October 2009

By 2025, 22 percent of the U.S. college-age population will be Latino, a level already exceeded in four states: California, Florida, New York, and Texas. However, today, only seven percent of Latinos ages 18 to 24 have an associate's degree or higher compared to 9 percent of African Americans, 16 percent of white, and 25 percent of Asians of the same age cohort. Given the importance of college degree completion for U.S. society and economic competitiveness, meeting the country's future human capital and workforce needs make it imperative to improve outcomes for Latino students. As public attention is focused on achievement gaps in education, educators and policymakers search for what they can do to improve education outcomes for Latino students. Finding the right solutions can be difficult.

Excelencia in Education responds to this challenge by linking research, policy, and practice that supports higher educational achievement for Latino students. Premier in this effort is Examples of Excelencia, a national initiative to systematically identify and honor programs and departments boosting Latino enrollment, performance and graduation.

The 2009 Examples of Excelencia are:

Associate Level - Puente Project at the University of California

Baccalaureate Level - Science Educational Enhancement Services (SEES) at California State Polytechnic University

Graduate Level - Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies (BACH) at San Diego State University

    More detailed information about these outstanding 2009 winners is included in this compendium. Also included is information about programs selected as finalists and for honorable mentions in each category.

    This compendium is a central component of the Examples of Excelencia initiative. By sharing best practices, we hope to prompt educators and policymakers to challenge the current state of Latino achievement in higher education and inspire them to work to increase Latino student success. All the programs profiled in this compendium are at the forefront of meeting the challenge of improving higher educational achievement for Latino students and we congratulate them for their current and continued efforts.

    • Institutional Practices

    Resources

    2009 What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education

    Research File