September 25, 2008
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Asian Student Discovery Day adds to College’s cultural diversity
For the eighth consecutive year, Metropolitan State College of Denver’s fall enrollment is up, and the bulk of the increase is in students of color according to the college’s Office of Institutional Research.
As of the Sept. 3 fall enrollment census date, total student headcount had increased by 1.2 percent from last fall, from 21,453 students to 21,715. While total student headcount increased by 262 students from last year, 252 of them were students of color.
The largest jump was in the category of Asian or Pacific Islander, which went from 844 students to 964, or an increase of 14.2 percent. Less than two years ago, a unique effort to reach this audience was established in a new program called Metro State Asian Student Discovery Day.
Director of Hospitality and Entrepreneurship
Founded in 2007 by Assistant Professor and Director of Hospitality Entrepreneurship Ray Moroye, the program helps to introduce the idea of higher education to Denver’s growing Asian community, which was 3.3 percent in 2006 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. “We’re convinced the first and second Asian Student Discovery Day had an impact on Asian enrollment here,” says Moroye. “If one person is convinced this is a right place, they tell others.”
Co-directed by Moroye and Paul Cesare, assistant director of admissions, the program went from about two dozen high school students in its inaugural year to 125 students in 2008. The second-annual event was held on April 11, 2008 and included students from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
According to Moroye, word-of-mouth among students, along with Cesare’s network, made the difference. “Due to Paul's extensive contacts with high school counselors and his communication with them, the networking increased exponentially.”
Asst. Professor of English Tat Sang So spoke to students at ASDD.
Assistant Professor of English Tat Sang So spoke to the students during their visit to campus. “It has been very satisfying to see Asian Student Discovery Day grow to such a large event,” he says. “Metro State is serving an ever-growing Asian population in the state of Colorado, many of whom come from immigrant families who have no previous experience with College.
“This event is crucial for exposing them to the possibilities of higher education and getting them excited about the adventure ahead. I come from an immigrant Chinese family myself, and I can't tell you how terrific it would have been to have an event like this when I was getting ready for college.”
During their visit to campus, students were taken on an extensive tour around Metro State, learned about financial aid, immigrant services and student housing. They even attended a mock class where they experienced what a college course is like.
“The vision that I had was not only for them to go to Metro, but to a college of their choice, from community college to Harvard,” says Moroye, a board member of the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Pacific American Bar Association and CollegeInvest. “Our goal is to have them think longterm about what they want to do. It’s not just a job. I want them to understand the importance of establishing a career.”
Other student populations also increased at the College. American Indian or Alaska Native increased 9.3 percent, Black or African American-Non-Hispanic students increased 4.7 percent and Latino students grew by 1.8 percent. Students of color now represent 24.7 percent of the College’s total enrollment, up from 23.8 percent last fall.
For the complete reports go to www.mscd.edu/facstaff/oir.