Cultivating Excelencia - Podcast

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What works for Latino students in higher education?

Through the Cultivating Excelencia podcast series, you will hear directly from leaders of some of the programs recognized as Examples of Excelencia. Excelencia in Education recognizes programs at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels and at community-based organizations as Examples of Excelencia. These programs demonstrate evidence of effectiveness in accelerating Latino student success in higher education.

The podcast series, Cultivating Excelencia, is a collaboration between produced by Michelle Espino Lira of Latinx Intelligentsia, in collaboration with Excelencia in Education.

Episodes are also available on Libsyn, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.

Check out the Growing What Works Database to learn more about programs working to accelerate Latino student success.

Title: Excelencia in Education

Michelle Espino Lira talks with Sarita Brown, President, and Deborah Santiago, CEO, about the founding of Excelencia in Education. The episode focuses on:
1) maintaining mission and goals for accelerating Latino student success over the past 16 years;
2) the three pillars that guide their action: data, practice, and leadership;
3) how the Examples of Excelencia were developed; and
4) what’s on the horizon for Excelencia in Education.

Learn more about Examples of Excelencia.

Title: The Center for Community College Partnerships
Issue Area: Transfer
Program Focus: College Prep, Institutional Change

Michelle Espino Lira talks with Alfred Herrera, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP) at UCLA. This program was recognized as an Example of Excelencia at the Associate Level.

CCCP has been supporting community college transfer for Latino students and underserved community college student populations since 2001.

The Center offers:
1) Summer programs to address educational pipeline issues, motivate and prepare students to be competitive at top research universities;
2) peer mentors, many of whom completed the program) who use their experiences to illustrate how to successfully navigate the system and empower students; and
3) scholars program held throughout the academic year with meetings and workshops focused on keeping students on a transfer pathway. What started out as a summer program with 150 students has evolved into 12 programs serving 700 students.

Learn more about The Center for Community College Partnerships.

Title: The Attract, Inspire, Mentor & Support Students Program
Issue Area: Transfer
Program Focus: College Prep, Institutional Change

Michelle Espino Lira talks with Dr. S.K. Ramesh, Director and Lead Principal Investigator and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as AIMS2 Student Services Coordinator, Ms. Josefina Gudino. This program was recognized as an Example of Excelencia at the Baccalaureate Level.

The AIMS2 Program was established in 2011 through a $5.5 million Hispanic-Serving Institution Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In 2016, Dr. Ramesh received an additional $6 million grant to include first-year students. The program is a collaboration among CSU Northridge, Glendale Community College, College of the Canyons, Moorpark College and L.A. Pierce College.

The program focuses on 3 major areas:
1) Enrollment and graduation of Hispanic and low-income students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSU Northridge;
2) Closing the achievement gaps between traditionally underserved and better serve students; and
3) Improving student success.

Learn more about The Attract, Inspire, Mentor & Support Students Program.

Title: The Cal-Bridge Program
Issue Area: Access
Program Focus: Mentoring, Scholarship

Michelle Espino Lira talks with with Alex Rudolph, Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of Cal-Bridge, in addition to two Cal-Bridge Scholars, Katy Rodriguez Wimberly (doctoral student at UC-Irvine) and Rob Tejada Arevajo (doctoral student at Princeton University). This program was recognized as an Example of Excelencia at the Graduate Level.

The Cal-Bridge Program was established in 2014 as a partnership across 9 University of California institutions and 16 California State University campuses to address the national shortage of underrepresented minority PhDs in the fields of physics and astronomy.

The Cal-Bridge Program has four pillars:
1) Providing enough financial aid so that students can focus on their studies.
2) Mentorship, which consists of a two-year commitment from a mentor at their Cal State campus and one at a UC school.
3) Professional Development, which focuses on graduate school admissions processes, GRE test-taking, and vetting their list of potential graduate programs.
4) A summer research opportunity.

Learn more about The Cal-Bridge Program.

Title: Latino Achievers
Issue Area: Support Services
Program Focus: Career/Workforce, College Prep

Michelle Espino Lira talks with program director, Nichole Davari about the long-standing program that supports Latino, first-generation, and immigrant youth in Nashville public schools. This program was recognized as an Example of Excelencia at the Community-Based Organization Level.

Latino Achievers has three goals:
1) Increase high school graduation;
2) Increase college applications; and
3) Impact overall Latinx college enrollment.

Learn more about Latino Achievers.