University among top 25 in awarding degrees to Latinos

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University among top 25 in awarding degrees to Latinos

Fresno State is among eight CSU campuses ranked in the top 25 universities in the United States for the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Latino students, according to Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education‘s annual “Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics” report.

Fresno State was ranked 21st nationally in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Latinos and fourth for bachelor’s degrees in agriculture.

Other CSU campuses in the top 25 are Fullerton (No. 5), Northridge (No. 7), Long Beach (No. 8), San Diego (No. 10), Los Angeles (No. 11), San Bernardino (No. 17) and Pomona (No. 22).

A number of other California State University campuses were also recognized by the publication, which annually studies the top 100 predominantly Hispanic-serving, four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The rankings were based on 2013-14 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Dr. Victor Torres, president of the Fresno State Latina/o Faculty and Staff Association, said the rankings reflect the commitment of University President Joseph I. Castro to improve the graduation rate of all students and in particular of Chicano/Latino students.

“But it’s also a testament to the dedication and commitment of many faculty, staff, student and community activists during the past 50-plus years to make higher education more accessible to the Chicano/Latino community,” Torres said.

While there is still much work to be done, this recognition is an indicator that we are going in the right direction. Equally as important, it also keeps us motivated to continue our efforts in this endeavor,” added Torres, who is a professor in the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies and director of its Mexican folkloric dance troupe, Los Danzantes de Aztlan.

The report also ranked a number of CSU undergraduate academic programs in the top 10 nationally for awarding bachelor’s degrees to Latinos.

Among them, Cal State Fullerton is No. 1 in the nation for awarding communication and journalism degrees to Latinos, and Long Beach State awards the most degrees in visual and performing arts.

In other categories, Fresno State was 38th for graduate student enrollment and 54th for undergraduate enrollment (two- and four-year schools).

In fall 2014, Fresno State’s Latino enrollment was 10,049, or 43 percent of the student body. In 2013-14, degrees were conferred on 1,809 Latino students.

The CSU granted nearly 28,000 degrees to Latinos in 2013-14, and now serves more than 160,000 Latinos – about 35 percent of the total student body. Eighteen of 23 CSU campuses are currently recognized by the Department of Education as Hispanic-Serving Institutions, colleges and universities with a Latino student enrollment of at least 25 percent.

The HSI designation makes campuses eligible for federal grants and other programs aimed at strengthening Latino student success.

For more information about the rankings, visit www.hispanicoutlook.com.

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