Seal of Excelencia

2023 graduating student standing with sign that reads "no te rindas!"

What is Excelencia in Education?

Excelencia in Education is a national organization that "accelerates Latino student success, enhancing our workforce, leadership, and economy." 

Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia is building a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leadership. Source:

Original Announcement Press Release

Seal of Excelencia over a picture of the PC campus Hannelly Center at dusk

What is the Seal of Excelencia?

Excelencia in Education established the Seal of Excelencia as a national certification for institutions that “strive to go beyond enrollment to intentionally SERVE Latino students.” Excelencia in Education recognizes colleges and universities for intentionally SERVING Latino students and for demonstrating positive student outcomes.

The seal recognizes Phoenix College's high level of commitment and effort to serve Latino students including specific transfer strategies, featured programs (e.g. Bilingual Nursing Fellowship Program, STEM CUREs Program, the MESA Program, and many more) and implementing the First Year Experience (FYE) course which had a significant impact on retention and pass rates.

Phoenix College Students

students celebrating graduation in front of the large blue P and C letters

Percentage of Latino students represented in the Phoenix College student population - the largest group PC serves.

Two Phoenix College graduates embracing after the Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Why was Phoenix College chosen?

Phoenix College was founded upon the principles of academic excellence, educational access, and equity, and remains dedicated to helping underserved and under-represented students make connections to higher education.

Overall, the college serves a large minority population representing the diversity of Arizona, with 76% of PC students identifying with an ethnicity other than White. Latino students represent 56% of the PC student population, and are the largest racial/ethnic group PC serves.

“There is a real difference between colleges and universities that enroll Latino students and those that intentionally serve them,” said Deborah Santiago, Co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “Those that earn the Seal are trendsetters on a journey of transformation, showing what it takes to progressively increase positive outcomes for Latino, and all students for others ready to meet the mission.”

Phoenix College male student smiles broadly after receiving his diploma

What Does This Mean for You?

Selecting the right college can be a challenging decision, given the multitude of choices available. Armed with the knowledge that Phoenix College fully integrates LatinX culture into its educational experience, from the time you enroll in your first classes to the day you graduate and receive that hard-won diploma, will help you to confidently make that choice.

Aside from academics, a significant aspect of your college journey will likely revolve around social interactions with fellow classmates, friends, and even faculty. To further build this community, Phoenix College's Office of Student Life celebrates a growing number of Latino cultural events on campus such as Dia De los Muertos, Las Posadas, Cesar Chavez Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, LatinX Fishbowl, and Hispanic Convocation.

“When I learned that Phoenix College had earned the Seal of Excelencia, it further confirmed that I made the right choice in where to start my college journey. PC is such a welcoming and inclusive environment and I'm so grateful I get to be a part of it." - Damaris Cano Martinez, Student Body President

Osos del Valle

Osos del Valle Mariachi Ensemble

Mariachi Osos del Valle is Phoenix College’s – and the Maricopa County Community College District’s first mariachi ensemble, performing traditional and contemporary mariachi music as well as other traditional music from Mexico and Latin America.