TWU biliteracy certificate named top five graduate program

A cohort of graduate students who earned their Certificate of Biliteracy

Sept. 6, 2023 — DENTON — Excelencia in Education, an organization focused on advancing Latino student success in higher education, has named TWU’s Certificate of Biliteracy a national top five graduate program advancing Latino student success in higher education.

Excelencia recognized 19 programs across the country, including just five graduate programs, as Examples of Excelencia finalists for intentionally serving Latino students in higher education with culturally relevant, evidence-based practices.

“Being recognized by Excelencia in Education shows that all of the hard work to start, build and maintain a program is worth it,” said Professor Mandy Stewart, PhD. “I think this recognition validates not only our program, but the idea that our Latina/o graduate students have a wealth of linguistic abilities, cultural knowledge and lived experiences that can and will make our world better.”

The Certificate of Biliteracy is a post-baccalaureate certification for educators invested in the success of bilingual students’ academic achievement. Graduate students complete four graduate courses focused on bilingualism and literacy to learn basic biliteracy principles with the goal of being able to better serve bilingual students and move into leadership positions in schools and school districts.

More information on Certificate of Biliteracy

Profile photo of Mandy Stewart, PhD

Stewart started the Certificate of Biliteracy in 2018 with 12 students — all Denton ISD educators. In 2022, 24 graduate students from multiple school districts received the post-baccalaureate certification with some going on to receive their doctorates and becoming university professors. Some have created community and classroom initiatives to better serve the Spanish-speaking community.

“Our students are making a great impact locally, nationally and internationally,” Stewart said. “I’m so proud to see our Latina/o Certificate of Biliteracy recipients go on to become school district leaders, published authors and professors.”

Excelencia in Education, launched in 2004, accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices. Excelencia has established a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s needs for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leaders.

“Being a finalist for Excelencia in Education allows us to become part of a network that shares these same values,” Stewart said. “Together, we can work toward asset-based university programs that facilitate student success and support them to surpass their goals and do more than they ever thought they could.”

On Sept. 28, Excelencia will announce the top Examples of Excelencia at the organization’s annual Celebración de Excelencia in Washington, D.C. — an event with an audience of higher education leaders, policymakers and professionals setting the national agenda for Latino student success in higher education.

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Page last updated 1:50 PM, September 6, 2023