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For Immediate Release
SEI Program Honored as America’s Top Program for Latino Student Success in College
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS-OCTOBER 2, 2013- The Student Employment Initiative Program (SEI) at The University of Texas at Brownsville has been named a 2013 Example of Excelencia winner.
Excelencia in Education, is a national initiative that systematically identifies and promotes evidence-based programs and departments effectively boosting Latino enrollment, performance and graduation.
The SEI Program in the Division of Student Affairs matches students with on-campus employment opportunities where they can grow as professionals and gain early exposure to a career in their field of interest, encouraging students to maintain momentum toward timely degree completion.
“At UTB, SEI has been able to successfully incorporate an on-campus internship that helps students define their role as students and future professionals while encouraging dedication and success each semester,” said Juan Andres Rodriguez, Program Director. “Since the program began in fall 2005, a total of 839 students have participated in SEI internships.”
From left to right are
• Andrés Henríquez: Director, Excelencia in Education; Program Officer, Carnegie Corporation
• Sara Manzano-Diaz: Director, Excelencia in Education; Regional Administrator, Mid-Atlantic Region, U.S. General Services Administration
• Giselle Fernandez: Director, Excelencia in Education; Managing Director, Aspiration Asset Managers, LLC
• Juan Andres Rodriguez
• Dr. Hilda Silva
• Dr. Juliet V. García
• William Serrata: Director, Excelencia in Education; President, El Paso Community College
Alexandra Huerta interns in the Office of Career Services. A senior studying marketing and communications, she had taken 18 hours every semester since she enrolled at UTB in 2010. 

“The program has by far exceeded my expectations. It has allowed me to work in my field of study and gain experience, and collaborating with my supervisors has given me the opportunity to learn so much from their personal experiences as well,” said Huerta who will graduate in May 2014 with two bachelor’s degrees. “ I have also learned the importance of balancing my responsibilities and priorities.”

The College of Science, Mathematics and Technology (CMST) was nominated as finalist for the award that included 165 programs from 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“The spirit of innovation has long been a part of the UT Brownsville campus culture. Our faculty and staff are relentless in seeking ways to improve student success through initiatives that have regional relevance and the potential for global impact,” said Dr. Juliet V. García, President.
Last year two programs in the college, the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and the Mathematics and Science Academy were named as national finalists for the 2012 Examples of Excelencia recognition,
The announcement event, Celebraciòn de Excelencia, held in Washington D.C. coincided with the release of the 2013 edition of “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education,” a compendium of all 22 recognized programs along with the evidence of their success.  Through this annual process, Excelencia in Education continues to grow America’s largest inventory of programs and strategies that education leaders, policymakers, and others tap into to accelerate degree completion among Latinos.
“As one of this year’s National Finalists, The University of Texas at Brownville is at the forefront of meeting the challenge of improving higher educational achievement for Latino students,” said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education. “No longer should policymakers and institutional leaders ask how to improve college success for Latinos – we have the largest accumulation of proven examples and tested strategies that show them how.  Today’s question is do leaders have the will to put these practices into action.”
To download “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education,” which includes detailed information about all of the programs recognized visit
Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.


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