Miami Dade College Earns Prestigious Seal of Excelencia Certification

MDC is one of only ten institutions in the nation selected to join trendsetting group verified as intentionally serving Latino students

Miami, Oct. 29, 2021 – Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education, announced today that Miami Dade College (MDC) has been certified with its Seal of Excelencia in 2021.

“Receiving the Seal of Excelencia affirms Miami Dade College is truly advancing Hispanic student success and completion by focusing on data, evidenced-based best practices and leadership, which expands career pathways for Latinos in the new global economy,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “We applaud Excelencia in Education’s transformative work in helping colleges and universities across the nation remove the barriers and inequities confronting Latino students.  We are proud to be a leading institution on this front and grateful for our longtime collaboration with Excelencia in Education.”

The national announcement was made this morning by Excelencia in Education during a news conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. James Kvaal, the U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary, delivered remarks. MDC is one of only ten institutions nationwide to earn Seal of Excelencia certification this year.

The 2021 cohort of trendsetting institutions joins a prestigious group of 14 other Seal certified institutions ensuring America’s future through their unwavering commitment to intentionally SERVE Latino students, while serving all.

Deborah Santiago, Co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education, said, “Miami Dade College and the Seal certified institutions articulated and demonstrated they are modeling the behavior we need to see to accelerate Latino student success. They are having measurable impact in changing the face of higher education.”

The proof is in the numbers. Of the thousands of colleges and universities across the country, the 135 presidents and chancellors of the 170 institutions in the organization’s network, Presidents for Latino Students Success, enroll one in four of all Latino students in higher education. More importantly, these institutions account for one in three of all Latino graduates.

Santiago added, “These 24 Seal certified institutions are trendsetters. Combined, they enrolled 10% of all Latino college students and graduated 12% of all Latinos in the U.S. That is powerful and says a lot about their intentionality.”

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. It is part of Excelencia’s tactical and systemic approach to:

  • Closing the education equity gap
  • Meeting a goal of 6.2 million Latino students attaining college degrees by 2030
  • Supporting America’s civic and workforce needs by effectively preparing Latinos, now the nation’s second largest ethnic population

Excelencia began Seal certification in 2019 as one of the organization’s transformational strategies to lead colleges and universities to go beyond simply enrolling Latino students. The Seal provides the means to use data and practice to instill intentionality in serving Latino students.

“We are proud that by creating the Seal of Excelencia, we have catalyzed a transformation in higher education,” said Sarita Brown, Excelencia’s Co-founder and President. “It is gratifying to see that even during a pandemic and national reckoning for social justice, we doubled the number of institutions who were Seal certified this year. That shows a need and real desire to accelerate Latino student success. Excelencia shows how institutions can lead the way through these challenging times.”

The 10 institutions earned Seal certification by demonstrating specific inclusive strategies, implementing programs with evidence of effectiveness, and registering results that showed they are intentionally serving Latino students amongst all of their students. For examples of how the institutions are intentionally SERVING their Latino and other post-traditional students, visit the Excelencia website.

“This is a tremendous honor for our institution, It is an affirmation of our longstanding efforts to accelerate best practices in student success,” added President Madeline Pumariega. “I am proud to say that MDC awards more associate degrees to Hispanic students than other college in the nation, and we remain committed to furthering student achievement among all students, especially now as we continue recovering from the pandemic.”

About Excelencia in Education

Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices while collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia has established a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s needs for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leaders. For more information, visit: