May 1, 2024 – California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) has chosen to become a leadership partner with Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education, to release a compilation of evidence-based programs that are at the forefront of improving higher educational achievement for Latino, and other, students.  

Titled "Advancing What Works to Intentionally Serve Latino Students: Opportunities for Action – 2024," the compilation focuses on cultural responsiveness and asset-based approaches to support Latino and post-traditional students in five key areas: 

  1. Engagement to Prepare Students and Families for College 
  2. First-Year Experiences Building Strong Foundations for Success 
  3. Bilingualism Enhancing Academic and Career Connections 
  4. Experiences and Partnerships Building Career Pathways 
  5. Gender-Based Learning Communities to Support Success 

CSUCI is one of 24 colleges and universities nationwide supporting this release to inspire educators, community leaders, funders, and policymakers to replicate and scale data-informed practices that benefit Latinos in higher education. 

CSUCI President Richard Yao expressed pride in the partnership with Excelencia, highlighting the institution's commitment to supporting Latino student achievement.  He emphasized the importance of addressing attainment gaps and disparities in enrollment rates, particularly in STEM fields, to cultivate and empower Latino talent. 

“Our institution is dedicated to intentionally serving the growing numbers of Latino students by implementing asset-based approaches and evidence-based practices to uplift their strength,” said Yao. “We believe that today’s students are tomorrow’s talent for the country’s civic leadership and workforce and serving them will ensure America’s future.”

All programs in the compilation have been recognized through Examples of Excelencia, the only national data-driven effort to recognize and promote programs accelerating Latino student success in higher education.   

“Excelencia increases awareness of programs that work for Latino students with the understanding that what serves our students ultimately serves our country,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia. “The trailblazing institutions supporting the compilation know asset-based approaches and evidence-based practices are crucial to intentionally serving Latino students and show there is no excuse for inaction.”   

CSUCI leads Excelencia’s network as one of only 39 colleges and universities to have earned the Seal of Excelencia, a national certification for institutions that strive to go beyond enrollment to intentionally serve Latino students. Seal-certified institutions represent less than 1% of colleges and universities yet enroll 15% and graduate 17% of all Latino students. Each of these institutions also leads the way by implementing evidence-based practices that ensure Latino students thrive on their campuses.   

In addition, CSUCI belongs to Excelencia’s national network of Presidents for Latino Student Success (P4LSS), composed of over 190 postsecondary leaders from 27 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Together, colleges and universities in the network are transforming higher education. The P4LSS network represents only 6% of institutions yet enrolls 33% and graduates 35% of all Latino students.  

Through this collaborative effort, CSUCI and Excelencia are leveraging expertise and resources to accelerate Latino student success and shape a brighter future for America with the talent of Latino students.  

To learn more about “Advancing What Works to Intentionally Serve Latino Students: Opportunities for Action – 2024,” visit:    

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