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Promesa Scholars Program Among 16 Programs Recognized for Accelerating Latino Student Success

Promesa Scholars Program cohort
PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured, above, is the 2018-19 cohort of the Promesa Scholars Program. The cohort members are here with Ferris State University President David Eisler (back row, right) and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Blake (left).

Excelencia in Education has recognized a Ferris State University program among its top 16 that use evidence-based practices to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. The Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center’ Promesa Scholars Program was honored, in the Baccalaureate Category, in the official Thursday, Aug. 8 announcement.

“The Promesa Scholars Program has continued to evolve over the last five years to better serve our Ferris students,” said Kaylee Burke, executive director of Ferris’ Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center. “We’re so excited to be recognized for the hard work of Ferris State University and the students in the program.”

Ferris’ Promesa Scholars Program, the lone Excelencia in Education finalist from the upper Midwest, supports the academic advancement and retention of incoming Latinx and Hispanic/Latino Cultural CenterPromesa Summer Success students. The program was redeveloped in 2017 and scaled to provide access to resources and opportunities to empower more students to finish college as career-ready graduates.

“The program has been successful in listening to student stories to identify the gaps where Latino students are struggling and succeeding,” Burke said. “We’ve also analyzed institutional data to help evolve our program to meet student needs while building on the cultural identity and strengths of our students and community.”

Programs were recognized in four categories: associate, baccalaureate, graduate and community-based organizations. In 2019, Excelencia received 166 program nominations from 32 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. An external selection committee, composed of leaders in higher education and the community, is tasked with selecting one program from each category as Examples of Excelencia.

The four 2019 Examples of Excelencia will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 24 at Celebración de Excelencia at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C.

To learn more about the finalists, visit the Excelencia in Education website

Burke plans to attend the institute, Oct. 24-25. She noted that the Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center will host a campus celebration, Bulldog Familia Asada, during the Family and Ferris’ Friends Weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the IRC Connector. Burke added that the celebration will take place regardless of the decision.

The complete list of finalists is as follows:

Associate Category

Program name



Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP)

University of California, Los Angeles


Guided Pathways Advising Through Coaching

Austin Community College District


Ichabod Success Institute

Washburn University


Promises & Pathways: Scaling Developmental Education Reform

Cuyamaca College


Baccalaureate Category

Program name



Attract, Inspire, Mentor, and Support Students - The AIMS2 Program

California State University, Northridge


College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

Washington State University


Pathways to Academic Success & Opportunities (PASO)

California State University, San Marcos


Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success)

University of Texas at Austin


Promesa Scholars Program

Ferris State University


Graduate Category

Program name




California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


¡Exito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training

Institute for Health Promotion Research, University of Texas Health San Antonio


Latinx Leadership Initiative

Boston College School of Social Work


Community-Based Organization Category (CBO)

Program name



Believe and Achieve

Trinity River Mission


Crosby Scholars Program

Crosby Scholars Community Partnership


YMCA Latino Achievers

YMCA of Middle Tennessee


Latino U College Access Scholars Program

Latino U College Access