MSU 'opens doors to people like me'

Montclair State University's leadership role in providing educational opportunities to the Hispanic community is well-known.

As proof of that, you need look no further than The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine, which selected MSU as a "Publisher's Pick" recently. Publisher Jose Lopez-Isa said that the magazine's 1998 Publisher's Picks are "a list of colleges and universities nationwide that in our view offer outstanding opportunities to Hispanic students."

This is the second straight year MSU has been honored by the magazine. In 1997, the University was included in its "Top 100" list of colleges and universities nationally in graduating Hispanics at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree level.

The record is clear. But the record doesn't tell the personal story of what MSU has to offer.

However, if you look through the eyes of May graduate Rosa Sanchez of West Orange, you'll see what MSU can mean to a student. In an April 27 letter to John Sanz, director of MSU's Weekend College, Sanchez explained why MSU was so dear to her.

    Dear Mr. Sanz,

    As graduation time approaches I look forward to obtaining my M.S. degree in biology, but I also look back and remember the very first steps of my career. I can't find enough words to express my gratitude to you and the Weekend College program.

    I came to MSU in the fall of 1991, without speaking much English and working long hours to support myself. The Weekend College program offered me the opportunity to take classes in my native language while I was trying to integrate with the American academic environment.

    The program also offered me the opportunity to take classes on Saturday and Sunday, the only days available to me.

    I thought you may like to know that I have been able to achieve many of my goals during the last few years. I obtained my B.S. degree in biology and certification as a histo-technician with the American Society of Clinical Pathology. I will be receiving my M.S. degree in biology in May and I have been accepted into a Ph.D. program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey for the fall of 1999. I have also been holding a full-time job in a pharmaceutical company during these years.

    I look forward to achieving many other goals and I want to let you know that none of these would have been possible if I wasn't given the opportunity by the Weekend College program. The Weekend College program showed a clear understanding of my limitations and, at the same time, a supporting confidence on my potentiality. Thanks for opening the doors of higher education at MSU to people like me. Thanks for keeping this program alive.

    Sincerely, Rosa Sanchez

Sanchez' story is one heard often on the MSU campus, as 16 percent of MSU undergraduates are Hispanics.

For additional information on MSU's Weekend College, call (973) 655-4433.

Ranked fifth among the Top Regional Universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report, MSU is New Jersey's largest comprehensive university and second largest institution of higher education in the state. It offers the advantages of a large university -- a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs, and a diverse faculty and student body -- combined with a small college's attention to students.

Related link: Student Development and Campus Life (SDCL)