Excelencia in Education

Excelencia in Education, founded in 2004, accelerates Latino student success in higher education to address our country’s need for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leadership. We do this by providing data-driven analysis of the educational status of Latinos, promoting higher education policies and institutional practices that support Latinos’ academic achievement and that of other post-traditional students, and organizing a network of institutions and professionals with common cause for Latino student success. To close the national equity gap in degree attainment, Latinos will need to earn 6.2 million more degrees by 2030. Excelencia brings to the forefront what we know about Latino student success, what works to improve it, and what decision makers can do.

We develop strategic research guided by the experiences and realities of today’s Latino students, including a focus on Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Latino college completion, and relevant policy priorities (affordability, retention/transfer, institutional capacity, and workforce) that inform action by community and institutional leaders.

We bring attention to evidence-based programs with Examples of Excelencia, the only national data-driven initiative to recognize programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels, as well as community-based organizations, with evidence of effectiveness in increasing Latino student success. We curate our Growing What Works database, which promotes evidence-based programs, and we host the Accelerating Latino Student Success (ALASS) Institute, which serves as the meeting place for professionals leading and learning about effective strategies that make a positive difference for Latino college students.

Excelencia in Action (E-Action) includes Presidents for Latino Student Success and Programs for Latino Student Success. This national network of results-oriented leaders at postsecondary institutions and community-based organizations work with Excelencia to leverage collective expertise and resources, foster partnerships, and amplify current efforts at the national level to accelerate Latino student success.

We believe institutions must transform to address structural inequities and more intentionally serve Latino, and other post-traditional, students. To respond to this opportunity and challenge, we established the Seal of Excelencia, a national certification that recognizes institutions intentionally SERVING Latino students for success based on the use of data, evidence-based practices, and effective leadership. Excelencia offers technical assistance to institutions committed to sharing and improving their efforts in SERVING Latinos. In this moment of calls for systemic change, this process allows for institutions to look internally at what they are doing and align their efforts with data, practice, and leadership with an articulated methodology. 

At Excelencia, we know that our nation’s colleges and universities must go beyond just enrolling Latino students and become places where Latino students thrive. We are committed to working in common cause with the Higher Ed Equity Network in support of their vision to dramatically improve the economic and social mobility of Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, and other historically underserved students. We believe this partnership will support institutions’ transformation and seize the moment to bring more Latino talent into our civic leadership and workforce. 

Join us as we lead the change that ensures America’s bright future: www.edexcelencia.org

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