WASHINGTON, D.C. - Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C. - based non-profit organization was awarded a $1 million grant by the Kresge Foundation to support the organization's mission to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.

Through this funding, Excelencia in Education will expand its program offerings and organizational capacity. The grant will support the following activities over the next two years: 

  • Expand Excelencia in Education's Growing What Works initiative by supporting five selected institutions to refine and replicate institutional practices with evidence of effectiveness in increasing Latino student progress and degree attainment;
  • Evaluate the impact of the 2009 and 2010 grants under the Growing What Works Initiative, and produce a policy brief on effective practices accelerating Latino student success.
  • Implement a Community of Action workshop on accelerating Latino student success; and,
  • Include campus leaders from selected institutions in a broader national campaign with policy leaders to inform and compel action in the evolving college completion agenda.

Excelencia in Education's Growing What Works national initiative supports the replication of effective educational programs to advance Latino achievement in either two-year or four-year colleges through its SEMILLAS grants. SEMILLAS is the Spanish word for seeds.  It also stands for Seeding Educational Models that Impact and Leverage Latino Academic Success. The long-term goal of the initiative is to increase the implementation of these effective programs for the country's fast-growing Latino college population. With support from the Kresge Foundation, Excelencia in Education will be able to award grants to five selected institutions.

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 with 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.

"As the largest emerging student population in the country, college success for Latino students has far-reaching implications for our communities, our future workforce and our national economy," says Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education.

"The Kresge Foundation is pleased to support Excelencia's 'Growing What Works' initiative to accelerate Latino student success at two-year and four-year colleges," said Caroline Altman Smith, Program Officer at the Kresge Foundation.  "Through the 2010 Kresge SEMILLAS grants we have an opportunity preserve and grow programs that are effectively advancing Latino student college success; programs that will serve as models for academic institutions across the nation."

For more information about Excelencia in Education, please visit www.EdExcelencia.org.   

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
Mon, 09/20/2010 - 9:00pm