Excelencia and its Network of Institutions Leading the Way to SERVE Latino Students through Times of Uncertainty and Beyond

June 25, 2020

Chino Chapa

Washington, D.C. – In these turbulent times there is great opportunity for higher education to more intentionally SERVE Latino students, and all students, better. The pandemic and response to calls for equity in education underscore the need to increase the number of doctors, engineers, educators, and other professionals that must come from the young and growing Latino population to meet our national needs.

“We are living through a unique period, when each day institutional leaders must respond to dramatic changes for their campuses, their communities and the country,” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education Co-founder and CEO. “In this period of uncertainty, we remain committed to accelerating Latino student success as a key to ensuring America’s future. By sustaining our commitment to identify, support and promote institutions that are choosing to intentionally serve Latino students and confront structural barriers, we are setting the pace for much needed institutional transformation.”

Institutional leadership is fundamental to the transformation of higher education students need and deserve. Excelencia is honored to work with over 100 trendsetting college and university presidents and chancellors who accept this challenge. These leaders constitute a network of common cause committed to be institutions where Latinos students, and all students, thrive.

This network represents 4% of all institutions of higher education and enroll 10% of all postsecondary students in the nation. Even more salient, these Excelencia-affiliated institutions enrolled 1 in 4 (24%) Latino students and graduated 1 in 3 (35%) Latinos earning degrees in the country this past year.

Some institutions are striving up Excelencia’s “Ladder of Engagement” and holding themselves accountable to intentionally SERVE Latino students by pursuing the Seal of Excelencia. In 2019, nine institutions in the country were the first certified with the Seal of Excelencia: Arizona State University (AZ), Austin Community College District (TX), California State University, Channel Islands (CA); El Paso Community College (TX); Florida International University (FL); Grand Valley State University (MI); South Texas College (TX); The University of Arizona (AZ) and The University of Texas-El Paso (TX).

These institutions earned the Seal of Excelencia by demonstrating alignment across the three core areas of data, practice, and leadership and showed:

  • Positive momentum for Latino student progress
  • Evidence of effectiveness and intentionality in institutional practices serving Latino students
  • Alignment of data and practice in serving Latino students
  • Strategies in leadership that clearly articulate institutional focus on advancing Latino student success

Today, Excelencia in Education reports 14 institutions in Excelencia’s network have chosen to show their intentionality and leadership by pursuing the Seal of Excelencia certification in 2020. These institutions are pressing forward despite the current turmoil and public heath challenges. Excelencia will announce the 2020 Seal of Excelencia cohort on October 1, 2020.

“Leaning in to serve Latino students and all their students, despite significant obstacles and changing conditions, is what leadership looks like,” said Sarita Brown, Co-founder and President of Excelencia. “We are proud to work directly with leaders and institutions ready to enroll Latino students, support their academic goals and develop the highly educated workforce and civic leaders our country needs as we move into a brighter future.”

About Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices while collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia is building a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leadership. For more information, visit: http://www.EdExcelencia.org 



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