Multicultural student enrollment up at Iowa State due to efforts by administration


Michaela Ramm/Iowa State Daily

Student walking through the Multicultural Center in the Memorial Union

Mike Brown

The multicultural student population at Iowa State is at a record high.

U.S. multicultural and international student enrollment totaled 8,554 students — roughly 25 percent of total enrollment, according to Iowa State. Multicultural student enrollment, specifically, reached 4,863 students.

Part of the increase can be attributed to the changes in multicultural student recruitment programs, as well as more scholarships available to undergraduate and freshman multicultural students.

Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs, Denise Williams-Klotz said helping students get to know Iowa State helps them see themselves on campus.

“We do focus a lot on retention and student success, we help with recruitment, but we really work with students quite a bit more once they get here,” Williams-Klotz said.

In a previous interview with the Daily, Martino Harmon, senior vice president for student affairs said, “Last year I believe was the first year that we had a change in our visit programs where we had a program that was called Multicultural Student Experience Day.

“We always had a program for multicultural students who received scholarships and it was sort of feeding into our large visit day — Experience Iowa State — but this past year we had a specific program on a certain day that was geared at multicultural students.”  

Multicultural Student Experience Day is among the events offered for multicultural students on campus. It was held for the first time on Nov. 3, 2017 and allows multicultural students and families to obtain more information about student organizations, scholarships, internships and the admission process, according to the Iowa State Office of Admissions.

Multicultural Student Experience Day also gives students an opportunity to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.)

Assistant dean of students and director of Multicultural Student Affairs, Kenyatta Shamburger, believes the work of the Iowa State’s admissions team also deserves credit for the increase.

“I think that kudos should go to our admissions team for the great work they are doing in recruiting students,” Shamburger said.

Shamburger also stressed the importance of continuing to strive for an improved and inclusive student experience for all of Iowa State’s community and credited the continued work of student resources including Multicultural Student Affairs, International Student Services and The Center for LGBTQIA+ students for working with each other and students to create a more inclusive and holistic environment for students at Iowa State.

“I think that there’s still work that the university and the staff have to do, and I think now more than ever, because we have this increase in numbers and increase in population that it is imperative that we do the work,” Shamburger said, adding the increase in multicultural student population will continue to actualize and emphasize this need.