Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit group focused on Latino student success, on Thursday announced that nine colleges have earned its first annual Seal of Excelencia. Excelencia said the seal isn't an award or ranking but a "prestigious, voluntary and comprehensive certification recognizing an institution’s commitment and ability to successfully serve Latino students."
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:
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