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Top Programs Honored for Increasing Latino College Success

If the United States is going to meet the administration's goal of world leadership in college degrees, Latinos will have to earn 5.5 million by 2020.

That's the premise that has Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit organization that promotes Latino success in higher education, looking closely at which institutions are most welcoming and supportive of Hispanic students.

The organization recognized 100 programs and departments on Tuesday that have increased academic opportunity and achievement for Latino students.

Top honors went to:

Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., (associate level) for its DirectConnect program that emphasizes a smooth transition from community college to Florida universities.

California State University in Bakersfield, (baccalaureate level) for efforts by the school of natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering to increase the number of Latino students earning degrees in STEM fields.

University of Texas in El Paso, (graduate level) for the master of business administration program for creating academic programs accessible to working professional and full-time students.

Sixteen other finalists were named for work in this area.

The organization also released "What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education," with examples of hundreds of evidence-based practices that improve Latino student success.

As part of Excelencia's release, the Lumina Foundation announced its new Latino Student Success project, giving $11.5 million over four years to 13 different partnerships to improve educational access and success strategies for Latino students.

(The Lumina Foundation underwrites coverage of the alignment between K-12 schools and postsecondary education in Education Week.)

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