UCLA’s Center for Community College Partnerships, a unit of the Academic Advancement Program, has been announced as one of four national 2019 Examples of Excelencia for its efforts to increase transfer rates and success of Latino community college students.

The Examples of Excelencia are awarded each year by Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit that aims to accelerate Latino success in higher education by promoting Latinx student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices. The annual Celebración de Excelencia honors four programs (out of more than 150 nominations) that exemplify the mission to serve Latino students in higher education and promote their success in college and beyond.

“Our students are incredible and can achieve and perform at the same levels as any other student, so we work hard to motivate and empower them to do their best,” said Alfred Herrera, assistant vice provost for academic partnerships and director of Center for Community College Partnerships. “Transfer students are some of the best examples of what is possible given the opportunity. We take pride in our work and understand that we can make a difference in increasing the success of Latino students.”

The Center for Community College Partnerships was honored at the 2019 Celebración de Excelencia on Oct. 24 in Washington, D.C., alongside programs from Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona, and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.

Herrera said the recognition from Excelencia in Education validates the work the center does in the community.

People in the center work to increase the transfer rates and success of Latino students and other underserved community college populations by equipping students with skills and knowledge of available transfer pathways. The admission rates for program scholars transferring to UCLA are twice as high compared to students who don’t participate in the center’s programs and approximately 95% of program scholars are admitted to a bachelor’s granting institution.

Its signature program is the CCCP Scholars Program, a one- or two-year commitment which prepares students to transfer from a California community college to a selective, top-tier research institution such as UCLA. Participants attend a summer program and three Saturday Academies at UCLA, meet with a peer mentor and report their academic and transfer progress each semester.

CCCP also develops and strengthens academic partnerships between UCLA and California community colleges, particularly those with large historically underrepresented student populations. CCCP works with community college administrators, faculty, and staff to create strong academic support programs, improve students’ academic preparation and competitiveness for admission to the university, and increase the diversity of UCLA’s transfer admit pool.

Llanet Martín, associate dean of student equality at Los Angeles Valley College, was a CCCP Scholar before she graduated from UCLA in 2004. Today, she counts the experience as one that altered the course of her and her family’s lives.

“That experience and everyone involved with that CCCP summer program not only changed my life, but that of my whole family and my entire community,” Martín said. “It helped me believe that a woman of color from a very, very modest home with immigrant parents, who really couldn’t help me navigate the system, could have a shot here.”