Except for occasional bumps up and down, Hispanics have made steady though slow advancements over the past five years at the nation's top postgraduate schools specializing in business, engineering, law and medicine.
Overall, Hispanics pursuing their postgraduate degrees averaged 13.5 percent over five years, increasing from 10.9 percent in 2007 to 15.8 percent this year. Those receiving degrees averaged 10.8 percent in the same time period, from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 13.8 percent today. The percentage of faculty members at these schools who are Hispanic also increased from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 8.9 percent today, an average of 8.1 percent per year.
Each year, HispanicBusiness magazine measures the effectiveness of the nation's universities in attracting Hispanic students. HispanTelligence, the research arm of Hispanic Business Inc., assesses the nation's top universities for Hispanics in the fields of business, engineering, law
The 40 universities -- 10 in each degree area -- were ranked in terms of Hispanic diversity on the following criteria:
-- Hispanic student enrollment.
-- Hispanic faculty members.
-- Degrees conferred to Hispanics.
-- Progressive programs aimed at increasing enrollment of Hispanic students.
Despite the progress, Hispanics still lag behind the general population in degrees conferred.
A July report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) noted that 63 percent of jobs will require a postsecondary degree by 2018.
The author of the report, Michelle Camacho Liu, who tracks postsecondary issues for the NCSL, wrote: "For the United States to have the highest percentage of college graduates, 13.4 million more adults need to earn degrees by 2020. To reach this goal, almost a quarter of these additional degrees (3.3 million) need to be earned by Latino students."
Only 19 percent of Hispanic adults have a postsecondary degree, according to the NCLS study, compared to 42 percent of whites and 26 percent of African-American adults. A Pew Hispanic Center survey said that, in the 25-to-29 age range, only 13 percent of Hispanics had completed a bachelor's degree. The largest gap occurs in California, where only 15.5 percent of Hispanics have a higher degree compared to 50 percent for whites. The percentage of Hispanics with higher degrees in Nevada, 11.4 percent; Arizona, 15.8 percent; Texas, 16.2 percent; Illinois, 16.5 percent; and Colorado, 17.4 percent, come in significantly lower than the national average. Florida has one of the highest rates of Hispanics with higher degrees, 32 percent.
Forty colleges make up the Best Schools for Hispanics in the four postgraduate course categories. Geographically, Florida leads the way with eight universities, Texas comes second with seven and California comes next with five.
For the fourth year in a row, the Georgia Institute of Technology has ranked No. 1 for its diversity efforts in the institute's College of Engineering. One other university also repeats at the top of the rankings. The University of Texas at El Paso has ranked No. 1 in the business school category for two years.
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