Programs To Watch 94 Number of programs recognized by Excelencia in Education as Programs to Watch since 2017. During the annual Examples of Excelencia review and selection process, Excelencia recognizes innovative, up-and-coming programs that have already made some positive impact on the success of their Latino students and are growing evidence of effectiveness as Programs to Watch. Excelencia hopes that by bringing attention to these programs, we can encourage institutions, practitioners, funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to keep an eye out as these programs continue to grow the impact made on their campus and in their communities. Explore our Growing What Works Database for additional evidence-based programs across the country. 2023 This year, Excelencia in Education recognizes 8 Programs to Watch from 4 states for their growing impact on the success of Latino students on their campus. The following programs address the academic, financial, and social needs of Latino students and their families in order to support access and opportunities in higher education. Using culturally relevant and asset-based design elements that fit the unique needs of their students, these programs: Support local students in their preparation for college and financial aid; Provide specific support for students looking to get back on track to completing their degree; Strengthen students’ work experience through internships specific to their academic pursuits. Excelencia invites you to learn more about their efforts by reviewing brief summaries of the programs below and exploring their website. Learn about the 2023 Examples of Excelencia Finalists and their efforts to accelerate Latino student success. Associate Level: Osceola Prosper Valencia College (FL) Institution/Organization: Valencia College State: Florida Issue Area: Access Program Focus: Scholarship Year Started: 2022 Website: https://www.osceolaprosper.com Overview: The Osceola Prosper program seeks to increase the college-going rate in Osceola County (FL) by providing free education at Valencia College to local high school graduates. In the first year of its existence, the Osceola Prosper program has supported a 16% increase in Hispanic student enrollment for Spring 2023 and of the students who started in the program, 83% were retained from Fall 2022 to Spring 2023 of which 68% were Hispanic. Baccalaureate Level: CIMAS (CSUCI Initiative for Mapping Academic Success) California State University, Channel Islands (CA) Institution/Organization: California State University, Channel Islands State: California Issue Area: Retention Program Focus: Mentoring, Scholarship Year Started: 2017 Website: https://www.csuci.edu/daa/gi2025/resources.htm Overview: Students who experienced negative course outcomes in a prior semester (non-passing grades, incompletes, course drops, term withdrawal) are invited to participate in a 13-week program that includes tutoring, coaching, peer advising, and those who complete it receive a scholarship to take a summer course. Of the 514 students that have participated 80% are Latino and the program shows these promising outcomes: a decrease in the number of DFWIs, increased GPAs, and an increase in the percent of students in good standing. Engaged English Course/Department of English-CSU Los Angeles California State University, Los Angeles (CA) Institution/Organization: California State University, Los Angeles State: California Issue Area: Academic Program Program Focus: Career/Workforce, Mentoring Year Started: 2020 Website: https://www.calstatela.edu/al/english Overview: The English Department at CSULA works to ensure their English majors graduate with the ability to contribute to their community and are prepared for their future career through degree requirements engaging students in community-based projects and pre-professional settings. When students were surveyed in the 2021-2022 academic year, 100% agreed that their Engaged English class contributed to their ability to “work with others to make a difference on campus or in the community" and 82% agreed their class contributed to their ability to “understand people from other cultures, races, or ethnicities”. In the same academic year 71% of the students served were Latino. Transfer, Adult Re-entry, Parenting and Pregnant Student Center California State University, Fullerton (CA) Institution/Organization: California State University, Fullerton State: California Issue Area: Support Services Program Focus: Adult Learners, Transfer Year Started: 2022 Website: https://www.fullerton.edu/tapp/ Overview: The mission of the Transfer, Adult Re-entry, Parenting and Pregnant Student Center (TAPP) program is to assist non-traditional students in accessing university resources and build a network of Titans with similar backgrounds at CSUF. In just two years the Latinx transfer student population has increased from 45% in 2021 to 50% in Spring 2023. The center is leveraging survey results across the thousands of students they serve to strengthen programming. So far they have offered over 20 intentionally crafted programs based on these student responses. Graduate Level: LAWtina University of Arizona College of Law (AZ) Institution/Organization: University of Arizona College of Law State: Arizona Issue Area: Access Program Focus: Career/Workforce, Mentoring Year Started: 2020 Website: https://www.law.arizona.edu/news/2020/12/lawtina-mentoring-program-aims-make-dream-law-school-more-accessible-latinas Overview: The LAWtina program at the University of Arizona College of Law prepares Latina undergraduate students in their pursuit of a career in law by helping them craft their application to law school, build their professional network, support wellness strategies during school, and create a vision board for their professional goals. In a recent survey of LAWtina alumnae, 25% are currently in law school or admitted to law school, and 62% of alums have plans to apply to law school in the future. Community-Based Organizations (CBO): Career Pathways: Empowering Students to Succeed The Immokalee Foundation (FL) Institution/Organization: The Immokalee Foundation State: Florida Issue Area: Support Services Program Focus: Career/Workforce Year Started: 2019 Website: http://www.immokaleefoundation.org Overview: The Immokalee Foundation provides educational and career-building opportunities to underserved students in Immokalee, FL through the Career Pathways program. Students gain experience in four professional categories popular in Southwest Florida in addition to after-school/summer programming. All 8th grade students develop a career action plan for after high school and 100% of high school students receive an industry certification and internship to bolster their resume. Among TIF college graduates, 92% earned their degree and 83% work in their chosen field of study. Eighty-five percent of students served by TIF are Hispanic. Family College Prep Program Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (MO) Institution/Organization: Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) State: Missouri Issue Area: Access Program Focus: College Prep Year Started: 2019 Website: http://www.hdfkc.org Overview: The Family College Prep Program (FCPP) is a comprehensive, family-centered program that removes barriers to post-secondary education and empowers families in the college admissions and financial aid processes. Serving a predominantly Latino community, bilingual college advisors are embedded in ten Kansas City metropolitan area high schools and community organizations. The goal is to increase FAFSA completion, scholarship awards for students, and the college-going rate of area students. In the 2021-2022 school year, FCPP efforts allowed 533 students and families to receive 1:1 advising, attend over 20 workshops, college rep visits, and other events, plus earn over $3.25 million in scholarships. LEAF College Success Program The Latino Education Advancement Foundation (CA) Institution/Organization: The Latino Education Advancement Foundation (LEAF) State: California Issue Area: Retention Program Focus: Family Engagement, First-Year Support Year Started: 2020 Website: https://www.leafca.org Overview: The LEAF College Success Program aims to increase college enrollment and persistence rates for East San Jose students by providing support services starting in senior year of high school and continuing onwards through the first two years of community college, university, or trade school. So far, LEAF has supported 289 Scholars, of which 96% are first generation college students and 99% are Latinx/Hispanic. The LEAF Scholars from their first cohort are persisting in community college at a rate of 80% and in 4-year university at a rate of 86%.