Excelencia in Education Announces the 2018 Examples of Excelencia

October 11, 2018

For information contact:
Michelle Santiago, MSantiago@EdExcelencia.org

Recognizing four programs at the forefront of accelerating academic success for Latino students in higher education

Washington, DC Excelencia in Education announced today its 2018 Examples of Excelencia, spotlighting four outstanding programs that have shown evidence-based results in improving Latino student success in higher education. Examples of Excelencia is the only national initiative recognizing and celebrating programs at the forefront of advancing educational achievement for Latino students.

This year 139 programs were nominated from 27 states, DC and Puerto Rico. Excelencia in Education made the announcement of the four Examples at its annual Celebración de Excelencia held at the historic Mayflower Hotel to a full house of higher education leaders, decision-makers, and grantmakers from across the country.

“Living through this time of fierce division nationally, the good work of colleges, universities, and community-based organizations committed to the success of Latino students and their future contributions to our country should be recognized. Excelencia in Education brings national attention to both and underscores the importance of Latino student success to America’s talent pipeline for the workforce and civil society.” said Sarita Brown, President, Excelencia in Education.

“Examples of Excelencia demonstrates the capacity of higher education to serve the growing Latino student population with intentionality,” said Deborah Santiago, CEO, Excelencia in Education. “These recognized programs show what is possible; many more institutions and community based organizations can engage, support and advance Latino student success.”

The following programs are recognized as the 2018 Example of Excelencia:

Associate level:
Cerritos Complete (Cerritos College) in California is a partnership between the college and its five local school districts collaborating to help high school seniors smoothly transition to college. More than a Promise program, it marries academic and student services, while providing strong personal, academic and financial support. Latino students represent nearly 70% of participants. Participating cohorts of students were twice as likely to have completed 40 or more units during their first two years compared to the regular first-time student cohort (54% vs. 26%). Participants were also twice as likely to have enrolled in 9 units or more, compared to all Cerritos College students (91% vs. 45%).

Baccalaureate level:
Gaining Access ‘N Success (GANAS) (California State University, East Bay) has a mission to increase the number of Latino transfer students who persist and graduate with bachelor degrees. In the GANAS cohort model, transfer students participate in a 1-year cohort-based learning community that is paired with a success seminar, intrusive academic counseling and peer mentoring to create a sense of familia. The program targets Latino transfer students and 87% are Latino, but is open to all first-time transfer students. Latino participants’ persistence beyond their first-year at CSUEB is significantly higher than white transfer students overall (96% vs. 86%) and their 3-year graduation rate is also significantly higher than transfer students overall (78% vs. 66%) GANAS participants have a 5-year graduation rate of 91%.

Graduate level:
Educational and Research Internship Program (University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez in partnership with ERDC) provides Latinos the opportunity to participate in a summer internship alternative learning experience that helps increase the number of Latinos pursuing graduate programs and careers in engineering. All students in the internship program complete their undergraduate degree, resulting in a 100% undergraduate graduation rate. In addition, 77% of students pursue graduate programs in STEM. Further, over 70 Latinos have been employed by ERDC and the organization’s Latino employment has grown from less than 1% to over 5%.

Community Based Organization level:
The College Crusade of Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s largest college access program, is aimed at increasing high school graduation, college readiness, and college completion for students from the state’s low-income majority Latino communities. They are focused on reducing remediation rates among college-going students, promoting early college coursework, and improving families’ knowledge of postsecondary options. Students enrolling in the College Crusade in the 6th grade receive ongoing services to and through their undergraduate college years. Latinos served by this program are 27% more likely to immediately enroll in college than Latinos in the region not served by this program. Latinos in this program are 43% more likely to persist to a second year of college than their peers.

Profiles of these each programs are featured in the 2018 edition of “What Works For Latino Students in Higher Education” compendium, and included in the “Growing What Works Database,” the nation’s largest database providing tactical information about how to improve Latino student success.

Each year Excelencia in Education issues a national call for nominations for Examples of Excelencia. Nominated programs are invited to complete a profile which Excelencia professionals review to determine finalists in each of the four categories: associate, baccalaureate, graduate and community-based organization. This year there were 21 finalists. The finalists were presented to a committee of national experts who selected one in each category as the year’s Examples of Excelencia.

The Celebración de Excelencia is presented in collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Sponsors of the 2018 Examples of Excelencia program are: ACT Center for Equity in Learning, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Phi Theta Kappa, Strada Education Network, and Ford Motor Company.

Editor’s Note: Interviews with students and program leaders available upon request.

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: www.EdExcelencia.org, and follow us on Twitter @EdExcelencia.