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OSIA Reports Enrollments On Rise In U.S. Colleges And Universities

Press Contact: Kylie Cafiero, (202) 547-2900 kcafiero@osia.org

Download Press Release and Italian Language Enrollment Report

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2003 Enrollment in Italian grew by nearly 30 percent from 1998 to 2002 in U.S. institutions of higher education, and is growing faster than the enrollment rates for Spanish, French, and German, according to the Order Sons of Italy in America®'s (OSIA) 2003 Italian Language Enrollment Report.

The report, using the most current data available from the Modern Language Association (MLA), reveals that Italian language enrollment outpaced enrollments in Spanish, German and French, which increased by 14, 12.5 and 1.5 percent, respectively.

From 1998 to 2002, at the nearly 3,000 U.S. colleges and universities surveyed, the number of Italian language enrollments by undergraduate students in two- and four-year colleges and by graduate students rose from 49,287 to 63,866 (+29.6 percent). At two-year colleges alone enrollments in Italian rose by 55 percent. The combined data represents a 17 percentage point increase from the last MLA survey that covered Italian enrollments from 1995 to 1998.

The report also shows that Italian is the fourth most commonly taught foreign language in U.S. colleges and universities behind Spanish, French and German. According to the 2000 Census, Italian is also the fourth most common European language spoken in U.S. homes.

The OSIA report is available for download on the organization's web site at www.osia.org. For a hard copy of the report, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope ($.37) to OSIA Language Report, 219 E Street NE, Washington, DC, 20002.

The Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA) is the largest and the longest-established national organization for people of Italian heritage in the country. Founded in 1905, today it has 600,000 members and supporters and a network of 700 chapters throughout the U.S.A.