ACC’s Catch the Next Program Named Finalist for Excelencia Award

Austin Community College’s Catch the Next (CTN) Ascender Program is a national finalist for the Excelencia Award for the second consecutive year. The award recognizes programs that use evidence-based practices to improve educational achievement for Latino students in higher education.

“We are honored to be recognized among the top organizations in our nation that are building opportunities for hope,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “ACC collaborates closely with our partners to identify gaps and find solutions that better support our students. The Ascender Program is a promising model. We’re empowering students to follow their dreams and giving personalized guidance that will help carry them forward.”

Students participating in the program belong to a cohort and receive:   

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Accelerated instruction in English and Math
  • Academic counseling
  • Writing assistance
  • Classes and college activities that have a multicultural emphasis

Participants first earn an associate degree and then transfer to a four-year university. Currently, the program is available at ACC’s Riverside, Highland, and South Austin campuses. ACC Hays and Round Rock campuses will begin offering the program this fall.

Students of all degrees and majors are eligible to participate.

For more information about the program, visit

Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based national organization that accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting education policies and institutional practices that support academic achievement.  Founded in 2004, Excelencia in Education builds educational networks of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and civic leadership.

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