June 20, 2019 – CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) has received the Seal of Excelencia, a prestigious, voluntary and comprehensive certification granted by the Washington, D.C.-based organization, Excelencia in Education. The Seal recognizes an institution’s very high level of commitment and effort to serve Latino students successfully.

CSUCI is one of only nine institutions in the nation – the only California State University campus and California institution of higher education – to earn a 2019 Seal of Excelencia.

“At CSUCI we are reimagining higher education to serve a largely first generation, historically underserved student population. We have benefitted greatly from the diverse perspectives of our Latinx students and their communities in ways that enrich the academic culture for all students,” said President Erika D. Beck.

“We have shifted our teaching and learning landscape to one that is deeply committed to being culturally responsive and to realizing a collective vision for equity and inclusion that extends to every corner of our university. Obtaining a college degree elevates every student and, just as importantly, changes their family trees forever. This is the essence of what we do and it is at the core of our commitment to academic excellence.” 

2019 is the inaugural year for the Seal of Excelencia. The Seal is not an award or ranking. It is part of Excelencia in Education’s strategy to close the education equity gap; accelerate the number of Latino students who attain college degrees by 2030; and ensure America’s future by prompting more high quality educational opportunities.

“At Excelencia, we know that institutions and communities that intentionally measure their postsecondary Latino student success and use evidence-based practices both serve these students well and serve as catalysts for substantive, positive change in public policy,” said Sarita Brown, President, Excelencia in Education. “Through the Seal certification process, we provide a platform for colleges and universities to reflect on their current impact, practices, and policies and implement new and better ones that respond to Latino students’ realities. Ultimately this serves all students.”

To earn the Seal, CSUCI had to demonstrate significant strides in terms of data, practice, and leadership. Excelencia has identified the three areas as key to supporting Latino student success. CSUCI serves approximately 7,000+ students, of which 51.6% are Hispanic/Latinos.

“Having a higher education is vital to succeed in today’s global economy,” added Deborah Santiago, CEO, Excelencia in Education. “If institutions aren’t effectively serving our Latino students, we lose a vital source of talent for our workforce and civic leadership. Institutions that strive for and most particularly those that earn the Seal, have demonstrated their capacity to grow our country’s highly-skilled workforce and develop leaders — in other words, these institutions are ensuring America’s future.”

Latino labor force participation is expected to increase by 3% every year, while participation is expected to decrease for non-Hispanic Whites (National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education, NCES). 

The Seal draws on Excelencia’s 15 years of experience in identifying and developing best practices in ensuring the graduation and long-term success of Latino college students. Currently, the proportion of Latinos who graduate within six years is 10% lower in comparison to their non-Latino White peers. The gap is even greater, at 14 percentage points, when comparing four-year graduation rates (NCES).

The complete list of higher education institutions who received the Seal of Excelencia can be found at Excelencia in Education.

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