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Excelencia in Education

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Excelencia in Education
Non-profit organization, Advocacy group
Founded 📆2004 (2004)
Founders 👔Sarita Brown
Deborah Santiago
Headquarters 🏙️,
Washington, D.C.
Area served 🗺️
Key people
Sarita Brown (President)
Deborah Santiago (CEO)
Number of employees
🌐 Websitewww.edexcelencia.org
📇 Address
📞 telephone

Excelencia in Education is a non-profit organization and advocacy group, the stated mission of which is to provide data on the educational status of the U.S. Latino population [1]and advise on education policies and institutional practices that support Latino academic achievement.[2] [3] [4] Founded in 2004, Excelencia in Education conducts analyses of research and data for educational policy makers[5] promotes evidence-based institutional practices that increase Latino student enrollment,[6][7] achievement, and degree completion;[8] and administers a network of educators, grantmakers and policymakers[9] focused on increasing inclusion and higher education completion rates for the US Latino population.[10]


Excelencia in Education was founded in 2004 in Washington D.C. by Sarita Brown, a university administrator and national policy advisor[11] who served as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics,[12] and Deborah Santiago, a higher education policy and data specialist[13] [14] who served as the White House Initiative's Deputy Director,[15] [16] [17] Excelencia in Education has received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,[18] the Kresge Foundation,[19] Andrew Mellon Foundation,[20] the Ford Motor Company,[21] Telemundo,[22] [23] the Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros Foundation, the Lumina Foundation,[24] and ACT, Inc., among other funders.[25]


Excelencia in Education has created several programs focused on increasing completion rates for Latino Students in institutes of higher education.

  • Examples of Excelencia (2005),[26] a yearly awards ceremony that recognizes institutional and community-based programs that are addressing challenges that Latino students face through use of data, evidence-based practices, and committed leadership. [27] [28]
  • A coalition of 65 organizations, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund[29] and the Institute for Higher Education Policy (2010), for a national initiative: Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion, to promote the role of Latino students in making the U.S. the world leader in college completion.[30]
  • The Accelerating Latino Student Success (ALASS) Institute (2010), [31] a yearly conference for education and policy professionals focused on increasing Latino degree completion at the community, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.
  • Presidents for Latino Student Success (2014),[32] an extension of an earlier program, the Excelencia in Action Network, [33] which now includes the presidents or chancellors of over 68 colleges, community colleges, universities, and university systems. [34]
  • A program in conjunction with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (2018) to help Hispanic-Serving Institutions increase the number of degrees awarded to adult Latino students.[35]

In October of 2018 Excelencia announced its plan to launch a new program in 2019, the Seal of Excelencia and Ladder of Engagement: a voluntary system whereby colleges and universities will demonstrate they have reached benchmarks that have been shown to lead to Latino student success.[36] [37] To attain the Seal, institutions will demonstrate they have reached benchmarks in the three areas Excelencia has determined are more likely to lead to Latino student success: data, practice and leadership. [38]


Key areas of research include: education pathways, financial aid, [39] institutional practices, student success and completion rates, workforce preparation, and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) data. Collaborating with institutions, foundations, and government organizations, Excelencia’s research includes Latino College Completion, From Selectivity to Success, HSIs, workforce issues, What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education,[40] and How Latino Students Pay for College.[41][42] Excelencia has published diverse research-based fact sheets since 2005, detailing the current status of college completion among Latinos in each state and, since 2102, diverse research-based reports detailing the current status of Latinos in higher education.[43] [44]


The founders of Excelencia in Education have been cited by various organizations for their contributions: Sarita Brown received the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation’s 2009 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education,[45] the American Association of Community Colleges’ 2018 Harry S. Truman Distinguished Service Award[46] and the NASPA Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award[47] Deborah Santiago was awarded a Pahara Fellowship from the Aspen Institute.[48]


  1. "Excelencia in Education Data Institute, Association of American Colleges & Universities".
  2. "Excelencia boosting Latinos for a decade, San Antonio Express-News".
  3. "Making Higher Education Work for Underserved Students, The Evolllution".
  4. "Increasing Latino college completion is key for California's economy, report states, NBC News".
  5. "Report: Hispanic-serving institutions prepare students for life after college, Education Dive, 2018".
  6. ""Understanding the Latinx Experience, Developmental and Contextual Influences" by Vasti Torres, Ebelia Hernandez, & Sylvia Martinez, Foreword by Sarita E. Brown & Deborah Santiago".
  7. "Comedian urges Hispanic students to stay in school, The Washington Post".
  8. "Hispanic Trends in Higher Education, The Organization for Online Learning".
  9. "Federal Policy and Latinos in Higher Education, ERIC".
  10. "Success of Hispanic-serving colleges, universities needs to go beyond enrollment, graduation – NBC News Sep. 11, 2018".
  11. "Why colleges need 'tactical plans' to help Latino students".
  12. "Sarita E. Brown, President, Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute" (PDF).
  13. "ERIC Institute of Education Sciences Journal database".
  14. "Which colleges enroll the most Hispanic students?, The Washington Post".
  15. "How to advance Latino achievement in higher education".
  16. "Creating the will: Hispanics achieving educational excellence, A report to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Education, and the nation by the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans".
  17. "Deborah Santiago from DC-based Excelencia in Education to Give Keynote at 2017 Believe Breakfast, The College Crusade of Rhode Island".
  18. "Grantees, Excelencia in Education".
  19. "Grants Awarded, Excelencia in Education Inc".
  20. "The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's grants database".
  21. "What Programs Are at the Forefront of Accelerating Latino Student Success?, Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education".
  22. "Telemundo Going Big on Education, Hispanic Market Works".
  23. "Telemundo partners with Excelencia in Education, HispanicAd.com".
  24. "Lumina Foundation Awards $11.5 Million to Boost Latino Student Success, Philanthropy News Digest".
  25. "What Programs Are at the Forefront of Accelerating Latino Student Success?, The Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine".
  26. "2018 What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education".
  27. "What Programs Are at the Forefront of Accelerating Latino Student Success, The Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine".
  28. "RACC receives national honors for its Academic ESL Program, The Reading Eagle".
  29. "Hispanic Scholarship Fund Community Partners".
  30. "Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion".
  31. "Excelencia in Education Institute Brings Together Communities of Action for Latino Student Success, Diverse Issues in Higher Education".
  32. "Huffington Post Latino Voices: Universities Pledge Support To Improve Higher Education Success Among Latino Students".
  33. "Excelencia in Action network".
  34. "Mercy College President Tim Hall Named to 2016 Presidents for Latino Student Success by Excelencia in Education".
  35. "One solution for boosting Latino graduation rates, The Hechinger Report".
  36. "New Bar for Serving Hispanic Students, Inside Higher Ed".
  37. "Excelencia in Education Recognizes NCAN Member, Announces 'Seal of Excelencia' Certification, National College Access Network".
  38. "Know Your Worth: Phi Theta Kappa's President And CEO On The Value Of Transfer Students, Forbes Magazine, Oct. 2018".
  39. "Most Latino Students Spurn College Loans, the L.A. Times".
  40. "What Works for Latino Youth, Deborah A. Santiago, January 2004".
  41. "Report details Latino education gap in California and nationwide, L.A. Times blog, 2012".
  42. "Is "Free College" Really Free?, Harvard University Graduate School of Education Askwith Debates, January 25, 2018".
  43. "Report: The Current State of Latino Education, Al Dia' Education".
  44. "Hispanics are crucial to college completion goals, The Washington Post, 2012".
  45. "the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation".
  46. "American Association of Community Colleges on Facebook".
  47. "NASPA 2016 Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award".
  48. "Pahara Institute".

External links[edit]

Excelencia in Education Website: https://www.edexcelencia.org

U.S. Dept of Education: https://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=ed.gov&query=%22excelencia+in+education%22&commit=Search

Guidestar: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/20-0927912

Charity Navigator: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=16365

ERIC - Education Resource Information Center (U.S. Government) https://eric.ed.gov/

Hispanic Scholarship Fund: https://www.hsf.net/community-partners

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) https://www.wiche.edu/content/higher-ed-links

The Collection of Higher Education Policy for Minority Students in the United States - https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/82860

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