Presidents For Latino Student Success

Administration August 2021 PREMIUM
At The Forefront Of Institutional Transformation

Written by Chino Chapa - Media and Communications Liaison Excelencia in Education 

Washington, D.C.  – For 17 years, Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority in efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education, has been building 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. The key to this endeavor is Presidents for Latino Student Success (P4LSS).

This important national network is comprised of diverse college and university presidents and chancellors who commit to making their institutions learning environments where Latino students thrive. P4LSS leaders are working with Excelencia in Education (Excelencia) to ensure America’s future by supporting and advancing the talents, skills, and contributions of Latino college graduates.

P4LSS Initiative

Data proves the institutions in Excelencia’s network are transforming higher education. P4LSS institutions represent 4% of all U.S. colleges and universities yet enroll 24% of all Latino students. More importantly, they graduate 35% of all Latino graduates nationwide.

Excelencia’s professionals, the Presidents for Latino Student Success, and their campus teams actively collaborate to put evidence-based practices and strategic analysis of student data to use in supporting and advancing Latino students and the institutions.

“Higher education leaders with skills and vision are fundamental to our country’s strong recovery,” said Sarita Brown, Co-founder and President of Excelencia. “Those prepared to engage and intentionally serve Latino students, while serving all their students, are leading the way. That is why they join Presidents for Latino Student Success.”

Excelencia Co-founder and CEO Deborah Santiago said, “Excelencia is honored to work with more than 100 trend setting presidents and chancellors who have accepted this challenge. The leaders who choose Presidents for Latino Student Success have made common cause with Excelencia to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.”

Through the network, institutional leaders and teams collaborate with Excelencia to leverage collective expertise and resources, share evidence of effectiveness, foster partnerships, participate in research and projects, and amplify current efforts at the national level.

Since 2004, Excelencia has accelerated 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 350 programs from across the country to advance effective, evidence-based practices, and distributed in excess of $2 million to promote programs producing results for Latino students.

Excelencia's brand of advocacy is to drive positive attention to programs, places, and people producing positive results for Latino talent in college and the workforce. In 2018, Excelencia established the Seal of Excelencia, a national certification for institutions that go beyond enrollment to intentionally SERVE Latino students.

Institutions earn the prestigious Seal of Excelencia by demonstrating alignment across the three core areas of data, practice, and leadership. To date, 14 colleges and universities from across the country have been certified with the Seal of Excelencia. The 2021 cohort will be announced on October 29, 2021.

The organization has also established Examples of Excelencia, the only national effort to recognize and promote evidence-based practices accelerating Latino student success in higher education. Created in 2005, Examples of Excelencia is the organization’s foundational strategy to identify programs at the forefront of implementing strategies advancing equity for Latino students.

In June, Excelencia received a multimillion-dollar gift by philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. Excelencia’s selection was based on “a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results.” Excelencia was the only national Latina-led organization focused on higher education selected to receive major financial support this year.

As evidence of Excelencia’s strong leadership network of common cause, 13 of the 29 colleges and universities that also received Scott/Jewett gifts are part of Excelencia’s Presidents for Latino Student Success.

Excelencia is Ensuring America’s Future and engaging institutions whose leaders are ready to transform to intentionally SERVE Latino students,” Brown said. “We were energized to receive a gift of this magnitude, honored to be among other committed higher education leaders, and ready to leverage this investment to build the necessary funding to propel our work at this critical time in our nation’s recovery.”

Santiago added, “We must shift from demography and geography to intentionality and impact and elevate what an institution can and must do to make sure their Latino students thrive. “The recent investment is a down payment on the momentum we are building strategically to transform higher education to serve our students.”

“By sustaining our commitment to identify, support and promote institutions that are choosing to intentionally serve Latino students and confront structural barriers, we are setting the pace for much needed institutional transformation,” both leaders said.

Brown heads the P4LSS initiative for the organization and is the leadership contact for those wishing to enroll. To learn more about Presidents for Latino Student Success and the other institutional leaders across the country affiliated with Excelencia, visit:

For more information about Excelencia, visit:

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