U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha J. Kanter and Jon Whitmore, CEO of ACT, joined Excelencia in Education at the U.S. Capitol today to honor Wayne State University's Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies (CBS) program as one of America's top programs for increasing bachelor's degree completion among Latinos. CBS was selected from among 195 competitors as one of 16 national finalists for the 2011 Examples of Excelencia recognition, presented during the Celebraciòn de Excelencia.
Examples of Excelencia is a national initiative to systematically identify and honor institution-based programs and departments that demonstrate with evidence that they effectively boost Latino enrollment, performance and graduation rates. It is supported by USA Funds, ACT, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, EduK, Univision Communications, Educational Testing Service, College Board and the California State University System.
WSU Professor Jorge Chinea, director of CBS, said the center's goal is to create a community of learning and a spirit of collaboration that offers students the necessary support and tools for achievement. "Research indicates that personal investment and a sense of being connected enhances college retention rates," Chinea said. "At CBS, our students, counselors and faculty develop a partnership that is focused on the student attaining academic success."
CBS provides centralized delivery of services that are normally distributed throughout many university offices. These include recruitment, orientation, courses in Latina/o topics, academic and financial aid advising, academic advising and mentoring, an academic self-empowerment seminar, guest speakers, on-site access to faculty, tracking through graduation and occasional job placement. The center awards more than $150,000 in scholarships annually and is networked with other student services throughout Wayne State.
In a competition generally dominated by universities in California and Texas, CBS is the first program in Michigan to be recognized by Excelencia in Education, and only the second program from the Midwest to be honored in the Baccalaureate division.
All of the programs recognized during the Celebraciòn de Excelencia 2011 event are listed in the latest edition of "What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education," which Excelencia in Education released today. The publication is available for download at http://www.edexcelencia.org/.
About Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies
With nearly 40 years of commitment to excellence in education, the Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies (CBS) is one of the oldest Latino Studies programs in the Midwest. Our mission is to transform the university, and ultimately society, by providing equitable access to a quality university education to students interested in U.S. Latino and Latin American cultural studies while enhancing diversity on campus.
About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.