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OSU's Alicia Ortega to help Higher Ed Board advance college access and success for Latino students

Contact Di Saunders, Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714

PORTLAND, November 9, 2009 – Oregon University System chancellor, George Pernsteiner, today announced that Alicia Ortega, associate director of Admissions and Recruitment at Oregon State University, will be helping the OUS to advance initiatives to support Latino student participation in and completion of college in Oregon.

Alicia Ortega will work with the State Board of Higher Education and OUS as a special assistant to the Chancellor over the next year to advance the system goal of increasing educational attainment rates for the rapidly growing number of Latino students in Oregon – a population that has lower than average college going and completion rates. While completing this work, Ortega will be on loan to the Chancellor’s Office from OSU through August 2010 in order to fully focus on this effort, and will serve as primary staff for this work through the Board’s Academic Strategies Committee. Specifically, Ortega will coordinate the Board’s strategic priority to increase college attainment for Latino Oregonians, addressing issues related to: expanding the college pipeline; developing community connections; overcoming access barriers; retention and graduation; and success after graduation.

“We’re very pleased to have someone with Alicia’s expertise and background join with the Board and the campuses to determine approaches to increasing the college-going rates of Oregon’s Latino students,” said Pernsteiner. “The tremendous growth in the number of Latino K-12 students over the last several years has not translated into growth in those same students completing high school and going on to college. It’s imperative that the OUS seek ways to work with partners statewide to improve the rates of Latino student achievement and the numbers who graduate from college.”

Since 2001, Ortega has worked in Admissions at OSU, in both her current position and as assistant director of admissions and multicultural recruitment, and senior assistant director. Prior to this she worked at Portland State University from 1998 to 2001 as assistant director of admissions and minority recruitment, and as an admissions counselor. Ortega also worked at Western Oregon University from 1997 to 1998 as an admissions counselor.

Ortega is actively involved with numerous admissions outreach committees and associations in Oregon, regionally, and nationally. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from OSU, and her Master’s degree in Educational Policy, Foundations and Administrative Studies from PSU.

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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