Cal State LA has been certified by Excelencia in Education today with the prestigious Seal of Excelencia in 2023 for demonstrating through data, evidence-based practices, and leadership how it is intentionally serving Latino students. Excelencia in Education is the nation’s premier authority on efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.
Excelencia has offered the Seal of Excelencia—a national certification valid for three years—since 2018 to recognize institution leaders for the transformation needed to accelerate Latino student success and meet the overall mission of higher education. The Seal of Excelencia framework is a comprehensive institutional self-assessment tool for aligning and progressing efforts to intentionally serve Latino, and all, students across data, practice, and leadership. It represents learning from more than 20 years of working with colleges and universities.
“Cal State LA is honored to receive the Seal of Excelencia. This certification affirms and confirms our university’s deep commitment to Latino student success. We will continue to be a university where Latino students thrive, and we will continue to graduate students who achieve the lives and careers they imagined,” said Cal State LA’s Interim President Leroy M. Morishita.
Cal State LA is a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution.
In an announcement livestreamed nationally from Excelencia’s National Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., Excelencia recognized Cal State LA and eight other institutions that earned the Seal of Excelencia for the first time, and five institutions that were recertified. These institutions join 30 other Seal-certified institutions from around the country. Combined, the 39 Seal-certified institutions enroll more than 15% of all Latino students and graduate 17% of all Latinos. Together with Excelencia, they lead and transform higher education to advance Latino talent vital to the country’s workforce and economy.
“There is a real difference between colleges and universities that enroll Latino students and those that intentionally serve them,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “Those that earn the Seal are trendsetters on a journey of transformation, showing what it takes to progressively increase positive outcomes for Latino, and all, students for others ready to meet the mission.”
Besides Cal State LA, the other newly certified Seal of Excelencia institutions are: Angelo State University (TX), California State University, Long Beach (CA), California State University, Northridge (CA), Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO), Phoenix College (AZ), Richard J. Daley College (IL), St. Edward’s University (TX), and Texas Woman’s University (TX).
The five recertified Seal of Excelencia institutions are: California State University, Sacramento (CA), Long Beach City College (CA), The University of Texas at Austin (TX), The University of Texas at San Antonio (TX), and University of Illinois Chicago (IL).
An institution earns the Seal by demonstrating alignment across the three core areas of data, practice, and leadership, which show:
- Evidence of effectiveness and intentionality in institutional practices serving Latino students.
- Positive momentum for Latino student progress in their data.
- Dedication to transforming the institution into an environment where Latino students thrive.
- Strategies in leadership that clearly articulate institutional focus on advancing Latino student success.
Excelencia Co-founder and President Sarita Brown said, “College and university leaders who focus on student success generate momentum for the transformation of higher education. Excelencia is proud to make common cause with these leaders. Through our network, we support and catalyze institutions striving to engage and graduate more Latino students.”
Brown added, “With today’s announcement, students, families, policymakers, and higher education may look to the institutions from this network that have earned the Seal of Excelencia certification for intentionally serving Latino students as they make their choices. Excelencia is proud to work with these trendsetters to advance Latino talent for the workforce and civic leadership and ensure America’s bright future.”
The Seal is not a ranking, nor an award. It is a rigorous verification process that culminates with certification. Excelencia began Seal certification as one of the organization’s transformational strategies to lead colleges and universities to go beyond simply enrolling Latino students. The Seal provides the means to use data and practice to instill intentionality in serving Latino students.
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About Cal State LA
California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni. For more information, visit: www.calstatela.edu
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, advancing institutional practices, and collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. 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: www.EdExcelencia.org.