Seal of Excelencia

Earning the Seal of Excelencia Certification

Institutions that strive for, and most particularly those that earn the Seal of Excelencia, have demonstrated their capacity to grow our country’s highly-skilled workforce and develop leaders —in other words, these institutions are ensuring America’s future.

Deborah Santiago, CEO, Excelencia in Education


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What do institutional presidents say about earning the Seal of Excelencia certification?


Tim Hall, President, Mercy College

“We are proud to be the first private institution of higher learning in America to be awarded the Seal of Excelencia. More than 175 private institutions in the U.S. are HSIs and together they serve nearly 135,000 Hispanic undergraduates. That’s a small number compared to the more than one million Latinos who attend public HSIs, but it’s still a sizeable population that our nation can’t afford to ignore. The same large-scale reforms producing student success in our nation’s larger public institutions are producing similar success at smaller private institutions like Mercy College.”

- Tim Hall, President
Mercy College

Seal Certified: 2022-2025

Francisco Solis, Interim President, San Antonio College

“San Antonio College is honored to receive the Seal of Excelencia certification. We are a Hispanic- Serving Institution with more than 60 percent Latino student population. We are deeply gratified that our work to ensure all our students succeed has been recognized.”

- Francisco Solis, Interim President
San Antonio College

Seal Certified: 2022-2025

Kelly R. Damphousse, President, Texas State University

“Earning the Seal of Excelencia signals to the world that Texas State University’s commitment to serving Latino students – and all students – places us among the nation’s most distinguished institutions. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we’re not only enrolling Latino students, but intentionally providing inclusive, evidence-based, wrap-around support that bolsters their academic outcomes, personal growth, and sense of belonging. It’s a privilege for our institution to serve our state’s call to educate, inspire, and uplift countless generations of Texans.”

- Kelly Damphousse, President
Texas State University

Seal Certified: 2022-2025

Havidán Rodríguez

“As someone who has long been focused on expanding opportunities for Latino and Latina students, this designation is extremely meaningful for me personally. Even more important, the Seal of Excelencia represents a highly significant validation of UAlbany’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is powerful evidence that we are not only successfully serving students from underrepresented backgrounds—we are also accelerating our progress toward our vision to be the nation’s leading diverse public research university. I am deeply grateful to the President’s Advisory Committee for Latino/a Student Success, and to the entire campus community for helping ensure that every UAlbany student has access to an excellent education and the life-changing opportunities it provides.”

- Havidán Rodríguez, President
University at Albany

Seal Certified: 2022-2025

Cynthia K. Larive, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz

“Receiving the Seal is a great honor and validation of the focused work we began in 2015, when we launched our first HSI initiatives. Our HSI leadership team, our Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning and so many faculty and staff across our campus have led us to this moment. I am thrilled for them and also for our students. The work we do in this arena helps us to fulfill our mission as an HSI, but it also helps us better serve all of our students.”

- Cynthia Larive, Chancellor
University of California, Santa Cruz

Seal Certified: 2022-2025

Jennifer Cowley, President, University of Texas at Arlington

“Seal of Excelencia certification demonstrates UTA’s measurable impact in changing the face of higher education and in creating an environment where Latino and Latina students thrive. We are joining an esteemed group of colleges and universities nationwide that are ensuring America’s future through our steadfast commitment to develop and advance the talents of our students.”

- Jennifer Cowley, President
University of Texas at Arlington

Seal Certified: 2022-2025

William Serrata, President, El Paso Community College

“The Seal of Excelencia is an important example of Excelencia’s transformational strategies to move the needle beyond simply enrolling Latinos students to ensuring they are recognized, supported and graduate. The commitment to intentionally serve Latino students is beneficial to their success as well as important to advancing our entire nation. EPCC has a laser-focus on student success and we are proud to have this commitment validated by being re-certified with the Seal of Excelencia. For El Paso Community College, earning the Seal of Excelencia recertification represents the measurable impact we are having on our students, our state and our country. This network of the Seal of Excelencia certified institutions is a powerful voice to advance our collective work. We will continue to work together to transform the face of higher education while ensuring the civic and workforce needs of our communities and country are strengthened.”

- William Serrata, President
El Paso Community College

Seal Re-Certified: 2022-2025

Philomena V. Mantella, President, Grand Valley State University

“Grand Valley State University is proud to be in the inaugural cohort of institutions to receive the Seal of Excelencia in 2019. We are proud to be the first and only predominately white institution (PWI) to receive this recognition. Our recertification means we are fulfilling our promise to our Latino students and their families that GVSU will provide a welcoming community where they can thrive and succeed.”

- Philomena Mantella, President
Grand Valley State University

Seal Re-Certified: 2022-2025

Ricardo Solis, President, South Texas College

“The Seal of Excelencia exemplifies our dedication and commitment to creating a college-going culture for our Hispanic students. We are creating bold solutions and fostering innovation to ensure we provide life-changing education and training. And to be one of the first institutions of higher education to receive this recertification is an honor and validation that we are moving in the right direction.”

- Ricardo J. Solis, President
South Texas College

Seal Re-Certified: 2022-2025

Robert Robbins, President, University of Arizona

“As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the University of Arizona is dedicated to ensuring that Hispanic and Latinx students thrive during and after their pursuit of a college degree. This recertification of our Seal of Excelencia shows that our programs, initiatives and employees are making a true difference in the lives of these students. Effectively serving Hispanic and Latinx students also contributes to our goals for all of our students and is a critical expression of our values and mission and I am proud that the university is being recognized for this work."

- Robert C. Robbins, President
the University of Arizona

Seal Re-Certified: 2022-2025

Heather Wilson, President, The University of Texas at El Paso

“I am very proud that UTEP received the inaugural Seal of Excelencia in 2019 and has now been re-certified. I’m grateful to our faculty and staff for their dedication to our mission and to Excelencia for recognizing our strength and commitment as a premier Hispanic-serving university.”

- Heather Wilson, President
the University of Texas at El Paso

Seal Re-Certified: 2022-2025

Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Interim President, California State University, Fresno

“Today’s announcement that Fresno State has earned the prestigious Seal of Excelencia is a monumental achievement. This designation validates our ongoing commitment to closing education equity gaps for our talented students, through intentional efforts and proven services. This certification validates the determined leadership of our faculty and staff, which maximizes the success of our students. I’m proud that the Seal of Excelencia distinguishes Fresno State within a select nationwide group of colleges and universities.”

- Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, President
California State University, Fresno

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago

“City Colleges of Chicago is passionately committed to supporting the academic success of Hispanic students in higher education. We are honored that Wilbur Wright College has been certified with the Seal of Excelencia for 2021 by Excelencia in Education. Our many first-year student resources, along with our summer bridge programs have aided the transition to college for many of our Latinx students. But the secret ingredient in supporting all our students, at every level, has always been our amazing faculty and staff. Every day they go above and beyond for our students. I couldn’t be prouder to accept this seal of excellence in recognition of Wright College's service to its students and Chicago.”

- Juan Salgado, Chancellor
City Colleges of Chicago

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

David Potash, President, Wilbur Wright College

“We recognize at Wright College that being an Hispanic-Serving Institution is not about numbers, it is about service. Through the leadership, guidance and generosity of Excelencia in Education, we’ve been on an intentional and collaborative march at Wright to serve our Hispanic students and their families more effectively, to provide the education and support they deserve, to be inclusive, to build trust and confianza. Receiving the Seal of Excelencia is a tremendous honor and we are very grateful for the recognition. We also know that the Seal is a powerful reminder of the vital work that keeps us focused on our students and community.”

- David Potash, President
Wilbur Wright College

Seal Certified: 2021-2024  

Madeline Pumariega, President, Miami Dade College

“Receiving the Seal of Excelencia affirms Miami Dade College is truly advancing Hispanic student success and completion by focusing on data, evidenced-based best practices and leadership, which expands career pathways for Latinos in the new global economy. We applaud Excelencia in Education’s transformative work in helping colleges and universities across the nation remove the barriers and inequities confronting Latino students. We are proud to be a leading institution on this front and grateful for our longtime collaboration with Excelencia in Education.”

- Madeline Pumariega, President
Miami Dade College

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Guy Bailey, President, The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley

“Earning the Seal of Excelencia is a monumental distinction for UTRGV as we take great pride in accelerating Latino student success in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. This is a great testament to the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, and staff. We are proud to have achieved this certification that recognizes our programs and efforts dedicated to increasing the number of Latino students, who ultimately earn their degrees and go on to help their communities thrive.”

- Guy Bailey, President
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley

Seal Certified: 2021-2024  

Adela de la Torre, President of San Diego State University

“San Diego State University is California's transborder institution, spanning the Latinx population from the Pacific to the Arizona border. Our regional position is informed not solely by our multiple campus locations, but also, with a commitment to truly empower and serve the binational Latinx students that surround us. As a premier research HSI, we are proud of our evidence-based approaches to narrow the achievement gaps in graduation rates, particularly for many of our low-income and first-generation Latinx students. By receiving the Seal of Excelencia certification today, we are truly grateful for the recognition of our efforts and will use this success to further propel our efforts to better serve our growing Latinx community.”

- Adela de la Torre, President
San Diego State University

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President, Texas A&M-San Antonio

“The Seal of Excelencia certification for Texas A&M University-San Antonio is an incredible milestone for our institution, and a point of pride, personally and professionally. As the only Latina president of a public university in Texas and as a native of south San Antonio, it is in my very roots that I am committed to embracing and supporting Hispanic students and their success.

We are the first university in the Texas A&M University System to receive this recognition, which is a true reflection of our intentionality in serving a student body that is 75% Hispanic. As a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution, we know that degree attainment often disrupts generational cycles of poverty for the student population that we serve, most of whom are also first-generation college students. I believe in the transformative power of public higher education – and as president of A&M-San Antonio, I am committed to continuous improvement in the way we serve Latino students while providing equitable learning opportunities so that we truly do transform the lives of our students and our community.”

- Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President
Texas A&M-San Antonio

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Chancellor, University of California, Merced

“This recognition reflects the university’s efforts to assist in the recruitment and academic success of Latino students — indeed, of all our students. We thank Excelencia in Education for recognizing the diversity and inclusivity that exemplify UC Merced.”

- Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Chancellor
University of California, Merced

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Kim A. Wilcox, Chancellor, University of California, Riverside

“Receiving the Seal of Excelencia is a point of pride recognizing our institutional efforts to build programming for Latino student success. The certification also reminds us of our responsibility. As leaders in social mobility, we must continue to develop systems that evolve to address student needs. To prospective Latino students, the Seal of Excelencia is a lodestar, a light showing them where they will receive support to achieve their dreams.”

- Kim A. Wilcox, Chancellor
University of California, Riverside

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Alexander Cartwright, President, University of Central Florida

“The Seal of Excelencia illustrates UCF’s longstanding commitment to student success and our efforts to intentionally serve Latina/o/x students. By investing in leadership, programs and practices that support Latina/o/x student success, we enhance the educational experiences and opportunities of all students. This has a powerful and lasting impact at UCF and for our community.”

- Alexander Cartwright, President
University of Central Florida

Seal Certified: 2021-2024

Lou Anne Bynum, Interim Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College

“Obtaining the Seal of Excelencia is a true badge of honor for Long Beach City College, as it is a testament to our efforts as the only community college to be selected within Excelencia’s second cohort. This process was rigorous to obtain, but it really helped LBCC to reflect on the efforts we have made as a whole college. LBCC is proud to earn this certification from Excelencia in Education and we pledge to continue our efforts to support our Latinx students.”

- Lou Anne Bynum, Interim Superintendent and President
Long Beach City College

Seal Certified: 2020-2023

Robert Nelsen, President, Sacramento State University

"For Sacramento State, earning the Seal of Excelencia is an incredible honor that underlines our commitment to serving our Latinx students. The Excelencia framework will enable us to further advance our understanding of how best to support Latinx excellence through data, best practices, strategy, and leadership. I look forward to our ongoing partnership with Excelencia in Education as we work together to transform the narrative around Latinx college students.”

- Robert S. Nelsen, President
Sacramento State

Seal Certified: 2020-2023

Michael Amiridis

“We are proud to be certified with the Seal of Excelencia for our efforts to serve Latinx students and to be considered a leader in supporting them with the necessary opportunities for personal and academic growth. We owe this recognition to the UIC faculty and staff who have worked to make the university a friendly and successful place for Latinx students. UIC is a reflection of Chicago and the community we serve. The diversity of our urban campus community is more than an attribute, but a key part of our mission as the city’s largest and only public research university.”

- Michael D. Amiridis, Chancellor
University of Illinois at Chicago

Seal Certified: 2020-2023

Jay Hartzell, Interim President, The University of Texas at Austin

“UT Austin is deeply committed to supporting the academic success of Latino students in higher education and making this a more welcome and inclusive campus for all students. The Seal of Excelencia recognizes this commitment and will help us expand our strategic efforts to support Texas students. I thank Excelencia in Education and look forward to working with Excelencia to promote Latino success both on our campus and across the state and nation.”

- Jay Hartzell, President
University of Texas at Austin

Seal Certified: 2020-2023

Taylor Eighmy, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio

“Seal of Excelencia certification is truly special on a number of levels. Not only does it reflect our purposeful, university-wide commitment to accelerating the success of our Latino students, it is a testament to the hard work and advocacy of so many in our community. I am especially appreciative of the many faculty and staff across the university who collaborated to demonstrate and quantify our commitment to the success of our Latino students. I am also particularly grateful to the La Raza Faculty and Administrators Association for their advocacy. From the very beginning, they desired for UTSA to be exemplary in its service to Mexican Americans in South Texas, a population historically underserved by higher education.”

- Taylor Eighmy, President
University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)

Seal Certified: 2020-2023