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UVU Initiative Nationally Recognized For Improving Latino Student Success

4 October 2013 No Comment

October 4, 2013

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Whitney Wilkinson

Written by: Janessa McNeill

Utah Valley University’s Latino Initiative is one of 18 finalists of the 2013 Examples of Excelencia recognized at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C., selected from the 165 nominations from 24 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This program recognizes and honors academic practices that show an increase in opportunities and achievement for Latino students.

“We are honored to be one of the 18 finalists for the Examples of Excelencia recognition,” said Yudi Lewis, director of the UVU Latino Initiative Program. “We aim to increase opportunities for Latino students by providing tools and information to network and engage with the community.”

The Latino Initiative program at UVU began in 2007 under the direction of Kyle Reyes. In the last five years, student enrollment in the program has increased from 980 students to 3,000 students. Nearly 25 departments across campus have collaborated to create more than 20 new programs, events and services focused on improving academic, leadership and career opportunities for UVU Latino students in culturally validating ways. The program continues to make progress helping Latino students find success in their education, families, careers and communities.

Examples of Excelencia launched in 2005 as a way to recognize and honor academic programs and departments, such as the Latino Initiative at UVU, that strive to improve Latino students’ success at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate academic levels. It is the only 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. Each program recognized must demonstrate their success with Latino students. More than 500 programs have been nominated and more than 100 recognized as the best programs in the country at improving Latino student success.

Lewis and her assistant, Glenny Riley, traveled to Washington, D.C., to be honored on behalf of UVU on Oct. 1, 2013.

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