Programs to Watch

2019 Programs to Watch

20

Number of Programs to Watch recognized in 2019 from 7 states plus Washington, DC, including those with growing Latino communities, such as North Carolina and Ohio.

 

Excelencia in Education's Programs to Watch are implementing efforts with promise that serve Latino students in unique, impactful ways, and are on their way to meeting the standards of Examples of Excelencia

This year, Excelencia in Education recognizes 20 Programs to Watch from 7 states plus Washington, DC; they include emerging Latino communities such as North Carolina and Ohio.

Learn about the 2019 Examples of Excelencia Finalists and their efforts to accelerate Latino student success.

Find evidence-based programs across the country in the Growing What Works database.

    

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ASSOCIATE CATEGORY

Chemeketa Completion Program

Chemeketa Community College
Year started: 2014
Salem, Oregon

https://www.chemeketa.edu/students/student-services/academic-support/college-completion-program/

The Chemeketa Completion Program (CCP) works with students who come from mixed legal status families to ensure their access to higher education. CCP provides textbooks, calculators, bus passes, meal cards, referrals to community resources to help pay for emergency needs, and referrals to organizations that provide additional support for immigrant families. Through these services, CCP has maintained 67% retention of Latino students on average per year.

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Hancock Promise - Changing the Odds

Allan Hancock College
Year started: 2018
Santa Maria, California

https://www.hancockcollege.edu/promise/index.php

The Hancock Promise provides students in their district their first year of college free, regardless of citizenship status, age, or income. They employ bilingual outreach, counseling services, bilingual tutoring services for Math and English, and free educational outsource materials. Fall 2018 enrollments showed 48% growth in low income, 37% growth in Latinos, and 31% increase in first generation college students. Persistence rates from fall 2018 to spring 2019 increased as well with an 82% rise in low income students, 81% in Latinos, and 84% in first generation college students.

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Jaguar Connection

South Texas College
Year started: 2015
McAllen, Texas

https://www.southtexascollege.edu

The Jaguar Connection applies a Latino student-centered approach to recruitment and campus tours. The use of Spanish speaking staff and a focus on creating a meaningful experience at recruitment events on campus ensures that most student and families understand the enrollment process and establish a connection with the college. The Jaguar Connection, including communication touchpoints throughout the admission cycle, has played a part in the 14% increase in True Freshman enrollment at the institution. Further, targeted messaging from the Call Center Campaign reduced the number of incomplete and unpaid financial aid recipients by 75%.

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Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Lone Star College-North Harris
Year started: 2016
Houston, Texas

http://www.lonestar.edu/NH-TitleV.htm

Mi Casa Es Su Casa, is Connecting students to the campus community, Acclimating them to the rigors of academic life, helping them Succeed and self-improve for the duration, and preparing them to Achieve and compete in college and beyond. The program guides students through the four CASA phases by connecting students to college resources and opportunities, as well as ensuring that students are receiving best-fit instruction. These initiatives encompass eleven intervening activities to engage students in practical, research-based programs that promote a sense of belonging, influence, competence and ultimately efficacy. These efforts resulted in increases in retention, graduation, and transfer rates by 14%, 10% and 11% respectively.

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Pathways to Technology Early College High Schools

Dallas County Community College District
Year started: 2016
Dallas, Texas

https://www.dcccd.edu/apply-reg/hsprog/echs/pages/default.aspx

A Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) Early College High School model was adapted to incorporate career and technical education certificates and degrees, as well as over 70 industry partners to support students’ career development and pathway to employment. The Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Colleges support a total of 31 Early College High Schools (22 P-TECHs), and over 20,000 total dual-credit college students each semester through tuition scholarships, instructional support and other services. The first two of Dallas ISD cohorts of 18 P-TECHs enjoyed an 85% or higher course success rate and a 95% or better fall-to-fall persistence rate. Over 50% of the students served are Latino, and DCCCD has worked with the North Texas Community College Consortium to partner with 15 regional universities to facilitate the transfer of college credits and the completion of Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degrees.

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Problem-based Initiatives for Powerful Engagement and Learning In Naval Engineering and Science (PIPELINES)

University of California, Santa Barbara
Year started: 2016
Santa Barbara, California

http://pipelines-csep.cnsi.ucsb.edu/

Born from intersecting goals of increasing diversity in STEM majors (UCSB), fostering retention and transfer success (Community Colleges), and tapping into the local student population as more likely candidates for future employment (Navy Base), PIPELINES students work in teams to solve real-world Navy engineering design problems. These open-ended projects train students to think and act like innovators—a practice also supported by a course in engineering innovation that students attend at UCSB. In 2018, 42% of the participants were Latino students. Of the Community Colleges’ students, 88% have transferred to a 4-year institution.

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STEM Institute for Scholastic Leadership Experience (ISLE)

Miami Dade College-North Campus
Year started: 2017
Miami, Florida

www.mdc.edu

STEM ISLE created the “Distinction in STEM Scholastic Leadership” that students can earn by completing requirements in: academic excellence, career exploration, service, soft-skill training, and self-reflection. ISLE aims to give students a strong grounding in STEM skills through internships, increase knowledge of STEM with speaker events, improve academic and professional skills with workshops, and hone their knowledge and skills while helping others learn via the lab assistant program. When compared to the rest of the student body, STEM ISLE participants show better GPAs (3.46 vs. 2.91) and retention rates (96% vs. 59%).

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BACCALAUREATE CATEGORY

Channel Your Success – University Culture Pathways

California State University, Channel Islands
Year started: 2015
Camarillo, California

https://www.csuci.edu/islas/outreach/university-culture.htm

California State University, Channel Islands' (CSUCI) Channel Your Success Campaign (CYS) provides culturally relevant programming and deploys Peer Mentors to reduce the number of students on academic probation and role model how to navigate the hidden university curriculum. CYS sponsored events include a Spanish-only event designed to support first-generation Latinx students and their families and create a culture of persistence and degree completion. In 2017-2018, Peer Mentors served 530 students during drop-in hours & delivered 38 student success workshops, which served 1,370 students. Via a phone bank, CYS Mentors reached out to 480 undergraduate students, 84% of students on academic probation. By the beginning of fall 2018, the number of undergraduate Latino students on academic probation decreased by 64%.

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First-Generation and Transfer Student Center

The University of Texas at San Antonio
Year started: 2015
San Antonio, Texas

https://pivot.utsa.edu/fgtsc/

The First Generation and Transfer Student Center (FGTSC), funded through a Developing HSIs Title V, U.S. Department of Education grant, primarily provides mentorship services to undergraduate students through their First to Go and Graduate (F2G&G) and the Roadrunner Transition Experience (RTE) programs. F2G&G mentees are paired with a faculty coach and as a group form a familia, where all members come from a first-generation background. For the fall 2017 cohort, the F2G&G one-year retention rate was 85% and for RTE, 86%. The one-year retention rate for sophomores and juniors was 87% and 90% respectively.

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I-CARE Grant (Integrating a Culture of Academic and Research Engagement)

Texas A&M University, Kingsville
Year started: 2015
Kingsville, Texas

http://www.tamuk.edu/title_v/undergradresearch1/index.html

I-CARE provides Latino students an opportunity to engage in undergraduate research projects. Since 2016, I-CARE has supported faculty who redesign a course to incorporate an undergraduate research and/or experiential learning component to the benefit of 952 Latino students who have gained knowledge and skills they would not have gained through regular classes. Hispanic program participants in classroom-based undergraduate research have a course passing rate of 94%. Promising data shows that Latinos are retained at a higher rate (38%) than their peers (23%). Data show the intentional classroom-based research initiative has helped Latino students make real-world connections. Post survey data show 88% of participating students strongly agreed that the undergraduate research project provided fundamental interactions with their professor.

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LMU Transfer Pathway Program

Loyola Marymount University
Year started: 2016
Los Angeles, CA

https://www.www.lmu.ed

The LMU Transfer Pathway Program offers participants the opportunity to attend a community college for one year, as part of a special cohort-style program with access to resources at the community college and LMU, including an LMU ID card, access to LMU’s library, and dedicated academic counseling. After completing two semesters of pre-approved courses and earning a minimum 3.0 GPA, they are guaranteed automatic admission to LMU. Latinos make up over half of the Pathway 2017 and 2018 cohorts. In these two cohorts, over 60% of program participants transferred to LMU and are on track to graduate with their class in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The remaining 40% were on track to transfer to another institution or made the decision to stay at their community college.

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PIONERAS

Texas Woman's University, Department of Teacher Education
Year started: 2017
Denton, Texas

https://twu.edu/pioneras/

The mission of the PIONERAS program is to improve the bilingual education practices and second language acquisition of aspiring dual language teachers and of teachers already in the field. The program intentionally seeks to enroll Latinos through recruitment and by holding all courses and extracurricular activities in Spanish. PIONERAS participants are fully funded, receiving a high-quality and culturally relevant education through university coursework, a study abroad program, a graduate degree, and collaborative mentorship between undergraduate and graduate students. Currently, 96% of graduate student participants are Latino with an average 4.0 GPA and undergraduate participants have earned a 3.88 GPA.

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Project ALAS (Aligning Learning & Academic Success)

California State University, Channel Islands
Year started: 2014
Camarillo, California

https://www.csuci.edu

Project ALAS is a partnership between CSU Channel Islands (CI) & Ventura County’s three regional community colleges (VCCC) designed to improve transfer student success. ALAS’ outreach component, the Transfer Success Student Academy, offers sessions on financial aid and major pathways, as well as faculty and peer support to help students navigate the transfer process successfully. In addition, through the Regional Transfer Fellows program, staff and faculty from the partnering institutions collaborate to improve transfer structures and processes via culturally relevant practices, curricular alignment with educational pathways, and well managed transitions. From Fall 2014 to Fall 2018, the transfer rate for Latino VCCC students increased to 54%. The ALAS partnership has also resulted in a decrease in Latino students’ academic probation rate to 9%. At the same time, 2-year graduation rates have increased for VCCC Latino students by 8% points since Fall 2014.

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STEM Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Texas State University
Year started: 2017
San Marcos, Texas

https://www.ucollege.txstate.edu/strategic-initiatives/hsi-stem-impact/undergraduate-research.html

The STEM Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) prepares Latinx and first-generation college students for success in graduate school or a STEM-focused career. SURE engages students in an authentic undergraduate research experience under the supervision of trained, culturally-competent faculty mentors. The program provides students with weekly seminars on building STEM success skills, science communication, the responsible conduct of research, the value of diversity in science, and creating an individual development plan. Faculty Mentors receive 16 hours of training on mentoring techniques and cultural fluency, while mentees receive 36 hours of training on community building, science communication skills, and planning for career/professional development. By the second year, the Latinx student composition of the SURE program increased to 75%. 100% of participants have presented at a local conference and 15 students received funding to present at a national conference.

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UNCG CHANCE: Campamento Hispano Abriendo Nuestro Camino a la Educación

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Year started: 2017
Greensboro, North Carolina

https://admissions.uncg.edu/visit/events/chance/

CHANCE is a program designed to provide first-generation, under-served Latinx students with a pathway to college. Through CHANCE, Latinx high school students engage in an intensive six-day college preparation and leadership skills development experience. The program offers faculty lead mini-classes exposing students to a wide range of majors and how those majors track into professions following graduation. Additional experiences and instruction include course registration, leadership development, team building activities, college preparation, and civic responsibility. From the 2017 cohort, 57% of participants have enrolled in college; with a retention rate of 92% for those who enrolled at UNCG. These students have also achieved an average GPA of 3.3. The CHANCE program’s growth rate of 162% from its initial year of 61 campers to the 2019 camps hosting 160 (over 300 applied to attend) campers is a testament to the value of the services provided by the UNCG CHANCE program to the Latinx community.

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Undocumented Student Success Center

California State University, San Bernardino
Year started: 2015
San Bernardino, California

https://www.csusb.edu/undocumented-student-success-center

The Undocumented Student Success Center (USSC) was created to provide support to the increasing number of undocumented students enrolling at the university. The mission of USSC is to empower undocumented students and their families to navigate the college enrollment process and achieve their academic aspirations. USSC serves approximately 700 self-identified undocumented students, 92% of which are Latinx, by providing them with career and financial aid assistance, academic advising through peer mentors and an academic liaison, and technology to access a wide range of scholarships. As a result, the California State University, San Bernardino’s second-year retention rate of undocumented students reached 82% for both first year and transfer students.

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COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION CATEGORY

Encuentros Teacher Academy

Encuentros Leadership
Year started: 2017
Vista, California

www.encuentrosacademy.com

Encuentros Teacher Academy is a partnership between Encuentros Leadership and California State University, San Marcos with a mission to increase the number of Latino male classroom teachers. The program aims to have an impact on lowering the high dropout rate among K-12 Latino students and to contribute towards the development of a college-going culture in schools. Each student is assigned a Latino male education mentor who provides ongoing support and assists with tracking information. The School of Education at CSU, San Marcos provides critical student support services in collaboration with their student life centers. The Teacher Academy is entering its third year and has served 43 students—11 of these students are in their second year of college and are pursuing their education degrees.

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Esperanza Postsecondary Support Program: Supporting Hispanic Student College Entry, Persistence, and Graduation

Esperanza Inc.
Year started: 2016
Cleveland, Ohio

www.esperanzainc.org

The Esperanza Postsecondary Support Program was established to increase the college attainment by Hispanic Ohioans through directed, culturally competent support. The program includes a workshop on internships, interview and communication skills, dress code, resume writing, and how to articulate transferable skills. Additionally, college participants are matched with college educated mentors in their field of interests. Only in its second year, the program already boasts a 98% persistence rate for its students.

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Generation Hope

Generation Hope
Year started: 2010
Washington, District of Columbia

http://supportgenerationhope.org

Generation Hope was founded to provide support to teen parents and their children. Half of their students are Latino, 38% are African American and nearly 70% are first generation college students. The program provides mentors, emotional support, and the financial resources young parents need to succeed in college and for their children to thrive in kindergarten. The program supports teen parents with college readiness courses, mentoring, career guidance, mental health support, high quality healthcare, tuition assistance, support with immigration needs, bilingual services, and emergency funding to help them realize their full potential. Generation Hope students boast a six-year graduation rate that is 43% higher than that of low income, first generation college students across the country. They’ve also achieved 92% employment six months after graduation.

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Pritzker Access Scholarship Program

Noble Network of Charter Schools
Year started: 2015
Chicago, Illinois

https://nobleschools.org/

The Pritzker Access Scholarship (PAS) aims to remove the financial barriers to college access and persistence for Noble Network of Charter School’s (Noble) undocumented students, of which 99% identify as Latino. PAS provides eligible undocumented students with up to $12,000 in scholarship support per year for four years of college. Noble also provides college and career supports to each student through four years of high school, up to six years in college, and in the years following college graduation, assisting students with any challenges that may hinder success. 77% of the Class of 2018 matriculated into college. This past fall, the original cohort of PAS students started their fourth year of college and over 70% are on track to earn a bachelor’s degree by May 2020.

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2024 Call for Nominations: Nominations are open from February1 to March 15