Four Higher Education Programs Earn National Recognition for Making a Positive Difference for Latino Students

September 28, 2023


Excelencia in Education Names 2023 Examples of Excelencia, Honoring Evidence-Based Efforts
to Advance Latino Student Success

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 28, 2023) – Excelencia in Education announces today four programs from across the country chosen as the 2023 Examples of Excelencia. These programs intentionally serve Latino students on their journey to and through higher education with efforts that inspire and compel action. These Examples also demonstrate the leadership needed in our country to ensure Latino student success while serving students of all backgrounds.

Each year, four Examples of Excelencia are chosen from the associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organization levels for their intentionality and evidence of effectiveness in improving outcomes for Latino students through culturally responsive, data-driven efforts. The 2023 Examples stand out among 230 program nominations received from over 35 states, 103 program submissions, and 19 finalists.

The 2023 Examples of Excelencia are:

“This year’s Examples of Excelencia prove there is no excuse for inaction,” said Deborah Santiago, Co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “The people in these programs — faculty, staff, and students — are defying the naysayers who don’t believe in our community. In fact, this community of common cause shows what is possible when we invest in people and programs making a positive difference.”

Examples of Excelencia is the only national effort to identify, aggregate, and promote evidence-based practices accelerating Latino student success in higher education. Through this initiative, Excelencia has received over 2,000 program submissions, recognized over 400 programs for their impact, and raised and awarded over $2 million to sustain the life-changing work of those programs since 2005.

A committee of diverse higher education leaders selected the 2023 Examples of Excelencia as models of programming that makes a positive difference in the lives of Latino students and, by extension, in their communities. The Examples empower Latinos in higher education by embracing their language and culture, fostering their sense of belonging, addressing financial barriers to their educational journeys, and connecting them to career opportunities.

“America’s future is brighter with the talents of Latino students across the country,” said Sarita Brown, Co-Founder and President of Excelencia in Education. “Excelencia created Examples of Excelencia to recognize effective efforts led by practitioners in higher education who believe in their students’ future and support their highest aspirations. Working together, we are building national momentum for institutional transformation to intentionally serve Latino students and grow our future workforce and civic leadership.”

Programs selected annually as Examples and finalists are featured in Excelencia’s Growing What Works Database — the only national, searchable database for institutional leaders, funders, policymakers, and others interested in effective programs for Latino students.

This year’s Examples of Excelencia will be honored at the organization’s annual Celebración de Excelencia this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the 2023 Examples of Excelencia:


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: 


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