Weekend orientation program expects record numbers

Pullman, Wash.—A record number of people are expected for Washington State University’s La Bienvenida Program scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15.

La Bienvenida is an orientation program designed specifically for Spanish-speaking parents whose son or daughter is admitted and/or confirmed to attend WSU in the fall.

Throughout the two-day event, about 300 parents and students will learn about a wide range of topics including campus living options, financial aid, student support services, tour the campus, as well as hear from WSU Spanish-speaking students, faculty, and staff. The program typically draws about 200 people each year.

Marcela Pattinson, assistant director in the Office of Multicultural Student Services, said there are several reasons for the growing interest in the program.

“The increase is reflective of the growing population of Spanish-speaking students in Washington,” she said. “But as the only university in the state providing this type of program, it is gaining a really good reputation among communities across the state.”

Pattinson notes some parents are returning to La Bienvenida this year with a second child attending WSU. Many of them have reached out to new WSU parents and are carpooling to Pullman together.

“Parents that have attended this program before have learned their children will be well taken care of by their new WSU family,” said Pattinson. “Not only do the parents develop a strong network among Spanish-speaking faculty and staff on campus, but they form strong bonds with other families as well.”

New to the program is a special workshop designed for “Dreamers”. Dreamers commonly refers to students who benefit from Washington State’s House bill 1079 and Senate bill 6523, state initiatives that allow qualified students from undocumented families to access financial aid for college.

All parents and students attending La Bienvenida will receive an extensive overview on how financial aid works and personalized coaching in developing their own budgets.

La Bienvenida is led by the Office of Multicultural Student Services in collaboration with Office of Admission, Housing and Residence Life, Office of Student Financial Services, the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), and Office for Access, Equity and Achievement.

For more information about the program, contact Marcela Pattinson at 509-335-6706, marcela.pattinson@wsu.edu.


Marcela Pattinson, Assistant Director, Office of Multicultural Student Services, 509-335-6706, marcela.pattinson@wsu.edu

Steve Nakata, Marketing/Communications, Student Affairs, 335-1774, nakata@wsu.edu