AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has earned recertification of the Seal of Excelencia, a prestigious designation that recognizes an institution’s commitment to the success of its Latino student population.
The University first received the Seal in 2020, joining a small group of colleges and universities across the U.S. to hold the designation, which is given to institutions that demonstrate through data, evidence-based practices and leadership how they are intentionally serving Latino students.
This year, Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education, announced five recertifications, including UT Austin and UT San Antonio, as well as nine new certifications, bringing the total to 39 Seal of Excelencia institutions.
“The University of Texas at Austin has worked very hard to build a community and academic home for our Latino students that is vibrant, supportive and known for its excellence,” said President Jay Hartzell. “We are proud to once again receive the Seal of Excelencia, which is a recognition of the talent and commitment of our faculty, staff, and above all, our students — and all they’ve invested to make UT one of the best places in the country for Hispanic students to prosper. We are excited to continue and further develop our efforts to support the success of this community, and all Longhorns, during their time on campus and beyond.”
The recertification further exemplifies the University’s efforts to recruit and retain Latino students and its role as one of the country’s largest and most academically prestigious Hispanic-serving institutions. In the latest Niche College Rankings, UT was named the No. 1 Best Hispanic-serving Institution in the U.S. This year, the percentage of Hispanic undergraduates rose to 28.2% from 27.9% last fall, while Hispanic students’ first-year retention rate rose to 94.8% and four-year graduation rate increased to 68%. During the past 10 years, the four-year graduation rate of Latino students at UT has risen nearly 30%.
“With today’s announcement, students, families, policymakers and higher education may look to the institutions from this network that have earned the Seal of Excelencia certification for intentionally serving Latino students as they make their choices,” said Sarita Brown, Excelencia in Education co-founder and president and a UT alumna who began her career at the University. “Excelencia is proud to work with these trendsetters to advance Latino talent for the workforce and civic leadership and ensure America’s bright future.”
An institution earns the Seal by demonstrating alignment across the three core areas of data, practice and leadership, which show:
- Evidence of effectiveness and intentionality in institutional practices serving Latino students.
- Positive momentum for Latino student progress in their data.
- Dedication to transforming the institution into an environment where Latino students thrive.
- Strategies in leadership that clearly articulate institutional focus on advancing Latino student success.
The Seal is not a ranking nor an award. It is a rigorous verification process that culminates with certification.