Texas Tech ranks 47th in the nation for Hispanic students earning their
bachelor's degrees, according to a magazine specializing in multicultural
affairs at colleges and universities across the country.
"Diverse: Issues in Higher Education" recently released a list of the top 100 schools that produce Hispanic baccalaureate graduates.
According to the list, 719 Hispanic students earned their bachelor's degrees from Tech in the 2011-12 school year -- a 20 percent increase from the previous year, in which 598 Hispanic students earned their degrees.
The schools are ranked according to the total number of Hispanic graduates in the last school year.
Florida International University in Miami tops the list with 4,549 Hispanic graduates last year.
"To be ranked in the top 50 among thousands of schools in the country -- and being away from any major metro area -- it really indicates how attractive the campus is to Hispanic students and to students of all backgrounds," said Juan Munoz, senior vice president of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at Tech.
Munoz credits Tech's affordability for attracting Hispanic students, who in many cases are low income. In April, Tech was named one of the most affordable public universities in the nation by AffordableCollegesOnline.org.
Munoz also said PEGASUS -- a campus organization devoted to supporting first-generation college students -- could contribute to the retention of Hispanic students through graduation.
"I think there's a great sensitivity on the campus to the first generation college students, many of whom are Hispanic," he said.
Tech ranks above Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi (54) and the University of Texas at Dallas (100).
But it falls behind the University of North Texas (34), Texas State University in San Marcos (17), Texas A&M in College Station (15) and the University of Texas in El Paso (3).
Munoz said that he had no doubt the number of Hispanic graduates at Tech will continue to climb.
"I think that we will continue to aspire to move up," he said. "As our enrollment grows, it is an expectation that our graduation of Hispanics will equally grow."
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