2023 Press Releases All Stories

WCSU translates website information into Spanish to make it more accessible for prospective students and their families

Screen shot of WCSU Spanish web page
Screen shot of WCSU Spanish web page
Screenshot of WCSU’s Spanish web page.

DANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University, based in Danbury and the primary four-year post-secondary destination for students in the Greater Danbury area, has taken steps to make its website and marketing materials more accessible to prospective students and their families by translating some information into Spanish.

The decision to translate the admissions-related web page is in response to a need demonstrated by online data that indicates that Danbury High School’s student body communicates at home in more than 40 different languages and/or dialects, with a significant percentage of families conversing in Spanish or Portuguese. A similar diversity in languages is also true in many communities statewide and nationally. In recognition of this, the university has rolled out a landing page on its website that provides pertinent enrollment and financial aid information in Spanish. The page can be found at https://spanish.wcsu.edu/.

Interim WCSU President Dr. Paul Beran said, “This page will help us communicate with students and parents who may not speak English as their first language and let them know in a direct way about what WCSU can offer. We recently earned designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, so we know that outreach in Spanish will make WCSU more accessible.”

Translation was provided by students in a Spanish translation class taught by Professor of World Languages and Cultures Dr. Alba Hawkins during the fall 2022 semester and will continue through 2023.

The 17 students enrolled in the class included first-year students through seniors, and a nontraditional student who teaches Latin at Danbury High School. The course is taught 100% in Spanish with projects to practice translations from English to Spanish and Spanish to English, Hawkins said.

Of the students who participated in the translation project, seven were learning Spanish as a second language and 10 were heritage or native speakers of Spanish with families from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Ecuador. Four are pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degrees, two plan to teach high school-level Spanish after obtaining Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education-Spanish degrees, and the remainder of the students are majoring in Music Education, English, Communication, Criminology, Nursing, Media Arts, Marketing and Psychology.

The students who participated included Kimberly Brereton, of Newtown; John Damien, of Trumbull; Pilar DeCola, of Southbury; Holly Doyle, of Poughquag, New York; Julia Farah, of Danbury; Luz Galarza, of Danbury; Britney Guachún, of Danbury; Cheisy Guareno, of Danbury; Rina Hernández, of Pawling, New York; Dolly Kelly-Pinto, of Brookfield; Alyssa Landrie, of Southington; Gabriel Ortiz, of Danbury; Gretta Roche, of Bethel; Ivan Rodriguez, of Hopewell Junction, New York; Sunshine Rowley, of New Fairfield; Chelina Santos, of Danbury; and Michelle Vallejo, of Danbury.

“The growing partnership between WCSU and our Spanish translation program is just one example of our university’s focus on career-readiness and applications of student learning to real-world professional experience,” Hawkins said. “All of the 17 students in the ‘Introduction to Spanish Translation’ course were excited to volunteer to translate WCSU’s financial aid web pages into Spanish. This information is critical for educational access for students and Spanish-speaking families in our greater Danbury region. WCSU World Language and Cultures faculty and students look forward to partnering in future translation projects.”

The university plans to continue to translate more of its web pages into Spanish and other languages over the coming months.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.