WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Excelencia in Education honored the winners of the 2009 "Examples of Excelencia." Examples of Excelencia is a national initiative that identifies and recognizes programs that are proven to accelerate Latino student success at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels and shares this information with educators and policymakers. Winning programs receive $5,000 and are profiled in a publication released by Excelencia in Education.

"Colleges have a responsibility to help Latino students succeed," said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education, a non-profit which promotes policies and practices that support higher educational achievement for Latino students. "The 2009 Examples of Excelencia are proven programs that we hope other colleges and universities around the country will be looking to as models to adapt and replicate on their own campuses."

The 2009 Examples of Excelencia winners are:

  • The Puente Project at the University of California (Associate level)
  • Science Educational Enhancement Services at California State Polytechnic University (Baccalaureate level)
  • The Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies at San Diego State University (Graduate level)

The selection committee considered the following factors in choosing these "Examples" winners: (1) a record of achievement in graduating Latino students, (2) the magnitude of the need for the program services, (3) the rationale for implementing the program to address the identified need, (4) the application and execution of the program, and (5) the qualitative or quantitative evidence of the impact of the program.

According to the US Census Bureau, Latino young adults are less likely to have earned an associate degree or higher than other young adults. In 2008, eight percent of Latinos 18 to 24 years-of-age had earned a degree, compared to 14 percent of all young adults. Latino adults, 25 years and over, were also less likely to have earned an associate degree or higher than other adults, with 19 percent of Latinos earning a degree, compared to 29 percent of blacks, 39 percent of whites, and 59 percent of Asians.  Meanwhile, census projections estimate that Latinos will be 22 percent of the nation's college-age population by 2020.

In conjunction with the awards, Excelencia in Education today released "What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education: 2009 Examples of Excelencia Compendium", a publication which serves as a resource summarizing the activities and results of the 2009 Examples of Excelencia programs and strategies that may be adapted for use at other institutions.

"What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education: 2009 Examples of Excelencia Compendium" may be found here.

Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.

Release Date
Tue, 09/29/2009 - 9:00pm