National education leaders recognize top programs at increasing degree completion among Latinos
Top honors went to programs run by
For the 2011 Examples of Excelencia competition, 195 programs were nominated at three academic levels: associate, baccalaureate, and graduate. These programs demonstrate broad geographical representation in the effort to contribute to Latino student success and represent 22 states plus the
At the associate level, El Paso Community College’s Early College High School Initiative is a partnership between the community college and five school districts that gives students the opportunity to complete an associate degree while attending high school. Since its launch in 2006, the program has served 1,522 students, 80 percent of whom are Latino. The program maintains academic rigor and creates a college environment by focusing on “college first” and “high school” second.
“For the most part, these students are the first member of their family to ever set foot on a college campus, and their families, in most cases, face significant economic challenges,” said Dr. Ernst E. Roberts, interim president of
At the bachelor level,
“With up to 40 percent of Latino participation in the STEP 2 program, the College of Education at Texas Tech is helping to meet the high demand of classroom teachers specializing in bilingual education, English as a second language, math and science, as well as special education,” said Janie Landin Ramirez, outreach programs administrator at the Texas Tech College of Education. “Formerly, with their associate degrees, these students could only serve as teaching assistants in the classroom. Now, they are the teachers.”
At the graduate level, the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Program at the
“Our strengths include a strong curriculum that emphasizes diversity and a sensitive and student oriented faculty,” said Dr. Aida L. Jimenez, director of the program. “We have included students in decision making and have supported the creation of different student committees to encourage the sense of belonging and adherence to the program. As a result, we have an 80 percent retention rate, and ninety four percent of our graduates are licensed in clinical psychology.”
“Congratulations to all of the institutions and programs recognized for their demonstrated success with Latino students,” said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education. “Nationally, Latinos will have to almost triple the number of degrees earned currently for
“The educational achievements of Hispanic students are critical to our nation’s future,” said Whitmore. “Historical and socioeconomic issues should not be a barrier that keeps these students from achieving their full educational and career aspirations.”
Examples of Excelencia is a national initiative to systematically identify and honor institution-based programs and departments that demonstrate with evidence that they effectively boost Latino enrollment, performance and graduation. It is supported by USA Funds, ACT, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, EduK, Univision Communications, Educational Testing Service, College Board, and the California State University System,
To download “What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education,” which includes detailed information about all of the programs recognized today, visit www.EdExcelencia.org.
Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.