Posted on September 9, 2021 by Wendy Frost

Example of Excelencia

The M.S. in Business program at the UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business was recognized as a finalist in the graduate category for the 2021 Examples of Excelencia program by Excelencia in Education .

Excelencia is the nation’s premier authority in efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Recognized programs were assessed on the strength of innovative, intentional, culturally relevant and effective high-impact practices tailored to Latino students and their communities. This year, Excelencia chose 21 finalists from more than 145 program submissions.

“As a leading educator of Hispanic students, the Alvarez College of Business is proud to be recognized by Excelencia in Education for our efforts,” said Pamela C. Smith , interim dean and Bodenstedt Chair of the Alvarez College of Business. “It recognizes the work that we are doing to provide high-impact programming for our students and aligns with UTSA’s commitment to become a Hispanic-thriving university.”

The M.S. in Business program equips recent college graduates from non-business majors with fundamental business knowledge and focused career coaching to help them take the next step in their career.

Since the program’s inception in 2016, over 300 students—55% of whom were Hispanics—have completed the program. The program has a 93% graduation rate.

M.S. Business program graduates “Diversity is a key goal for the program,” said Daniel Davied , graduate advisor for the program. “Our on-campus recruiting has focused primarily on Hispanic Serving Institutions, and we’ve offered automatic admissions and simplified the admissions process to reduce barriers for first-generation students.”

In addition to academic coursework rich with experiential-based learning, student are required to attend professional development seminars every semester which provide valuable skills for finding internships and full-time employment, negotiation tactics and professional enrichment.

“Our cohort program fosters teamwork and networking among the students,” said Davied. “Students are assigned to a team each semester. Students frequently comment at graduation that they succeeded in their classes as a result of those teams.”

“I came into the M.S. Business program not knowing anything about management and business. After graduating, I realized how much I not only learned, but also how much I grew as a person and as a professional. The best part about my year in the program was the opportunity to interact and learn from a diverse group of students who came from a variety of different backgrounds,” said Daniel Smith-Salgado , MSB ’18.

The finalists will be featured online as well as in Excelencia’s Growing What Works Database —a national online, searchable database for institutional leaders, funders and policymakers interested in identifying what works for Latino students. Four winners will be selected in October and recognized at a national event.

“Examples of Excelencia identifies evidence-based programs that show, with intentionality and impact, what it means to truly serve Latino students and not just enroll them,” said Deborah Santiago , co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education.

UTSA has a strong partnership with Excelencia . President Taylor Eighmy is a member of Excelencia ’s Presidents for Latino Student Success, a network of leaders who are working to make their institutions learning environments where Latino students—and all their students—thrive.

Last year UTSA earned the prestigious Seal of Excelencia , a comprehensive certification recognizing the university’s commitment and ability to accelerate Latino student success.

— Wendy Frost