The University of Houston Academic Achievers Program (AAP), designed to retain and propel more students to graduation, was recognized by the national organization Excelencia in Education as one of the “2014 Examples of Excelencia.” The AAP was one of 15 programs recognized for increasing Latino student success in higher education. The honor was announced at the organization’s annual “Celebracion de Excelencia” ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“The value of a college education cannot be overstated. By modeling this philosophy in the personal attention we give our students, we place that goal within their reach,” said Rebeca Trevino, program manager of the Academic Achievers Program. “We are humbled by this national recognition and eager to continue the conversation of helping students achieve their academic dreams.”
The AAP is sponsored by the UH Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) and the Office of the President. Established in 1994, the AAP recruits underrepresented students who are the first in their families to attend college and whose circumstances put them at risk for dropping out of school. AAP mentors students from middle school through college graduation. Through a rigorous schedule of tutoring, mandatory study halls, academic counseling, workshops and leadership training, AAP students have achieved higher grade point averages and graduated at rates nearly twice that of UH Latino students who do not participate in the program.
Examples of Excelencia is the only national data-driven initiative focused on identifying and recognizing programs and departments with evidenced-based practices that increase Latino student success in higher education, according to its website. Programs are categorized as community based, associate level, baccalaureate level and graduate. The UH honor is in the baccalaureate category.
The UH program will be included in the searchable database “Growing What Works,” which is a resource for institutional leaders, funders, policymakers and others looking for programs that show evidence of effectiveness in accelerating Latino student success.
“The Center for Mexican American Studies has been very fortunate to have committed people who feel they are part of a larger movement to improve the educational circumstances of our community,” said Tatcho Mindiola, UH professor and director of CMAS. “We move forward together.”
For more information on the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Academic Achievers Program, visit: http://www.uh.edu/class/cmas/recruitment/aap-uh/