UTA partnership a finalist for national Excelencia award

University Crossroads file photo, 2019.
University Crossroads file photo, 2019.

Excelencia in Education has named The University of Texas at Arlington’s University Crossroads outreach and community engagement program one of five national finalists in the community-based organization category for the 2020 Examples of Excelencia.

Honored for strategies that advance equity for Latino students, UTA University Crossroads is one of 20 overall finalists from 112 submissions in four categories. Entrants represented 24 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

All finalists will be featured in Excelencia in Education’s Growing What Works Database, the only national online, searchable database for institutional leaders, funders and policymakers interested in identifying best practices for Latino students.

“Excelencia in Education is the gold standard for excellence among Hispanic-Serving Institutions throughout the country,” said Michele Bobadilla, UTA’s senior associate vice president for outreach and community engagement and assistant provost for Hispanic student success. “To be recognized by this premier educational organization underscores that our efforts are on track to make great things happen.”

University Crossroads provides access to and success in higher education through a variety of academic opportunities and enrichment experiences. The award-winning program plays an integral role in UTA’s Enrollment Management Division, led by Vice President Troy Johnson.

Based in Dallas, University Crossroads collaborates with more than 100 partners, including independent school districts, charter schools, higher education institutions, chambers of commerce, faith-based organizations, professional associations, corporations and media outlets.

Its awareness, readiness and access offerings are free and available to all students. About 75% of those served are Latino, said Bobadilla, who founded University Crossroads in 1988 and continues to direct the enterprise.

Last year, University Crossroads served more than 41,000 North Texas students in grades 6-12. The program also helped more than 3,000 students gain acceptance to a postsecondary education program.

UTA is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and ranks among the top 20 universities nationally for the number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students, according to the 2020 edition of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

“UTA and University Crossroads are paving the path to higher education throughout the K-16 pipeline,” Bobadilla said. “Making the dream of earning a college degree a reality changes the trajectory of a family for generations.”

Founded in 2004, Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education to address the need for a highly educated workforce and for civic leadership. The Examples of Excelencia program was created in 2005 and is the only national effort that recognizes and promotes evidence-based practices for Latino college students.

-Written by Mark Permenter

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