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Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit group focused on Latino student success, on Thursday announced that nine colleges have earned its first annual Seal of Excelencia. Excelencia said the seal isn't an award or ranking but a "prestigious, voluntary and comprehensive certification recognizing an institution’s commitment and ability to successfully serve Latino students."

The recipients are:

  • Arizona State University
  • Austin Community College (Texas)
  • California State University, Channel Islands
  • El Paso Community College (Texas)
  • Florida International University
  • Grand Valley State University (Michigan)
  • South Texas College
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Texas at El Paso

“If institutions aren’t effectively serving our Latino students, we lose a vital source of talent for our work force and civic leadership,” Deborah Santiago, Excelencia's CEO, said in a written statement. “Institutions that strive for, and most particularly those that earn the seal, have demonstrated their capacity to grow our country’s highly skilled work force and develop leaders -- in other words, these institutions are ensuring America’s future.”