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BPC admissions counselor works to increase Hispanic enrollment
Kelley M. Arnold
BPC Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON—The newest addition to Brewton-Parker College’s Admissions Office is taking the challenge to increase Hispanic enrollment – and enrollment in general – to heart.
Since joining the staff in early October as the only bilingual admissions counselor, Morgan Cook has already sponsored the formation of the campus’ first Latin American Student Organization (LASO), has worked to increase Hispanic awareness in the Toombs-Montgomery and surrounding area through local ethnic magazine “La Voz Hispana”, and has represented the college at several college and career fairs in high schools across the state.
“We’ve already had a great response, which surprises me after only two months,” Cook said. “It’s especially apparent at the high school fairs and our recent Preview Day, where we have had a large Hispanic turnout and interest.”
The McRae, Ga., native uses his background and experience with the Latin American culture as a former Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala to connect with the Hispanic communities in the surrounding area. He is fluent in Guatemalan Spanish, which includes a working knowledge of current slang and colloquialisms.
“Vidalia has a growing Hispanic community,” Cook explained. “It’s my goal to do as much community outreach and communication within (this) community as possible. We want to make the Hispanic community aware of the many scholarship and educational opportunities available to them at Brewton-Parker.”
One specific goal Cook hopes to achieve includes encouraging recent and future high school graduates in the local Hispanic community to continue their education at the college level instead of “just stopping” after they receive their high school diploma or GED.
“I’ve spoken with ‘La Voz Hispana’ and they see a lot of students here who graduate from high school and go straight into the work force, getting jobs at minimum wage instead of pursuing a college education. They get stuck,” Cook said. “They have the potential to go a lot farther. One thing we want to do at Brewton-Parker is to encourage them to get their degree and not stop.”
Director of Admissions Bryan Sage is thrilled with the ideas and dedication Cook brings to the nine-member office. Sage added that Cook’s responsibilities fulfill a variety of enrollment needs and specializations.
“Morgan has been a key asset to the admissions office and Brewton-Parker College. He currently handles all Hispanic students and all International students entering Brewton-Parker. Because of his success in this area he has been asked by the Executive Dean for Enrollment Services to be the acting PDSO (Primary Designated School Official) for all incoming international students (this title was previously held by Sandra Clay). These positions in and of themselves are very demanding,” Sage said.
In addition to these responsibilities, Cook also recruits potential students in the Southeast region of Georgia, which covers the counties bordering Florida and all counties along the coast north to Montgomery County.
“Morgan is the leader so far for the most applications received for spring 2007,” Sage added.
“I have very high hopes and expectations for Morgan in the future,” the director of admissions continued. “We have researched (the Census Bureau) and found that in the state of Georgia there will be a severe decrease of non-Latino students and a steady increase in Latino students graduating from high school in the next eight years. Morgan is laying the critical groundwork within the community to increase exposure about available BPC opportunities for these students, and he is preparing the campus for an increase in this potential student population.”
Cook recommends anyone interested in pursuing a college education to contact him directly at 912-583-3267 or toll free at 1-800-342-1087, ext. 267.
“There are a number of scholarships and financial aid available. The Goizeta Fund is one scholarship specifically for Hispanic students and is based on the student’s financial need,” Cook said.
Brewton-Parker College is a private, four-year Christian college in Mount Vernon, Ga., with external campuses and centers in Baxley, Glennville, Hinesville, Newnan, Norman Park and Savannah. Affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, the college offers 37 majors and 23 minors of study in a caring, Christian environment that nurtures the whole student.
Cook is the son of Travis and Barbara Cook of McRae. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American studies with a minor in anthropology from Southern Methodist University, and graduated from American University (Wash., D.C.) in August 2006 with master’s in political science and international affairs. Cook volunteered for the Peace Corps in its agricultural diversification program from September 1999 to December 2002. He has also taught English in San Jose, Costa Rica and Guatemala City, and taught a Spanish immersion class at McRae CCA for incoming correction officers before coming to Brewton-Parker.
¿Usted conoce a alguien que esté a punto de graduarse de High School, or que ya tenga su GED y quisiera seguir estudiando al nivel universitario?
Para mayor información sobre Brewton-Parker College o las oportunidades académicas y becas que se ofrecen a los estudiantes Hispanos llame a 912-583-3267 o 1-800-342-1087, ext. 267.