Austin Community College District (ACC) Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes is one of 25 leaders nationwide selected to bring new analysis on Latino college completion and enrollment trends across the United States to the public. It’s part of Excelencia in Education’s national leadership effort for Latino College Completion: U.S. and Ensuring America’s Future. 

“Higher education is the true equalizer, transcending boundaries and transforming lives. It provides the key to unlocking a world of opportunities and potential for every individual, regardless of their background,” says ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. “I am honored to be part of this analysis. ACC remains committed to empowering Latino students and all our student’s success. Increasing completion rates in higher education isn’t just about leveling the playing field; it’s about enriching the fabric of our society and unlocking the full potential of a vibrant future.”

Latino College Completion: United States 2023 is the most exhaustive and current analysis of Latino enrollment and graduation rates, along with successful programs catering to Latinos at the institutional, national, and state levels. The findings underscore the widening contrast in degree completion between Latinos and White non-Hispanics. The report highlights the urgent need to bridge the gap and expedite college completion among Latinos to attain an additional 6.2 million degrees by 2030.

According to the analysis, ACC holds the 18th position for awarding associate degrees and ranks 41st in overall enrollment among all colleges and universities in the United States. In Texas, ACC stands at the 9th position for awarding associate degrees to Latinos and 16th in terms of Latino enrollment.

“Excelencia is proud to bring this analysis to the public with support from 25 college, university, and system leaders committed to serve Latino students while serving all. Especially in this moment of change in higher education and in our society, we remain focused on Latino College Completion and recognize its importance to ensuring America’s future,” says Sarita Brown, Co-founder and President of Excelencia.

“Since our inception 19 years ago, Excelencia has tracked and shared analysis about Latino students in higher education to inform, catalyze and support institutional change as the Latino student population continues to grow,” says Deborah Santiago, Co-founder and CEO. “Trendsetting college and university leaders recognize the opportunity to increase Latino participation at their institutions and focus on these students completing degree programs, entering the workforce and civic leadership roles.”

Presidents for Latino Student Success Network

Excelencia’s national Presidents for Latino Student Success network consists of 25 dedicated institutional leaders committed to cultivating thriving learning environments for Latino students. This partnership enables Dr. Rhodes and other public leaders to collaborate closely with Excelencia, pooling their collective expertise and resources. By fostering strong working relationships, they aim to enhance and amplify current efforts, making a significant impact at the national level to advance Latino student success.

Excelencia’s network of colleges and universities is reshaping higher education. Despite comprising only 4% of America’s higher education institutions, the Presidents for Latino Student Success network, including ACC, made significant strides in 2022. They accounted for 31% of Latino student enrollment and 33% of Latino student graduates nationwide.

Within this network, 30 institutions, including ACC, have been recognized with the prestigious Seal of Excelencia. This distinction acknowledges their commitment to intentionally serving Latino students and their dedication to fostering an inclusive environment for all students, demonstrated through data-driven practices and exemplary leadership.