Fourteen Colleges and Universities Earn the Seal of Excelencia for Demonstrating Intentionality and Impact in Serving Latino Students

September 29, 2023


Excelencia in Education Certifies Institutions Progressing Their Transformation Journeys
to Accelerate Latino Student Success

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 29, 2023) – Excelencia in Education announced today 14 colleges and universities have earned the prestigious Seal of Excelencia in 2023 for going beyond enrollment to demonstrate intentionality and impact in serving Latino students while serving all.

Excelencia has offered the Seal of Excelencia — a national certification valid for three years — since 2018 to recognize institutions that are trendsetters for the transformation needed to accelerate Latino student success and meet the overall mission of higher education. The Seal of Excelencia framework is a comprehensive institutional self-assessment tool for aligning and progressing efforts to intentionally serve Latino, and all, students across data, practice, and leadership. It represents learning from over 20 years of working with colleges and universities.

In an announcement livestreamed from Excelencia’s National Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., nine institutions earned the Seal in 2023 and five institutions earned recertification. They were recognized before an audience of higher education, foundation, and policy leaders.

This year’s cohort of newly certified and recertified institutions belongs to a collective of 39 Seal-certified colleges and universities representing less than 1% of all institutions, but enrolling over 15% of all Latino students and graduating 17% of all Latino graduates nationwide in the most recent year. In partnership with Excelencia, they lead and transform higher education to advance Latino talent vital to the country’s workforce and economy.

“There is a real difference between colleges and universities that enroll Latino students and those that intentionally serve them,” said Deborah Santiago, Co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “Those that earn the Seal are trendsetters on a journey of transformation, showing what it takes to progressively increase positive outcomes for Latino, and all, students to compel others ready to meet the mission.”

The nine newly certified Seal of Excelencia institutions are: Angelo State University (TX), California State University, Long Beach (CA), California State University, Los Angeles (CA), California State University, Northridge (CA), Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO), Phoenix College (AZ), Richard J. Daley College (IL), St. Edward’s University (TX), and Texas Woman’s University (TX).

The five newly recertified Seal of Excelencia institutions are: California State University, Sacramento (CA), Long Beach City College (CA), The University of Texas at Austin (TX), The University of Texas at San Antonio (TX), and University of Illinois Chicago (IL).

Institutions in Excelencia’s national network of Presidents for Latino Student Success (P4LSS), which have committed to making their campuses learning environments where Latino students succeed, are eligible to apply for the Seal. They earn the Seal by demonstrating:

  • 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.

“College and university leaders who focus on student success generate momentum for the transformation of higher education. Excelencia is proud to make common cause with these leaders. Through our network, we support and catalyze institutions striving to engage and graduate more Latino students,” said Sarita Brown, Co-founder and President of Excelencia in Education. “With today’s announcement, students, families, policymakers, and higher education may look to the institutions from this network that have earned the Seal of Excelencia certification for intentionally serving Latino students as they make their choices. Excelencia is proud to work with these trendsetters to advance Latino talent for the workforce and civic leadership and ensure America’s bright future.”

Learn more about the institutions that earned the Seal of Excelencia certification and recertification this 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: 


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