The Seal of Excelencia is a new voluntary certification for institutions serving Latino students that will facilitate institutional change to close equity gaps and significantly increase Latino student completion and will assist Latino students in making postsecondary education choices. The Seal signals that an institution has developed a comprehensive and systemic approach to accelerating Latino student success and seeks to raise the bar by which institutions are evaluated with regard to serving Latino students.

Four Texas community colleges are among the finalists:

  • Alamo Colleges
  • Austin Community College
  • El Paso Community College
  • South Texas College

On June 20, Excelencia in Education will live steam the announcement of the inaugural colleges and universities to earn the new certification.

"This watershed legislation will help reduce excess credit hours and time to degree, improve transfer pathways for students, and create opportunities for future improvements through collaboration among institutions," Jacob Fraire, President & CEO, Texas Association of Community Colleges, said. "The bill’s provisions to create recommended course sequencing for all degree programs paves a clear and transparent academic pathway, understandable to students and families."

"Students looking to transfer may soon find it easier to move college credits from one college to another. State lawmakers unanimously passed Senate Bill 25 out of both chambers this week, with the end of the legislative session just days away.

The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for a signature or veto.

Provisions in Senate Bill 25 call on colleges to more clearly identify which course credits would or would not

"Salma Paredes, a senior at Arlington Collegiate High School, enjoys graphic design, watching documentaries and hanging out with friends — when she has the time. She’s typically busy taking college courses and planning her future. She will graduate from high school this spring with 60 college credits, the equivalent of an associate’s degree, or half of a bachelor’s degree.

“One of the things I’ve been looking forward to is learning a foreign language,” Paredes said. “I’m fluent in Spanish and English but I was always looking forward to learning something completely different, possibly like traveling abroad.”

Those aspirations would have been difficult for her to imagine before she enrolled in a dual credit program, which allowed her to earn college credit while in high school." 

Read more on Salma's story and the opportunities dual-credit has granted her via an article by Texas Public

"We’ve sung the praises many times of the successful early college high school and dual-credit programs in Texas that can give thousands of students a head start on their four-year public college degrees.

But we’ve also lamented a troubling obstacle students face in realizing the full potential of these programs: For too many young people, credit hours earned in community college classes don’t transfer to four-year universities. What starts as a sound strategy toward an affordable degree ends up wasting millions of dollars because students have to retake classes.

Texas lawmakers are finally on track to fix this mess this session. The Senate has unanimously passed S.B. 25 from Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas. The bill would require alignment for general and disciplinary core curricula. It also calls for more guidance for students on degree-plan requirements and transparency on which courses

Claudia Jackson, Executive Director of Strategic Communication and Government Relations at Del Mar College, retires after 42 years of service. 

In honor of her exemplary work, the College Board of Regents has decided to open a scholarship fund in her name for the Del Mar students. If you wish to donate to this fund, please visit: The Claudia Jackson Scholarship 

She will be missed dearly.