UTEP's Ph.D. in International Business Named Among Nation's Best

October 1, 2013

Elected officials and higher education leaders from across the country joined Excelencia in Education at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 1, to honor The University of Texas at El Paso’s doctorate in International Business program as one of America’s best at increasing academic opportunities and achievement for Latino students.

UTEP’s program was selected from among 165 competitors from 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as one of 22 national finalists for the 2013 Examples of Excelencia recognition.  Conceived and run by Excelencia in Education, this is the only national initiative to systematically identify, recognize, and catalogue evidence-based programs that improve Latino college success.

This is the third year in a row that Excelencia has honored a program in UTEP’s College of Business Administration. Its M.B.A. program was named among the nation’s best in 2011 and earned the top spot in 2012.

Approximately 20 percent of the 49 students enrolled in the doctoral program in international business are Hispanic. The program was started in 2004 and graduated its first student four years later. It has grown in popularity to the point where there is a waiting list to be accepted. Part of the reason is because Ph.D. graduates are being offered jobs at universities around the world.

“This recognition signals to our community in general and our Hispanic population in particular our commitment to improving the professional careers of our Hispanic students,” said Fernanda Wagstaff, associate professor of management with the Robert E. and Jacqueline Skov Professorship in Business Ethics, and director of the college’s Ph.D. program.

The Oct. 1 event, Celebraciòn de Excelencia, coincided with the release of the 2013 edition of “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education,” a collection of all 22 recognized programs along with evidence of their success.  Through this annual process, Excelencia in Education continues to grow America’s largest inventory of programs and strategies that education leaders, policymakers, and others tap into to accelerate degree completion among Latinos.

“As America’s fastest growing minority, Latinos are a true asset for our country, and their educational success will be critical for the future economic success of all Americans,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (Ariz.), chairman of the Education and Labor Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and member of the House Committee on Education and The Workforce.  “By identifying and sharing these examples of how we can improve college success for Latinos, Excelencia in Education is helping ensure the future not only for the Latino community, but for the whole country.”

Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization tasked with accelerating Latino student success in higher education. It has systematically reviewed more than 500 programs to identify and recognize more than 100 programs and departments that demonstrate with evidence that they effectively boost Latino enrollment, performance and graduation. This is the group’s eighth annual release of Examples of Excelencia

“As one of this year’s national finalists, The University of Texas at El Paso is at the forefront of meeting the challenge of improving higher educational achievement for Latino students,” said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education.  “No longer should policymakers and institutional leaders ask how to improve college success for Latinos – we have the largest accumulation of proven examples and tested strategies that show them how.  Today’s question is do leaders have the will to put these practices into action.”

To download “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education,” which includes detailed information about the programs recognized today, visit www.EdExcelencia.org.

“This compendium is a central component of the Examples of Excelencia initiative,” said Deborah Santiago, vice president of Excelencia in Education and the publication’s author. “By sharing what works, we hope to prompt educators and policymakers to challenge the current status of Latino achievement in higher education and inspire these decision makers to work to increase Latino student success.”

Examples of Excelencia is the onlynational initiative to systematically identify and promote evidence-based programs and departments that effectively boost Latino enrollment, performance and graduation.  The 2013 sponsors are ACT, Southwest Airlines, TG, USA Funds, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, EduK, Univision Communications, College Board, Inceptia and New Futuro.


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