Odessa College named as National Finalist by Excelencia in Education for improving Latino students’ success in higher education

ODESSA (Aug. 9, 2016) – In its official national news release today, Excelencia in Education announced that Odessa College is one of the 2016 National Finalists for Examples of Excelencia, an initiative honoring America’s top programs that increase academic opportunities and achievement for Latino students.

Examples of Excelencia is the only national initiative to systematically identify and promote evidence-based programs effectively boosting Latino enrollment, performance and graduation. 

Odessa College is the only Texas-based community college to be selected for the “Associate Level Finalists” category. The finalists were nominated in four categories: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, graduate degree and community-based organization. A total of 20 finalists were chosen from among 190 programs from 33 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

In an interview this afternoon, Odessa College Dean of Teaching and Learning Dr. Diane Carrasco said that she nominated the college for its Design for Completion program. 

“Design for Completion provides wrap around support to insure the success of our students. Based on our data, we know that the gaps between Latino and non-Latino students is disappearing. We also know that our Design for Completion program is helping our Latino students prepare for the workforce or transfer to a four-year college.” 

Carrasco added, “Being recognized as a finalist for this award is a bonus. Where we are really winning is that our students are achieving their educational goals.”

Upon hearing the news, Odessa College President Gregory D. Williams said, “I would like to thank Dr. Carrasco for once again shining the light on the great work being done at Odessa College. I continue to be proud of the Odessa College team as we continue to work together to provide our students with the best support and services in the nation. Our students are doing very well and this achievement should be seen as another example of the exemplary work being done at Odessa College. So once again, I am thankful to work for one of the finest community colleges in America.”

Representatives from Odessa College will attend the Celebración de Excelencia on September 21 in Washington, DC where the announcement of the winner in each of the four categories will be made.