A leader in Latino college completion

UTA one of 25 institutions across the country supporting timely analysis on Latino students

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2023 • Jeff Carlton : Contact

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The University of Texas at Arlington is among 25 institutions nationwide partnering with Excelencia in Education the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education, to bring new analysis on Latino college completion and enrollment trends across the United States to the public.

The analysis, “Latino College Completion: United States 2023,” is the most comprehensive, up-to-date information available on Latino enrollment and graduation rates as well as programs proven to work for Latino students at the institutional, national and state levels. It shows that degree completion nationwide among Latino students must accelerate so they earn 6.2 million more degrees by 2030.

Excelencia is proud to bring this analysis to the public with support from 25 college, university, and system leaders committed to serve Latino students while serving all,” said Sarita Brown, cofounder and president of Excelencia. “Especially in this moment of change in higher education and in our society, we remain focused on Latino College Completion and recognize its importance to ensuring America’s future.”

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Excelencia counder and CEO Deborah Santiago, who leads Excelencia’s research and policy agenda said: “Since our inception 19 years ago, Excelencia has tracked and shared analysis about Latino students in higher education to inform, catalyze and support institutional change as the Latino student population continues to grow. Trendsetting college and university leaders recognize the opportunity to increase Latino participation at their institutions and focus on these students completing degree programs, entering the workforce and civic leadership roles.”

UT Arlington President Jennifer Cowley is part of Excelencia’s national Presidents for Latino Student Success network, composed of institutional leaders who have committed to making their institutions learning environments where Latino students thrive. At UTA, the number of bachelor’s degrees earned by Hispanic students increased by 36% from the 2016-17 academic year to 2021-22. Enrollment of Hispanic students increased by 24% from fall 2017 to fall 2022, when nearly 13,700 Hispanic students enrolled at the University.

“As one of the nation’s most diverse research institutions, UTA has the capacity to make an extraordinary difference across the nation and here in Texas,” Cowley said. “We are focused on delivering a world-class educational experience that is accessible to students from all backgrounds and setting up our Maverick graduates for success in whatever paths they choose.”

The colleges and universities in Excelencia’s network are transforming higher education. Of the thousands of colleges and universities across the country, Excelencia’s Presidents for Latino Student Success network represents 4% of America’s colleges and universities, yet in 2022 enrolled 31% and graduated 33% of all Latinos students. Further, 30 institutions within the network have earned the Seal of Excelencia for demonstrating, through data, practice, and leadership, how they intentionally serve Latino students while serving all.

Excelencia professionals and the colleges and universities in the network work in common cause to put evidence-based practices, research and strategic analysis of student data to use supporting and advancing the talents, skills, and contributions of Latino students and their institutions.

In 2022, UTA was one of just six institutions nationwide to earn the Seal of Excelencia certification, a prestigious honor granted to colleges and universities for their commitment to accelerating Latino student success. To earn the seal, institutions must demonstrate alignment across the core areas of data, practice and leadership. From 2017 to 2022, UTA saw increases of:

  • 24% in full-time undergraduate Latino student enrollment
  • 34% in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Latino students
  • 28% in non-federal grant and scholarship support for Latino students
  • 24% in full-time Latino faculty

Among the 570-plus universities designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions by the U.S. Department of Education, UTA is No. 3 for awarding bachelor’s degrees to African American students, No. 12 for Asian American students, No. 15 for Hispanic students, No. 10 for Native American students, and No. 8 for total minority students, according to the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

UTA last year also joined 19 of the nation’s top research universities in forming the Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Research Universities to increase opportunities for those historically underserved by higher education. The group includes every university that has been both categorized as R1 (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

Through the partnership, Cowley and the other public leaders continue to collaborate with Excelencia to leverage collective expertise and resources and foster working relationships that amplify current efforts and make an impact at the national level.

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. It has published more than 100 analyses, highlighted over 385 programs from across the country to advance effective, evidence-based practices, and distributed more than $2 million to promote programs producing results for Latino students. 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 https://www.edexcelencia.org/.