LAWRENCE -- To show minority students that the University of Kansas is a diverse and welcoming place, the Office of Admission and Scholarships will hit the road with several events planned in February, March and April.
The Multicultural Road Show and Hawk Talk will take Baby Jay and KU representatives to venues in Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties in an effort to disseminate information about KU and affiliate organizations and services.
The Multicultural Road Show will make stops Monday, Feb. 23, at Wichita East High School, 2301 E. Douglas, Wichita; Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Sumner Academy, 1610 N. Eighth St., Kansas City, Kan.; and Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Highland Park High School, 2424 S.E. California Ave., Topeka. Dean of Students Richard Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the events, which are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.
During the evening programs, students from grades nine through 12 will meet with representatives from KU schools and departments, as well as staff members from admissions, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Campus Life and the Office of Financial Aid.
Claudia Mercado, associate director of admissions and scholarships, said that in addition to the evening programs, admissions staff members will distribute information packets and goodie bags to area schools, community centers, churches and TRIO offices. TRIO Programs provide education opportunities for students regardless of race, ethnic background or socioeconomic status.
"We want to do some outreach to underrepresented students," she said. "We want to share a little bit about what KU is and what KU does."
Efforts to recruit and retain underrepresented students at KU have proven successful at KU. Last fall the university reported the overall number of students in four minority groups -- African-American, Native American, Hispanic and Asian -- had risen to 3,281, which was an increase of 316 students over the previous year. Minority students in that semester's first-time freshman class numbered 520, an increase of 70 students over fall 2002.
In addition, retention rates for minority students also have shown improvement. Of minority students from KU's 2002 freshman class, more than 81 percent returned in the fall of 2003, which was a 2 percent improvement over the previous year and up sharply from 71 percent in 1998.
Johnson County Hawk Talk will present Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success, at the Doubletree Hotel, 10100 College Blvd. in Overland Park, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 2. Baby Jay will attend the event along with KU representatives who again will be on hand to answer questions about the university and provide information about KU services and affiliate organizations.
"There will be information for high school seniors who are already admitted to KU and those who are undecided," said admissions counselor Andre McCloyn-Fortune. "There will also be material for juniors and others considering KU. There should be something for everyone."
Guests will be eligible for door prizes and refreshments will be provided.
On Tuesday, March 9, Wichita Hawk Talk will take its program to Koch Industries, 4111 E. 37th St. North, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Hawk Talk will be in Douglas County on Thursday, April 1, though a time and location are yet to be determined.
For more information or to register for a Multicultural Roadshow or Hawk Talk event visit www.admissions.ku.edu/receptions.
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