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Five-year trends in minority degree production – Special Report Top 100 Degree Producers

For the past five years, I have prepared listings of the colleges and universities across the United States that confer the most degrees to students of color for Black Issues In Higher Education.

Against a backdrop of rapid social change and the increasing economic importance of a college degree, I researched this national degree-completion data over a five-year period from 1988-89 through 1992-93 in search of change. During this period, the total number of annual degrees conferred, from associate to doctorate, increased by just over 17 percent — from approximately 1.9 million to 2.2 million. This works out to an, average annual percentage increase of 4.1 percent.

During this five-year period, the average annual percentage increase in degrees conferred to minorities and non-U.S. citizens has more than doubled the growth rate among degrees conferred to white students as illustrated in Figure 1. The minority growth rate ranged from 7.7 percent annually for African Americans to 9.3 percent for Hispanics. However, as Figure 2 illustrates, these percentage increases have not altered significantly the gap between the trend lines.


The modest effect of this higher growth rate in degrees conferred to minorities is further demonstrated by examining the distribution of degrees by race a the beginning and end of this time period. Table 2 provides this comparison.

Table 2. Distribution of Degrees by Race, 1988-89 vs. 1992-93 Racial/Ethnic Group 1988-89 1992-93 Change Non-resident Alien 3.9% 4.5% 0.6% Black, Non-Hispanic 5.7% 6.5% 0.8% American Indian/ Alaskan Native 0.5% 0.5% 0.1% Asian or Pacific Islander 3.4% 3.9% 0.6% Hispanic 4.1% 5.0% 0.9% Total Minority 13.7% 15.9% 2.2% White, non-Hispanic 78.8% 76.3% -2.5% Unknown 3.7% 3.3% -0.4%

The percentage of all degrees going to white students has decreased from just under 79 percent to just over 76 percent, while the percentage awarded to minorities has increased from about 14 percent to 16 percent.

With the aggregate changes in distribution looking fairly modest, I explored change in distribution among various types of institutions. Table 3 illustrates these differences according to three institutional characteristics: affiliation (public, private-non-sectarian, private-sectarian); level (4-year or more vs. 2-year) and Carnegie classification.


The first column of Table 3 shows that there was very little change in the distribution of total degrees conferred across institutional types. For only one factor did the distribution change by more than one percentage point: 2-year institutions picked up 1.2 percentage points in degree share compared to 4-year colleges and universities.

Change Among Different Types of Institutions

There were larger shifts in minority degree production by institutional type. For example, African-American degree production shifted toward public instituitions and away from private, non-sectarian ones, On the other hand, Asian-American degree production shifted away from private, sectarian colleges and universities and toward public and private non-sectarian ones. Throughout this period, larger percentages of Native Americans completed their college studies at public institutions compared to any other racial/ ethnic group.

Looking at degree distribution by Carnegie classification reveals less about shifts in racial/ethnic distribu-tion over the five years and more about sustained differences. Overall, more than 60 percent of all degrees are offered in relatively equal proportions by three types of institutions: Research I, Master’s I and Associate of Arts. This has not changed over the five-year period. Furthermore, all minorities combined reflect this same overall pattern. There are some clear differences among minority groups. For example, proportionately fewer African-American and Hispanic students graduate from Research I institutions (around 15 percent compared to 20 percent overall) while higher percentages of Asian Americans (33 percent) graduated from Research I institutions. It also appears that Native Americans are almost non-existent among the graduating class of Research I institutions. On the other hand, nearly one-quarter of all degrees conferred to African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans come from associate degree-granting institutions.

Changes at Specific Colleges and Universities

In many ways, the analysis of `groups’ of institutions hides more than it reveals. To conclude this exploration of five-year trends in minority degrees, I decided to end where the last five years of this analysis began: degree production at individual institutions. In particular, I was interested in which institutions have consistently awarded the highest number of degrees to minorities, and specifically African Americans?

The most direct answer to this question is presented in the accompanying list in Table 4, which shows the top 50 institutions according to the average number of degrees of all types (associate, bachelor’s, master’s, first professional and doctorate) awarded annually to African Americans between 1988-89 and 1992-93, Howard University tops this list with an average of nearly 1,500 degrees over this five-year period. Many of the top 1.0 institutions are historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The top 50 tend to be the larger colleges and universities. It is important to remember, however, that many small institutions have been fulfilling the increasing educational aspirations of minority students.

Table 4. Top 50 Institutions, Average Annual Degrees Conferred to African Americans: 1988-89 through 1992-93 (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, First Professional and Doctoral combined)

African Rank Institution State American Total 1 Howard University DC 1493 1939 2 Southern University-Baton Rouge LA 937 1087 3 Hampton University VA 851 912 4 North Carolina A & T University NC 771 967 5 University of The District of Columbia DC 770 876 6 Grambling State University LA 716 788 7 Jackson State University MS 702 771 8 Florida A & M University FL 674 853 9 Chicago State University IL 664 877 10 Wayne State University MI 619 5273 11 Miami-Dade Community College FL 610 4773 12 Norfolk State University VA 595 803 13 Prairie View A & M University TX 592 737 14 North Carolina Central University NC 586 758 15 Temple University PA 584 5651 16 South Carolina State University SC 558 605 17 University of South Carolina at Columbia SC 507 5386 18 Morgan State University MD 495 574 19 Clark Atlanta University GA 491 567 20 University of Maryland-College Park MD 489 7354 21 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor MI 486 9502 22 Tennessee State University TN 484 941 23 University of Florida FL 480 9460 24 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale IL 456 6328 25 Texas Southern University TX 438 805 26 Rutgers University-New Brunswick NJ 434 6882 27 Tuskegee University AL 426 486 28 Wayne County Community College MI 420 641 29 Michigan State University MI 415 9639 30 CUNY Borough of Manhattan CC NY 410 1214 31 Georgia State University GA 403 4020 32 Virginia State University VA 400 465 33 University of California-Los Angeles CA 399 8501 34 University of California-Berkeley CA 390 8647 35 Ohio State University-Main Campus OH 384 10923 36 Alabama A & M University AL 382 627 37 CUNY City College NY 378 1956 38 Webster University MO 374 3053 38 Morehouse College GA 374 384 40 Memphis State University TN 372 2943 41 Florida State University FL 371 7004 42 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill NC 370 5752 42 Cuyahoga Community College District OH 370 1587 44 Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus NY 369 1098 45 College of New Rochelle NY 358 866 46 New York University NY 357 8208 47 University of Virginia-Main Campus VA 351 5070 48 Alabama State University AL 349 371 48 Xavier University LA 349 428 50 Community College of Philadelphia PA 345 892 Average Annual % Rank Institution % Change 1 Howard University 77.0 5.8 2 Southern University-Baton Rouge 86.1 1.8 3 Hampton University 93.2 6.0 4 North Carolina A & T University 79.7 6.3 5 University of The District of Columbia 87.8 -0.6 6 Grambling State University 90.8 10.2 7 Jackson State University 90.9 2.9 8 Florida A & M University 79.0 20.1 9 Chicago State University 75.7 4.4 10 Wayne State University 11.7 14.3 11 Miami-Dade Community College 12.7 8.0 12 Norfolk State University 74.1 8.8 13 Prairie View A & M University 80.3 6.5 14 North Carolina Central University 77.3 8.0 15 Temple University 10.3 6.5 16 South Carolina State University 92.1 -0.5 17 University of South Carolina at Columbia 9.4 2.7 18 Morgan State University 86.3 6.5 19 Clark Atlanta University 86.4 35.1 20 University of Maryland-College Park 6.6 4.4 21 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 5.1 10.8 22 Tennessee State University 51.5 -0.8 23 University of Florida 5.0 3.7 24 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale 7.2 2.8 25 Texas Southern University 54.5 . 26 Rutgers University-New Brunswick 6.3 6.4 27 Tuskegee University 87.5 11.1 28 Wayne County Community College 65.5 17.6 29 Michigan State University 4.3 5.1 30 CUNY Borough of Manhattan CC 33.7 31 Georgia State University 10.0 7.7 32 Virginia State University 86.0 8.1 33 University of California-Los Angeles 4.6 9.0 34 University of California-Berkeley 4.5 6.9 35 Ohio State University-Main Campus 3.5 11.4 36 Alabama A & M University 60.9 6.8 37 CUNY City College 19.3 . 38 Webster University 12.2 7.5 38 Morehouse College 97.4 18.9 40 Memphis State University 12.6 2.6 41 Florida State University 5.3 10.7 42 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 6.4 5.3 42 Cuyahoga Community College District 23.3 -9.5 44 Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus 33.5 -5.0 45 College of New Rochelle 41.3 1.6 46 New York University 4.3 . 47 University of Virginia-Main Campus 6.9 12.8 48 Alabama State University 94.2 0.6 48 Xavier University 81.5 18.3 50 Community College of Philadelphia 38.7 7.3

All charts are based on Black Issues analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.

A Note on the Methodology


For the fifth consecutive year, Black Issues In Higher Education lists the top minority degree-producing colleges and universities across the United States. These lists reflect degree production during the 1992-93 academic year, including all associate, baccalaureate, first professional, master’s, and doctoral degrees that were awarded by accredited colleges and universities in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. The institutions are ranked according to the total number of degrees awarded to minority students across all disciplines and in specific disciplines. Excluded from this analysis are colleges and universities in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and other commonwealths and protectorates, as well as postsecondary institutions within the 50 states and Washington DC that are not accredited at the college level by an agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education.

Data Source

The data for this study come from the United States Department of Education. It is collected through the integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) program completers survey conducted by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). The survey requests data on the number of degrees and other formal awards conferred in academic, vocational, and continuing professional education programs. Institutions report their data according to the Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes developed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). CIP codes provide a common set of categories allowing comparisons across all colleges and universities.

The 1992-93 Survey was completed by 3,602 institutions that met the conditions for inclusion in the analysis as stated above. NCES reports a 96.9 percent survey response rate among institutions of this type. Some college and universities report their data as part of a multi-campus system.

A student’s minority status is typically determined by a self-reported response from the student during his or her college career. Students are offered a set of categories from which to choose. The number and labels of these categories differ from one institution to another. However, when reporting enrollment or degrees to the federal government, institutions must “map” their categories to the standard federal categories: non-resident alien; Black, non-Hispanic; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and race/ ethnicity unknown. The “minority” categories — Black, non-Hispanic; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; and Hispanic — include only U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

There are 100 institutions on the lists which combine all the minority groups by degree level. The lists for specific minority groups and for specific disciplines contain as many as 50 institutions each. A given list may have slightly fewer or more institutions because of ties in the rankings. For example, if there are four institutions that fall into the 98th ranked slot, then the list includes all of them, bringing the total number of institutions listed to 102. If, however, 10 institutions are tied in the 98th rank, all are excluded and so the list falls short Lit 97,

A specific list may also be short because only a small number of degrees are conferred to that minority group within that discipline and/or degree level. For example, the list pertaining to doctoral degrees awarded to Native American students includes only nine institutions. We limited the lists to include institutions that awarded at least three degrees in each category.

Within each listing category (combination of degree level, minority group and discipline), the colleges and universities were ranked from high to low according to the total number of degrees conferred during the 1992-93 academic year. Each list includes the institution name, state of location, number of degrees conferred to women, men and total (the ranking criteria) and two percentage columns.

The first percentage column indicates how the number of minority degree recipients compares to all degree recipients at that institution within that discipline. For example, in the listing of baccalaureates conferred to African Americans in Business and Management, the percent indicates the proportion of all Business and Management baccalaureate degree recipients at that institution who were African American. If a particular college awarded 50 bachelors of business administration degrees and 5 recipients were African American, then the percent column would indicate 10.0. In other words, the percentage indicates the minority group representation in that particular category.

The second percentage column, added to this year’s listings, indicates the average annual percentage change in degrees conferred to that specific minority group and within that specific discipline. This percentage is only available for institutions that were included in the IPEDS database for the 1988-89 and 1992-93 surveys. As with financial interest rates, one can calculate an average annual percentage rate (APR) of change using only the baseline and terminal year data. For example, an institution that increased degree production from 100 to 200 in a five year period would have an average annual increase of 18.9 percent.

In the lists of baccalaureate degrees conferred, we have included a third percentage column to indicate retention. Those figures are provided by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and represent slightly different meanings for Division I schools and Divisions II and III. Division I reports its four-year graduation rate, which is what we have included, and Divisions II and III report their freshman retention rate — that is, the percentage of freshmen who enroll the following year. Division II and III schools are marked with an f.

With each year’s top 100 listings, I have always underscored the simplicity of this analysis. There has never been any attempt to suggest that these data indicate anything about the quality of an institution or the educational experience it offers. On the other hand, a college degree is becoming an increasingly important ingredient for economic mobility. While it is quite heartening to note that more than 1.5 million degrees were awarded to students of color during the five years of, degree production chronicled by this publication, this represents only 15 percent of the 10.3 million total degrees awarded — a far smaller proportion than the 26 percent minority population according to the 1994 U.S. Census Bureau figures.

Table 1. Five-year Trends in Degrees Conferred by Racial/Ethnic Group, 1988-89 through 1992-93

Racial/Ethnic Group 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 Non-Resident Alien 73,154 77,241 85,778 Black, Non-Hispanic 107,750 112,200 125,360 American Indian/ Alaskan Native 8,616 8,965 9,937 Asian or Pacific Islander 64,186 65,623 73,813 Hispanic 77,547 82,007 95,441 White, non-Hispanic` 1,492,613 1,529,302 1,616,249 Unknown 70,729 105,407 74,109 Grand Total 1,894,595 1,980,743 2,080,687 Avg. Annual Racial/Ethnic Group 1991-92 1992-93 % Change Non-Resident Alien 88,991 99,438 8.0% Black, Non-Hispanic 135,031 144,878 7.7% American Indian/ Alaskan Native 10,807 11,805 8.2% Asian or Pacific Islander 81,524 87,597 8.1% Hispanic 102,467 110,589 9.3% White, non-Hispanic` 1,671,463 1,696,157 3.2% Unknown 72,937 73,734 1.0% Grand Total 2,163,220 2,224,198 4.1%

Note: The totals in this table may not match exactly those included in reports issued by the National Center on Educational Statistics: The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) datafiles include imputations and other rounding methods that yield slightly different totals depending on which types of records are examined. These totals are derived from the “racial/ethnic” records included in the files.


Total Minority Associates-All Disciplines 38 Baccalaureates-All Disciplines 39 Masters-All Disciplines 43 Doctoral-All Disciplines 46 Individual Minority Groups Baccalaureate-All Disciplines 40 TWIs Baccalaureates to African Americans 40 HBCUs Baccalaureates to African Americans 41 Masters-All Disciplines 44 Doctoral-All Disciplines 47 Individual Disciplines by Minority Groups Business and Management (Baccalaueate) 50 Communications (Baccalaueate) 52 Education (Baccalaueate) 54 Engineering/Comp Sci/Math (Baccalaueate) 56 Engineering/Comp Sci/Math (Master's) 58 Engineering/Comp Sci/Math (Doctoral)(*) 60 Engineering (Baccalaueate) 61 English (Baccalaueate) 63 Health Sciences (Baccalaueate) 66 Life Sciences (Baccalaueate) 68 Physical Sciences (Baccalaueate) 70

(*) Note: The number of Native Americans with Doctoral degrees in the combined field of Engineering/Computer Sciences/Math is too few to list.

KEY: % Grad Ethnic proportion of the graduating class Retention data given for African American and Hispanic Baccalaureate degrees (pgs. 40-41). % Ret Percent of the freshmen class who graduated within four years. (NCAA Division I data for 88-89 freshmen) f Percent of freshmen who are retained to second year. (NCAA Division II & III data for 1993-94 freshmen n/a Not available -- Not a member of the NCAA TWI Traditionally White Institution HBCU Historically Black Colleges and Universities

VICTOR M. H. BORDEN, PH.D. Director, Information Management and Institutional Research Assistant Professor of Psychology Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

COPYRIGHT 1996 Cox, Matthews & Associates

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