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Why Participate?


Through a profile submission participants gain valuable insights into how to measure and share the impact of their programs. For higher education leaders, there are many spaces to engage and learn from others. Excelencia in Education believes in the value of shared knowledge and offers a unique community of common cause for practitioners to engage specifically on what is working for Latino students. 

"Celebración de Excelencia is a reminder that you are not alone. Learning from what other people are doing is always really positive. You want to look for positive connections while being excited about finding those gaps, then reach out and ask for help, and not try to figure it all out on your own.”                                                                                     Irene Oujo, Executive Director of the Hispanic Center, Becton College at Fairleigh Dickinson University


Below we outline our recognition categories and the ways Excelencia brings positive attention to positive work.

How does Excelencia in Education recognize programs?

A program may be recognized as the Example of Excelencia, a Finalist, or a Program to Watch at the associate, baccalaureate, graduate, or community-based organization level. Learn more about the recognition categories below.

Examples of Excelencia

Excelencia in Education's external selection committee selects one exemplary program in the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels, as well as at community-based organizations, as the Example of Excelencia for that year. The committee selects the four programs from among the Finalists.

Click here to learn which programs were recognized as the 2023 Examples of Excelencia.

Examples of Excelencia Finalists

Excelencia identifies programs with intentionality and evidence of effectiveness in improving outcomes for Latino students through culturally responsive, data-driven efforts. Finalists are eligible and welcome to participate in Examples of Excelencia every year until they are recognized as the Example of Excelencia in their respective level.

Click here to read about the 2023 Examples of Excelencia Finalists.

Programs to Watch

Excelencia recognizes up-and-coming programs for their positive impact on the success of Latino students and how they are growing their evidence of effectiveness. Programs to Watch are eligible and welcome to submit their profile every year until they are recognized as the Example of Excelencia in their respective level. Learn more about the origins of Programs to Watch in our 2018 publication, Programs to Watch: Highlighting What Works for Latino Student Success.

Click here to view a list of the 2023 Programs to Watch.

How does Excelencia bring attention to recognized programs? 

We leverage our access to the national stage to make a positive contribution by recognizing, celebrating, and strengthening what works for Latino students. Through Examples of Excelencia, we bring to a national audience evidence-based practices in higher education institutions and community-based organizations across the country that are intentionally serving Latino students.

At Excelencia in Education, our confianza-based approach cultivates an engagement that lasts beyond the moment of recognition. As part of our Programs for Latino Student Success, these programs are featured in our research, present at institutes and conferences, and have small, cohort-based conversations to sustain, scale, or replicate their efforts. In addition, recognized programs receive the following:

What Works for Latino Students Compendia Series

Excelencia seeks to broaden the scope of knowledge surrounding effective practices for Latino students and bring attention to the noteworthy work that may be overlooked by traditional best-practices models. The What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education compendium is an annual publication that features programs recognized through Examples of Excelencia. By sharing what works we hope to prompt a wide array of decision makers to take an asset-based approach to serving Latino students and inspire them to work to accelerate Latino student success by supporting, replicating, and bringing to scale these evidence-based practices. View the 2023 Compendium here.

Each annual compendium is indexed in ERIC, the online library of education research and information, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.