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Office of Graduate Studies reaches across the border for student recruitment
Contact: Christy Mendoza, intern/writer (956) 665-2741
Posted: 03/07/2013
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The University of Texas Pan-American's Office of Graduate Studies has launched an innovative recruitment campaign to attract new international students, particularly in the interior of Mexico. The promotional campaign is primarily an advertising venture geared to target Mexican students seeking graduate and undergraduate education in the United States.

Recruiters assist prospective international students with applications and other registration requirements at last year's UTPA Expo. This year's Expo will be held March 29.
"The Mexican market, particularly in Monterrey, is very important to our University and it is critical that potential students are aware of the benefits of studying at UTPA," said Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice provost for Graduate Studies, Academic Studies and Continuing Education. "Among many of these benefits are proximity and a common culture and values."

The campaign will advertise both in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and in Monterrey, Mexico. During the month of March ¬- a very popular tourist season for the RGV due to spring break and Easter week - UTPA will advertise at popular shopping destinations for Mexican visitors, such as the Rio Grande Premium Outlets in Mercedes. Patrons of the shopping center will be exposed to directory panel signage promoting UTPA and upcoming international registration events.

"We chose one of the busiest periods for visits by Mexican nationals and expect an excellent turnout," Brown said.

On March 29, UTPA will host an Expo at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in McAllen from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Visitors can meet with representatives from Admissions (undergraduate and graduate), Financial Aid, International Admissions, and Student Services. They will also have the opportunity to explore each of UT Pan American's seven colleges.

"The UTPA Expo will serve as a one-stop-shop for our Mexican visitors to get the information they need regarding the visa process, the admission process, and program and degree requirements," Brown said.

In addition, UTPA undergraduate and graduate recruiters will conduct a series of Spanish interviews for the Engaging Communities for College Readiness (ENCORE) program and fill the airwaves with discussions on how to prepare for college. The ENCORE interviews are featured in special segments for Radio Esperanza - a Valley radio station popular in Northern Mexico ¬- and will aid in targeting a wider audience.

"UTPA faculty includes top researchers, published authors, accomplished musicians, and practitioners who challenge our students. We want to send out that message," Brown said.

In Monterrey, UTPA advertisements are prevalent. A series of ads in El Norte newspaper will focus on various aspects of graduate school and will also include undergraduate promotion.

A variety of attractive billboards will fill the popular Monterrey skyline in hopes of attracting new students. A back-lit advertisement will prominently promote UTPA graduate studies at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce offices in Cintermex - an important and high-traffic business meeting area and convention center - in Monterrey.

The campaign will include extensive electronic communication efforts as well. UTPA Office of International Admissions and Services has launched a new website for Spanish speaking prospects: www.utpa.edu/bienvenidos. This bilingual website will include video testimonials from current students endorsing UTPA and sharing why they chose UTPA and how it has benefitted their academic journey. A total of 20 video segments are organized by topics such as academics, student life, campus security, and financial advantages in attending UTPA. The video sessions are also available for viewing on the GradSchool YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/utpagradschool. Links and photo galleries on the website will also direct all interested parties to all UTPA social media, as well as graduate, undergraduate, and international admissions.

Also, a new UTPA email promoted in Mexico, posgrados@utpa.edu, will allow internationals to contact the University directly with their inquiries. Live chat sessions are available through the Office of Graduate Studies and will be held 12-4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for prospective graduate students.

For more information about the Mexico Promotional Campaign, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at (956) 665-3661 or email gradschool@utpa.edu. For more information, visit www.utpa.edu/graduateschool.