Overview: 2012 Best Schools for Hispanics

August 28, 2012

Staff -- HispanicBusiness.com

Each year, HispanicBusiness measures and ranks the effectiveness of the nation’s universities in attracting Hispanic students. To understand the effect of these schools on Hispanics, HispanTelligence, the research arm of HispanicBusiness.com, assesses the nation’s top universities for Hispanics in the fields of medicine, business, engineering and law.

The 40 universities—10 in each degree area—were ranked in terms of Hispanic diversity according to the following criteria:
-- Percent of Hispanic student enrollment.
-- Percent of Hispanic faculty members.
-- Percent of degrees conferred to Hispanics.
-- Progressive programs aimed at increasing enrollment of Hispanic students.


How They Ranked

For the fifth year in a row, the Georgia Institute of Technology ranked No. 1 for its diversity efforts in relation to Hispanic students seeking degrees from its College of Engineering. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has held that honor in the business school category for three years running, while the University of Texas has placed first in the law category for the past two years.

Enrollment at Texas graduate schools is highest overall with 10 universities, Florida comes second with eight and California comes next with seven. Several universities are on more than one list, including UTEP -- always a top contender -- the University of New Mexico and Stanford University.

In a demonstration of the importance of reputation, retention and student services over pure numbers, enrollment for Hispanics at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business was only 7.5 percent, and only 1.7 percent of its MBAs were earned by Hispanics, yet Haas came in at No. 2 in the business category.

Texas had the largest number of leading medical schools for Hispanics, with four, while the top two schools are in California: the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (No. 1) and the Stanford University School of Medicine (No. 2). They had Hispanic graduate enrollments of 15.8 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

Texas has the most MBA schools on the list, with three, and is also home to the top business school for Hispanics. That would be the UTEP College of Business Administration, with 224 Hispanic graduate students among a total graduate enrollment of 369, for 60.7 percent. Hispanic students earned the bulk of the school's MBAs in 2011, at 57.4 percent. The school was the winner in the category last year as well.

Georgia Tech repeated as top dog among engineering schools, while the UTEP College of Engineering was bumped from the No. 2 slot down to the No. 3 by the Purdue University College of Engineering, which placed at No. 4 last year.

The University of Texas at Austin repeated its top-ranked performance in the law category, although Hispanic enrollment was down to 15 percent from the year prior. The Florida International University College of Law moved into second place from fourth place last year.


The Instructors

Diversity at the graduate level is not merely about the number of Hispanics enrolled or earning degrees; it also is about including Hispanics at the front of the class with chalk in their hands. An unpleasant finding this year is how much ground Hispanic professors have lost in the professions. The percentage of Hispanics in the teaching ranks decreased slightly from last year, when 8.9 percent of professors in business, engineering, law and medicine were Hispanic. This time, 8.2 percent were, according to HispanTelligence. That reverses the growth trend of the past several years.

Law schools continue to have the highest percent of Hispanic professors, at 10 percent, although that's down from 11.6 percent last year. Medical schools came next with 8.8 percent, down from 9.4 percent. Hispanic faculty at business schools dropped to 7.8 percent, down from 9.1 percent, while Hispanic faculty at engineering schools showed a dismal 4.6 percent, down from 5.1 percent, slipping back to where it stood five years ago.

As we've said before -- and it bears repeating -- for Hispanics to keep pace with the needs of the workforce, more needs to be done to prime the pipeline from the community to the classroom. For that to happen, more needs to be done to prepare Hispanic students for graduate school, and to ensure they are able to take advantage of all available resources and opportunities once they get there.

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Source: HispanicBusiness.com (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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