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UT System earns fifth “Excelencia in Education” seal among its institutions
AUSTIN – Texas – The University of Texas (UT) System now has five institutions that have earned the prestigious “Seal of Excelencia” from the nonprofit Excelencia in Education for work to advance higher education opportunities for Hispanic communities. Last week, the University of Texas at Arlington joined UT Austin, UT El Paso, UT Rio Grande Valley and UT San Antonio for intentionally serving Hispanic students as demonstrated through data, evidence-based practices, and leadership.
“UT institutions are committed to expanding access to higher education for the Hispanic community –recruiting, enrolling, and graduating Hispanic students in increasing numbers,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “The Excelencia seal isn’t simply designated for demographics, it recognizes purposeful work to nurture Hispanic students and provide new opportunities that make a meaningful impact.”
"The Seal of Excelencia provides institutions with the means to use data, practice and leadership to examine their impact in serving Latino students while serving all," said Sarita Brown, Co-founder and President of Excelencia in Education, and a UT-Austin alumna. "That so many institutions in the UT System have earned the Seal of Excelencia, and are now being recertified, bodes well for the future of Texas. It is colleges and universities that engage the talents of this generation of Latino students that will keep our communities, our economy, and our country strong."
UT Arlington was one of six new U.S. institutions to earn the “Seal of Excelencia” and UT El Paso was one of nine institutions to be recertified. In addition to the seal announcements, Excelencia in Education named four programs from around the country as 2022 “Examples of Excelencia,” including UT San Antonio for its evidence-based efforts to advance Latino student success in higher education and in the workforce. Recipients were selected from among 93 submissions and a group of 20 finalists as replicable models of cultural responsiveness, intentionality, and evidence-based programming.
“Seal of Excelencia’s certification demonstrates UTA’s measurable impact in changing the face of higher education and in creating an environment where Latino and Latina students thrive,” UT Arlington President Jennifer Cowley said. “We are joining an esteemed group of colleges and universities nationwide that are ensuring America’s future through our steadfast commitment to develop and advance the talents of our students.”
“I’m very proud that UTEP is one of the institutions that was recertified with the ‘Seal of Excelencia’ for our dedication to Hispanic student success,” UT El Paso President Heather Wilson said. “The UT System is educating an entire generation of Hispanic students and setting an example for the country.”
UTEP initially received its “Seal of Excelencia” designation in 2019, the first year that Excelencia in Education bestowed the certification, which is valid for three years. UT Austin and UT San Antonio were awarded designation in 2020, and UT Rio Grande Valley in 2021.
In addition to the Seal of Excelencia designations, seven academic institutions are federally-designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs):
- UT Arlington
- UT Austin
- UT El Paso
- UT Health San Antonio
- UT Permian Basin
- UT Rio Grande Valley
- UT San Antonio
To learn more about UT System’s efforts to advance higher education for Hispanic communities and view spotlights of Hispanic employees in the UT System, please visit our Hispanic Heritage Month website here.
About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions that enroll more than 240,000 students collectively, the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 67,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than 60% of its medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 10.6 million outpatient visits and more than 2 million hospital days in 2021. UT institutions are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 3 for most U.S. patents granted in 2021, and the UT System ranks No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation for federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 22,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 93,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff. The UT System has an operating budget of $25.2 billion.