BY CHRISTYANNE SAN JUAN
PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGE OF THE DESERT
College of the Desert has been named one of twenty-one finalists from over 130 nominees in the Examples of Excelencia initiative awarded by Excelencia in Education. The Examples of Excelencia initiative identifies and promotes evidence-based practices that help accelerate Latino student success in higher education.
COD was nominated due to the success of its award-winning Engage, Develop, Grow, Empower (EDGE) program. EDGE is a 3-week program that offers a fast-paced review of basic skills in math or english to help students advance through required basic skill courses. In addition, students that participate in the EDGE program receive multiple benefits including: priority registration, assistance with financial aid applications and financial literacy exposure.
The positive impact that the EDGE program has has been felt by many, including second-year COD student Luisangel Serrato. “If EDGE had never been announced, I would not have gone to college because it wasn’t in my sights during high school. Now, I am planning to finish my degree within two years and I have been on the Dean’s List every semester since beginning here.”
Examples of Excelencia is the only national effort to recognize the work of institutions that help foster the success of Latino students pursuing higher education. Throughout a year-long process, members of Excelencia in Education discover, review, and support programs at colleges, universities and community-based organizations. Excelencia has received over 1,600 program nominations located in 33 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and recognized over 280 programs since 2005.
Excelencia recognizes four examples of excellence, with one winner each from four categories: associate, baccalaureate, graduate and community-based organizations. The Examples of Excelencia will be announced Oct. 11 at its annual Celebración de Excelencia in Washington, D.C.