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Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 3:45pm

Mercy College's PACT Program has been recognized by Excelencia in Education as one of the 2020 Examples of Excelencia finalists for identifying and promoting evidence-based practices that help accelerate Latino Student Success.

Read the Press Release issued by Excelencia in Education below:

Excelencia in Education Announces 2020 Finalists for Examples of Excelencia

August 20, 2020

Contact: Chino Chapa
20 Programs Receive National Recognition for Strategies Advancing Equity for Latinos

Washington, D.C. – Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority in efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education, announced today 20 evidence-based programs across the U.S. as finalists for the 2020 Examples of Excelencia.

In the midst of a global pandemic and national racial reckoning that has fostered conversations around sustainable equity in higher education, Examples of Excelencia identifies programs at the forefront of implementing strategies advancing equity for Latino students. Examples of Excelencia was created in 2005 and is the country’s only national effort to recognize and promote evidence-based practices accelerating Latino student success in higher education.

“Identifying and advancing what works is central to Excelencia’s tactical plan to accelerate Latino student success,” said Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education. “We look to these evidence-based practices and the leaders working directly with students and community as exemplars of what others can do to ensure our students are served well.”

“By promoting and celebrating what works for Latino students in higher education, Excelencia increases national awareness of efforts effectively engaging the growing Latino student population,” said Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education. “We are relentless, as are these program leaders, in promoting the benefits to institutions and this country of intentionally serving Latino and other post-traditional students.”

This year, Excelencia received 112 program submissions representing 24 states, DC and Puerto Rico. All finalists will be featured online as well as in Excelencia’s Growing What Works Database—the only national online, searchable database for institutional leaders, funders, and policymakers interested in identifying what works for Latino students. On October 1, 2020, four of the 20 finalists will be announced as the 2020 Examples of Excelencia and recognized at the annual Celebración de Excelencia. For the first time ever, the national announcement of these four programs will be held virtually at the online Celebración de Excelencia.

The 2020 Examples of Excelencia finalists from the East are:

• Ambiciones at Howard Community College (MD)
• School of Science STEM Research Institute at Miami Dade College (FL)

• Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) Program at Mercy College (NY)
• UAlbany Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at University at Albany, State University of New York (NY)

• Latinx Leadership Initiative (LLI) at Boston College School of Social Work (MA)

Community-Based Organization
• College Success Program at Hyde Square Task Force, Inc. (MA)
• Scholar Program at Generation Hope (DC)

From the Midwest and Southwest, the finalists are:

• AlamoADVISE at Alamo Colleges District (TX)
• San Antonio Honors Academy Program at Alamo Colleges District (TX)
• Mi Casa Es Su Casa at Lone Star College-North Harris (TX)

• Access College & Excel (ACE) Program at The University of Texas at San Antonio (TX)
• Arizona’s Science, Engineering and Math Scholars (ASEMS) Program at the University of Arizona (AZ) Graduate
• Masters in School Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio (TX)

Community-Based Organization
• GRADCafé at Project GRAD Houston in Texas (TX)
• Noble College Access and Success Program at Noble Network of Charter Schools in Illinois (IL)
• University Crossroads at The University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

From the West, the finalists are:

• The Math Tutorial Lab at Santa Barbara City College (CA)

• Center for Educational Partnerships at California State University, Fullerton (CA)
• Compact Scholars Program at San Diego State University (CA)

• Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) at the University of California, Irvine (CA)

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. 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:

Examples of Excelencia expands on the legacy of work first began in 1999 by its two visionary leaders, Deborah Santiago and Sarita Brown. Since 2005, Excelencia in Education has received over 1,000 program submissions; recognized over 300 programs for their impact in accelerating Latino student success; and raised and awarded $2 million to the programs making a difference for Latino students to support their sustainability and expansion.


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