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Project Utilizing AI Technology and Student/Faculty Support Aims to Broaden Website’s Accessibility

Dominican University is expanding its outreach and strengthening community connections with a new Spanish translation of its website,

A majority of the site’s 2,500-plus pages now available to read in Spanish by selecting the “Español” option from the drop-down menu at the top left of the homepage.

The translations were created through the use of GTranslate, a state-of-the-art AI model. The project was undertaken by the Enrollment Management and Marketing Web Team, led by David Rivera, executive director of enrollment systems and operations, and Christine Chorostecki, assistant director of marketing systems and operations, in partnership with Dr. Gema Ortega, director of critical reading, writing, speaking and translation studies; students in Dominican’s Translation and Applied Cultural Studies program; and Dr. Lisa Petrov, Title V project director. 

The project is supported by the Avanzamos: Advancing Dominican University from Hispanic-Enrolling to Hispanic-Serving Title V grant.

“¡Un gran paso! Dominican University continues to persevere in offering language access and representation,” Ortega said. “Having our DU webpages available in Spanish shows that we care about the way we reach out and connect with our multilingual community. It took labor, collaboration, trust, and growth. It was not easy, but we are better today because of it.”

The goal of the project is to make Dominican’s website as welcoming, accessible and relevant as possible—particularly for family members of students who are navigating the college search process alongside their children, Rivera said. 

“As a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a large population of Spanish speakers, this is an important step forward,” Rivera noted. “It’s crucial for our website to provide full access to the information available on to parents and families of prospective and current students whose primary language of comfort is not English.”

Translation of website content began with more than 75 pages in 2022. These pages were manually translated by Ortega, adjunct instructor Lorena Batiston and students. Using GTranslate has allowed for translation of a much greater volume of content, Rivera said.

Additional languages may also be possible in the future, he added. 

“As we work out software bugs and implementation wrinkles, we will be looking to work with campus stakeholders on exploring other language translations for,” Rivera said.