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Excelencia in Education Recognizes Three CSUF Programs for Championing Latinx Success

Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis, Project MISS, Center for Educational Partnerships Named in 2024 Publication
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Since becoming one of 10 institutions across the U.S. to earn the Seal of Excelencia in 2021, Cal State Fullerton has upheld its commitment to championing programs that excel Latinx student success. 

Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit organization that promotes Latinx student achievement in higher education, recognized three CSUF programs in its 2024 publication, “Advancing What Works to Intentionally Serve Latino Students: Opportunities for Action.” 

The publication spotlights programs across the nation that are at the forefront of improving higher educational achievement for Latinx students. CSUF is one of five California State Universities named in the publication for its innovation in bilingual programming, Latina/Latino gender-based programming and college preparation programming. 

Excelencia in Education’s press release said that the publication “brings national attention to noteworthy efforts increasing Latino student success in higher education to inspire and support educators, community leaders, funders and policymakers to replicate and bring to scale evidence-based practices.” 

The three CSUF programs recognized are: 

Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis 

Launched in 2018, the Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis provides counseling graduate students with high-quality bilingual and bicultural clinical training that prepares them to work with Latinx and Spanish-speaking clients. 

The program is built into the master’s counseling program, and the course curriculum, offered in English and Spanish, teaches aspiring mental health professionals how to effectively approach a variety of clinical issues, including those related to the Latinx community, such as intergenerational family conflict, ethnic identity, immigration and intersectionality. 

Ánimo’s course curriculum also provides students with training that meets the requirements needed to pursue licensure as a professional clinical counselor or marriage and family therapist in California.

In 2023, Excelencia in Education recognized the Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis as one of 19 Examples of Excelencia Finalists in the nation.   

Mathematics Intensive Summer Session

CSUF’s Mathematics Intensive Summer Session, also known as Project MISS, was created in 1990 to address a nationwide shortage of female students, primarily Latinas, going into STEM fields. Project MISS is a summer program that provides middle and high school students with opportunities to attend math courses and develop their skills to prepare for high school and college. 

Working with mathematics instructors and collaborating with their peers, students build community, and improve their algebra II and precalculus skills by participating in fun and engaging problem-solving activities. 

The program aims to create opportunities for women in STEM and increase the amount of women in the STEM workforce. Since 1990, more than 2,000 students have completed the program. 

In 2021, Excelencia in Education named Project MISS as one of 21 Examples of Excelencia Finalists in the nation.   

Center for Educational Partnerships

The Center for Educational Partnerships was recognized for its commitment to practices that expose and equip students to a wide range of college and career pathways. By collaborating with educational and community-based organizations, the center cultivates policies and practices designed to bolster students’ advancement and achievements in higher education. Its services encompass academic enrichment, guidance, family involvement, educational support services, and post-secondary exposure and planning.

Each year, the center supports approximately 5,000 students, including those in 6th through 12th grade and CSUF undergraduates. 

One of its programs, GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), introduces junior high and high school students from underserved communities to higher education. Additionally, the Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs aim to expand the educational pipeline for students from first-generation, low-income and underrepresented backgrounds.

For CSUF students, the center offers the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which prepares them for success in doctoral studies by providing them with research experience, graduate school tours, academic advising and professional development opportunities. 

For more information about these programs, visit Excelencia in Education’s website

Taylor Arrey