ACC named finalist for national Excelencia award

ACC only community college in Texas recognized for Latino success by Excelencia in Education

Austin Community College (ACC) is a national finalist, and the only community college in Texas, for the 2019 Examples of Excelencia recognition. The award, presented Excelencia in Education, honors programs dedicated to accelerating Latino student success in higher education.

This year, Excelencia received 166 program nominations from 32 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. 

“It is an honor to be nationally recognized for the commitment ACC has to closing the equity gap and providing targeted support to our underserved students,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “The strides we are making for Latino student success will benefit the community and workforce as a whole.”

The Hispanic student population at ACC is the fastest-growing demographic at the college. In fall 2019, ACC enrolled approximately 15,700 Hispanic students, an increase of 27 percent over the last five years.

The college’s Guided Pathways Advising Through Coaching program is recognized in the Associate category. Other finalists in the Associate category include:

  • Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP) at UCLA 

  • Ichabod Success Institute at Washburn University 

  • Promises & Pathways: Scaling Developmental Education Reform at Cuyamaca College 

ACC launched Guided Pathways in 2016. It redesigns and re-aligns programs, support services, and instructional approaches to help students clarify goals, choose and enter pathways to achieve their goals, and master knowledge and skills needed to advance in the workforce or further their education. Since launching guided pathways, the term-to-term retention rate for Hispanic students increased by 16 percent.

“Our guiding theory of action is to increase Latino student success in higher education to prepare and enhance America’s future workforce, civic leadership, and contribute to our economy. To do so, we are informing decision-makers, working with institutions and organizations to provide assistance and compel action, and creating a community of action-oriented advocates,” says Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education CEO.

The 2019 Examples of Excelencia will be revealed Thursday, October 24, at the Celebración de Excelencia in Washington, DC. Winners are chosen by a national selection committee comprised of higher education leaders, grantmakers, professionals, and stakeholders. 

In June, ACC was presented the Seal of Excelencia for its dedication to Latino students by Excelencia in Education. 


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