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UIC recertified as ‘Seal of Excelencia’ institution

UIC graduates

The University of Illinois Chicago’s commitment to supporting Latinx student success has again earned national recognition.

Excelencia in Education recertified UIC’s “Seal of Excelencia,” an independent national recognition of the institution’s efforts to support Latinx students while serving all and providing tools to help them earn degrees. The university first earned the distinction from the nonprofit organization in 2020.

“UIC is proud to earn continued recognition from Excelencia in Education,” UIC Chancellor Marie Lynn Miranda said. “The recertification reflects our deep commitment to our role as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Our efforts, from financial aid and academic advising to engaged cultural learning and student involvement opportunities, provide the resources that lead to higher education access and success.”

UIC is one of five institutions to gain recertification during Excelencia in Education’s Sept. 29 event in Washington, D.C., where nine institutions earned the Seal of Excelencia for the first time. Overall, there are 39 seal-certified institutions.

UIC offers numerous campus programs and services to promote recruitment, retention and degree completion for Latinx students, who make up 36% of the total undergraduate population. UIC graduated 125% more Latinx students in 2022 compared with 2012.

UIC’s Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for Advancement in Science initiative was created with a Hispanic-Serving Institution STEM grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program is focused on the success of Latinx students interested in STEM fields and professions.

Bridge to Faculty is a program designed to attract underrepresented postdoctoral scholars with the goal of a direct transition to a tenure-track junior faculty position after two years. The initiative aims to diversify UIC faculty with promising scholars who are historically underrepresented in their fields of study, with particular emphasis on reflecting student enrollment patterns and positively affecting student engagement and success. UIC has 49 scholars in the program and 51% are Latinx.

Other campus units and programs that helped UIC earn “Seal of Excelencia” recertification include, but are not limited to, the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural CenterOffice of Diversity, Equity and EngagementOffice of Student AffairsHispanic Center of Excellence and the Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services program.

For seven consecutive years, UIC has been recognized for its diversity efforts with INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.