Five Colleges and Universities Earn Prestigious Seal of Excelencia certification

October 1, 2020


2020 Cohort Joins Trendsetting Group of Institutions in Nation Verified as
Intentionally Serving Latino Students

Washington, D.C. – Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education, announced today five institutions earned the Seal of Excelencia certification in 2020:

  • California State University, Sacramento (CA)
  • Long Beach City College (CA)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)
  • University of Texas at San Antonio (TX)

They join a trendsetting group of nine other Seal certified institutions in the nation that are ensuring America’s future through their unwavering commitment to intentionally SERVE Latino students, while serving all. These institutions earned the Seal by demonstrating alignment across the three core areas of data, practice, and leadership, which showed:

  • Evidence of effectiveness and intentionality in institutional practices serving Latino students
  • Positive momentum for Latino student progress in their data
  • Dedication to transforming the institution into an environment where Latino students thrive
  • Strategies in leadership that clearly articulate institutional focus on advancing Latino student success

“Accelerating Latino student success requires institutions go beyond enrollment and show intentionality and impact in serving students,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “These certified institutions set the pace for much needed institutional transformation and are confronting structural barriers and inequities of longstanding.”

Sarita Brown, Excelencia’s co-founder and President, said, “Providing colleges and universities with the means to reflect how they intentionality serve Latino students, while serving all students, and advancing this during a global pandemic and national reckoning for social justice, is how Excelencia leads the way through these challenging times.”

The Seal is not a ranking, nor an award. It is an independent verification process that culminates with certification. It is part of Excelencia’s tactical and systemic approach to:

  • Closing the education equity gap
  • Meeting a goal of 6.2 million Latino students attaining college degrees by 2030
  • Supporting America’s civic and workforce needs by effectively preparing Latinos, now the nation’s second largest ethnic population

The five institutions earned Seal certification by demonstrating specific inclusive strategies, implementing programs with evidence of effectiveness, and registering results that showed they are intentionally serving Latino students amongst all of their students. For examples of how the institutions are intentionally SERVING their Latino and other post-traditional students, anyone can view the live announcement online on October 1st at 11am EDT at

Institutional leadership is fundamental to the transformation higher education students need and deserve. Excelencia sees more institutions are striving to hold themselves accountable to intentionally SERVE Latino students. The organization is working with over 100 leading college and university presidents and chancellors who accept this challenge and constitute a network of common cause, the Presidents for Latino Student Success, which is committed to lead institutions where Latinos students, and all students, thrive. This network represents less than 5% of all institutions of higher education yet enrolled about 25% of Latino students and graduated 35% of Latinos earning degrees in the country this past year.

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 has established 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: