Guest Post by Andrés Henríquez (@AndresHenriquez), Program Director, National Science Foundation.
¡Hola mi gente! It has been a while since I had a blog post. After some moves and life changes I’m ready to get back on the saddle. I have a number of blog posts stored up and here is my first of several to come.
The evidence is clear. America cannot become the world leader in college degrees by 2020 or achieve the globally competitive workforce of the future without improving college completion among Latinos. As our nation’s fastest growing and youngest ethnic group, Latinos already make up nearly one quarter of elementary, middle, and high school students and will have to earn 5.5 million college degrees over the next seven years for America to be back on top.
You all may recall a post I did a few years ago that included the work of Excelencia in Education which works to accelerate Latino success in higher education by linking research, policy and practice to inform policymakers who in turn advance programs that support higher educational achievement for Latinos (Ensuring America’s Future: An Educational Roadmap for Latinos).
Since that blog post, Excelencia in Education has had great success in being recognized as the “go to” organization for Latino higher education. But they don’t do it alone. I joined their Board this year and write today to activate the LATISM community to nominate stellar programs for Latinos in higher education for Examples for Excelencia – the only data-driven initiative to recognize programs and departments with evidence of effectiveness in accelerating Latino student success at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.
How? By making an online nomination of programs or departments, that you think is having a positive impact on Latino college students. Be part of the hundreds of individuals, educators, business and civic leaders who have made nominations since 2006. It takes about 10 minutes to make a nomination at: www.edexcelencia.org/node/add/nomination
After the nominations session is closed, representatives from Excelencia will ask representatives from the nominated programs to complete a profile that is carefully reviewed against institutional performance data to select the group for final referral. A committee of experts from diverse national organizations selects the top programs as the years’ Examples of Excelencia. Representatives will be flown to the nation’s capital in the fall and receive recognition at the Celebracion de Excelencia a financial award of $5,000, inclusion in the annual compendium of What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education, as well as recognition in the Growing What Works data base.
Check out last year’s Celebracion de Excelencia.
Think about our community and networks and make your nomination today. Remember the nomination deadline is April 26, 2013. Become part of the movement to identify and promote strategies that work for Latino college students. This is the way we build this country’s brightest future.