The University of Texas-Pan American has moved to second in the nation in awarding bachelor's degrees to Hispanics, according to the annual rankings compiled by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine.
The rankings are based on information compiled by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for 2011.
In 2011, UTPA awarded 2,683 bachelor's degrees and 767 master's degrees. Of those, 2,453 bachelor's degree recipients (91 percent) and 579 master's degree recipients (78 percent) were Hispanic.
The rankings also show of the top 10 schools awarding bachelor's degrees, UTPA has the largest percentage, at 91 percent, of Hispanics earning that degree followed by the University of Texas-Brownsville at 89 percent.
UT Pan American Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Havidán Rodríguez said University officials are pleased that UTPA continues to play a key leadership role at the national level regarding the number of degrees awarded to Latino and Latina students, who have a significant socio-economic impact not only in the Rio Grande Valley but countrywide as well.
"Hispanics, who constitute the largest minority group in the United States, will continue to play a vital role in the nation's economy, political system, and culture. Therefore, it is imperative that, as one of the leading institutions of higher education in terms of the graduation of Hispanics, we continue to promote and ensure student access and success, while maintaining the highest standards of academic excellence," he said.
The annual list also included rankings of the top 10 schools to award bachelor's degrees in various academic programs. UT Pan American remained number one in biological and biomedical sciences (179 degrees), English language and literature (146 degrees), foreign languages, literatures and linguistics (79 degrees), health professions and related programs (325), and multi/interdisciplinary studies (285 degrees).
UTPA moved up in the top 10 rankings in a number of programs - from third to first in mathematics and statistics (37 degrees), sixth to third in parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies (87 degrees), fourth to third in business management/marketing (402 degrees), and sixth to third in public administration and social service (81 degrees). UTPA's ranking in Homeland Security and related protective services (168 degrees) remained at third.
In psychology (162 degrees), UTPA tied at fifth with University of Texas at San Antonio with 162 degrees awarded and in engineering/engineering tech UTPA ranked 10th with 82 degrees awarded.
Overall, the schools on The Hispanic Outlook's top 100 lists of institutions awarding the most degrees to Hispanics saw an increase in those numbers for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees awarded. Also, according to a summary of the rankings in the March 2012 issue, more Hispanic females than Hispanic males obtained master's degrees in 2011, with Hispanic females outnumbering Hispanic males in achieving master's degrees in more than 90 percent of the schools on the top 100 list.
Read more about the rankings here.