Excelencia in Education announces the four, national Examples of Excelencia for 2019

October 24, 2019

For information contact:
Media Contact: Chino Chapa, 214.669.4429 or chino@edexcelencia.org

Programs recognized are at the forefront of accelerating Latino student success in higher education

Washington, D.C. – Excelencia in Education announced today its 2019 Examples of Excelencia, four programs from across the country that demonstrate innovative programming and effective use of evidence-based practices to accelerate Latino student success and college completion.

Examples of Excelencia is the organization’s foundational strategy to identify programs at the associate, baccalaureate, graduate and community-based levels that work for Latino students. It is also the only national effort to recognize and promote data-driven efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Since 2005, Excelencia in Education has highlighted over 300 programs across the country and both raised and distributed about $1.9 million to advance the use of effective practices producing positive results for Latino students.

This year, Excelencia received nominations for 166 programs from 32 states, DC and Puerto Rico. The 2019 Examples of Excelencia and finalists were recognized at the annual Celebración de Excelencia held at the historic Mayflower Hotel in front of a full house of higher education and Latino advocacy leaders, policymakers, and grantmakers. The programs are also featured in the new publication, “What Works For Latino Students in Higher Education”, a compendium of each program’s detailed approach.

“In 2004, we founded Excelencia in Education to advance the mission of accelerating Latino student success in higher education,” said Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education. “From the very start we relied on data to build on effective programs and strategies to increase the flow of Latino talent to and through colleges and universities and into the workforce and civic leadership. We knew then, and assert now, that by increasing Latino college completion we can all ensure America’s brightest future.”

Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education, said, “Through Examples of Excelencia we bring positive national attention to programs and practitioners who are intentionally SERVING Latino students. We will continue to share their efforts with others committed to ensuring Latino students thrive and succeed and connect them with others committed to better serving Latino students across the nation.”

This year’s four Examples of Excelencia are:

Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP) at the University of California, Los Angeles. [Associate level] CCCP works to increase the transfer rates and success of Latino students and other underserved community college populations by holistically equipping students with skills and knowledge of available transfer pathways. The admission rates for program scholars transferring to UCLA are twice as high compared to non-CCCP participants and approximately 95% of program scholars are admitted to a bachelor’s granting institution.

Attract, Inspire, Mentor, and Support Students (The AIMS2) Program at California State University, Northridge. [Baccalaureate level] AIMS2 seeks to increase the number of Hispanic, low-income transfer students graduating from CSUN with engineering and computer science majors by partnering with local community colleges. Latino/a students in cohorts from 2012 to 2017 had a three-year transfer graduation rate of 70% - almost double the three-year transfer graduation rate of their peers in the college.

Cal-Bridge Program at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. [Graduate level] Cal-Bridge is a partnership between nine 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. Approximately 160 physics and astronomy faculty from the two systems participate in the program. Latinos comprise 60% of Cal-Bridge Scholars. In the first three years, 95% (19 of 20) Cal-Bridge Scholars enrolled or will be enrolling in top Physics or Astronomy PhD programs after graduation. Of these, 11 are Latino scholars, including 4 Latinas.

Latino Achievers at the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. [Community-Based Organization level] – Latino Achievers was founded to address low high school graduation and college matriculation rates of Latinx students. Serving nine public schools in Nashville’s metro area, the program uses research-based strategies to increase the high school graduation, college application, and enrollment rates of Latinos. In 2017-18, 98% of the program’s cohort enrolled in college compared to 38% for the 2010-2011 cohort.

The 2019 Examples of Excelencia are now members of the Excelencia community of Latino student success advocates and institutional change makers. Profiles of each of these programs, along with other successful programs from past years, can be found in Excelencia’s online resource—Growing What Works Database—a national database providing tactical information about efforts improving Latino student success.

The annual Celebración de Excelencia was presented in collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Sponsors of the 2019 Examples of Excelencia program were: ACT Center for Equity, Strada Education Network, Phi Theta Kappa, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Observing its Quinceañera after 15 years of growth and impact on Latinos in higher education, Excelencia continues working to ensure America’s future by addressing ways to produce a highly educated workforce and civic leadership from among the nation’s fast-growing Hispanic population. This effort includes creating a network of results-oriented educators and research-based policymakers joining forces to accelerate Latino student achievement.

Excelencia has been lauded and honored by many corporations, community organizations and institutions of higher learning from throughout the country. The organization recently received the Modelo de la Comunidad Award “for 15 years of making a positive difference for Latino students in higher education by advocating to serve Latinos aligning the use of data, evidence-based practices, and leadership strategies to accelerate Latino student success.”

Editor’s Note: Interviews with students, program leaders, and Excelencia leadership 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 needs for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leaders. For more information, visit: http://www.EdExcelencia.org and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EdExcelencia