New orientation visit designed for Spanish-speaking parents

By Steve Nakata, Student Affairs & Enrollment

La-Bienvenida-dad-daughter-80PULLMAN, Wash. – About 200 parents and students are registered to participate in Washington State University’s La Bienvenida program on the Pullman campus May 17-18.

La Bienvenida is designed specifically for Spanish-speaking parents whose sons or daughters are admitted and/or confirmed to attend WSU in the fall.

La-Bienvenida-dad-daughter-400Marcela Pattinson, coordinator for WSU outreach and undocumented initiatives, said the program was created because the Latino population has been steadily growing at WSU.

“We feel it is important to provide Spanish-speaking parents an opportunity to learn about WSU in a safe and inviting environment where people talk their own language,” she said.

In previous years, Spanish-speaking parents were invited to participate in a special session of the Alive! summer orientation program. This is the first year an entirely separate program has been designed for them.

Following check-in and a group lunch on Saturday morning, the program will get under way with a welcome session at 1:45 p.m. in Todd Auditorium.

La-Bienvenida-parents-400Throughout the two-day event, parents and students will learn about a wide range of topics including campus living options, financial aid and student support services. They will tour the campus and hear from WSU Spanish-speaking students, faculty and staff.

“We want parents to leave this program knowing that while their son or daughter will be living away from their family while attending college, they will be well taken care of by their new WSU family,” said Pattinson. “And the parents will have developed a strong network of Spanish-speaking faculty and staff here they can contact when questions or issues arise.”

La Bienvenida is sponsored by the WSU Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment and planned by a committee consisting of representatives from across campus who specialize in serving first-generation and underrepresented students.

For more information about La Bienvenida, contact Pattinson at 509-335-7326 or


Marcela Pattinson, WSU Outreach & Undocumented Initiatives, 509-335-7326,
Steve Nakata, director of communications, WSU Student Affairs & Enrollment, 509-335-1774,