieved?

Some of the accomplishments from last year include:

  • Launching of the Community Ambassadors Initiative, which identified six community members who are helping to build stronger networks between Austin Peay’s Latino community and the Clarksville community.
  • Creating a bilingual version of Austin Peay State University’s recruitment materials.
  • Hosting registration workshops and two one-on-one registration sessions at the LCRC during the spring semester.
  • Hosting an upcoming Spanish FAFSA workshop on October 6th, from 5:00pm-8:00pm, that will be open to the community. At the event, participants will have the opportunity to apply to APSU and learn more about upcoming preview days and the Parent and Family Portal.
  • Developing Spanish-language financial aid information and others that will soon be printed and placed on the financial aid website.

For information on the council, visit https://www.apsu.edu/student-life/lcrc/advisorycommittee.


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