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Grand Valley State University Receives Seal of Excelencia Award


June 20, 2019 

Grand Valley State University Receives Seal of Excelencia Award 

Recipients awarded for focus on advancing Latino student success 

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Today, Excelencia in Education, an organization focused on accelerating Latino student success, announced Grand Valley State University as one of nine recipients of the Seal of Excelencia for the school’s leadership in intentionally serving Latino students and ensuring their success.  


“The work that Grand Valley is doing should serve as a model for colleges and universities across the state,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I want to congratulate President Haas on his upcoming retirement and thank him for his transformative leadership at GVSU over the last 13 years. I look forward to partnering with incoming President Philomena Mantella to continue GVSU’s legacy of helping our students access higher education, complete degrees, and prosper here in Michigan.  


“Michigan is a great state because of the diverse people who call it home, and we have a responsibility to expand opportunities for everyone here and make sure that every student, no matter their community, can get on a path to postsecondary success. I’m excited to partner with our state universities and community colleges to make sure we continue working to better serve students of color here in Michigan.” 


Since the 2015-2016 academic year, Latino student enrollment at Grand Valley State University has increased 16.2 percent, and Latino graduation rates have increased over 16 percent. Additionally since 2015, the number of Latino faculty at the university has increased over 20 percent and staff has increased over 50 percent. 


Grand Valley State University has been selected as a recipient of the Seal of Excelencia for positive momentum in outcomes for Latino students, evidence of effectiveness and intentionality in institutional practices serving Latino students, alignment of data and practice in serving Latino students, and strategies in leadership that clearly articulate institutional focus on advancing Latino student success.   


Governor Whitmer is committed to ensuring every Michigander has a path to a high wage skill. In April, she came together with legislators from both sides of the aisle and business, labor, and education leaders to announce the MI Opportunity Scholarship, which will ensure universal access to a community college education and bring down the cost of a four-year degree for low- and middle- income students, and the Michigan Reconnect program, which will provide free skills training programs for adults and students at community colleges to fill the more than 100,000 jobs currently in demand from Michigan businesses.