UT Austin President Jay Hartzell joined several university leaders at a virtual webinar exploring the critical role of Texas institutions and their contributions to Latino/a student success and advancement. The event, hosted by Excelencia in Education on Monday March 23, celebrated the 2020 recipients of the prestigious Seal of Excelencia, which is awarded to institutions that have made significant strides in supporting Latino/a student success.
Representing one of five Seal of Excelencia recipients, Hartzell highlighted UT Austin’s recent success in improving Latino/a graduation rates and also highlighted the university’s state-wide effort to recruit and retain this important demographic of students.
“This seal is a recognition of our efforts in opening up the opportunities UT Austin has to offer,” Hartzell stated during the panel. “I also think that this is a signal to the world at large that we take student success seriously—and that we’re here to serve our Latino/a students.”
In addition to earning the Seal of Excelencia, Hartzell noted that UT Austin also crossed the threshold of qualifying as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), a distinction given to colleges and universities with high concentrations of Latino/a students. Last September, the university announced that Latino/a student enrollment has topped 25% for the first time ever. The university also reported record graduation rates for Latino/a, Black, first-generation and Pell Grant-eligible students.
“We talk about ‘what starts here changes the world,’ and if we want to change the world, having brilliant young Latino/a students coming through our intuitions is critical,” Hartzell said.
More about the Seal of Excelencia
Created by Excelencia in Education, the nation’s authority in efforts related to Latino student success, the Seal of Excelencia is neither a ranking nor an award but a certification that is granted after a detailed review and verification process. It reflects Excelencia in Education’s commitment to closing the education equity gap; meeting a goal of 6.2 million Latino students attaining college degrees by 2030; and supporting America’s civic and workforce needs by effectively preparing Latinos, now the nation’s second-largest ethnic population.