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UTPA ranks nationally among top 100 colleges for Hispanics
By Melissa Vasquez, Senior Editor
381-3639
Posted: 06/05/2006
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The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education has once again named The University of Texas-Pan American as one of the nation’s “Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics” in its annual review.

The Top 100 report, published May 8, ranked UTPA second in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics and moved the University to fifth from last year’s eighth ranking in master’s degrees awarded to Hispanics.

“Being ranked in this manner by Hispanic Outlook magazine puts UTPA in the national limelight, not only for students of Hispanic/Latino origin who might want to seek a post-secondary education at an institution that is demonstrating success for Hispanics/Latinos, but also for institutions that might want to learn about what we are doing to be successful with Hispanic/Latino students. Many institutions across the country are struggling with this issue, as the number of Hispanic/Latino students who are seeking entry into post-secondary education increases,” Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, UTPA interim provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, said.

According to the report, which was based on 2004-05 data by the National Center for Education Statistics produced by the U.S. Department of Education, UTPA awarded 1,666 bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics out of 1,937 total degrees. Of those degrees awarded at UTPA, 1,110 were to Hispanic females and 556 to Hispanic males.

Florida International University, which has ranked first for the last 12 years, awarded 2,677 out of 4,861 total bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics. The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) ranked third with 1,514 bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics out of 3,258 total.

UTPA also awarded 451 out of 572 master’s degrees to Hispanics with 335 going to Hispanic females and 116 to Hispanic males.

In addition, UTPA ranked second in the category of “Top 100 Four-Year Colleges by Hispanic Enrollment with Carnegie-Classifications.” With a Carnegie-Classification of Masters I, UTPA’s total enrollment of 17,030 is made up of 87 percent (14,813) full-time Hispanic students.

Ranking first was Florida International University with a Hispanic enrollment of 19,103 out of 34,865 total. Third, fourth and fifth rankings were given to three schools in The University of Texas System – The University of Texas at El Paso, UTSA and The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, respectively.

Of the 28 different academic program areas examined in the rankings, UTPA placed in the top 10 of 11 categories. In degrees awarded to Hispanics by academic programs, UTPA ranked first in English literature and multi-interdisciplinary studies.

UTPA ranked second in biological and biomedical sciences, foreign language, social services, and third in business and marketing. Other rankings in academic programs included sixth in visual and performing arts, ninth in communications and in engineering/engineering tech, and 10th in protective services.

Rodriguez said these types of national rankings may attract more students and faculty to UTPA, which is expected to have a student population of more than 26,000 by 2015.

“Being ranked at the top by Hispanic Outlook magazine also means that students can get a quality education at UTPA in a number of disciplines. Non-Hispanic/Latino students would find this attractive as well. In terms of faculty, these rankings can attract faculty who are interested in working with Hispanic/Latino populations and issues. This region of the country is virtually unexplored in terms of research potential,” she said.

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