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Just the Stats: Smaller Institutions Recognized For Bachelor’s Degree Production

Last week, Diverse released its 2007 report on the Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers. Because our focus is on quantity (we leave it to market forces, government agencies and accreditation bodies to assure quality), we recognize that our listings tend to favor larger institutions. This year, we introduce into our analysis several views that accommodate smaller institutions. But before getting to those trends and views, we should describe the data source and methods used to assemble the Top 100 lists.

The Top 100 lists focus primarily on quantity; that is, the absolute number of degrees conferred. Although it is not always the case, the lists tend to favor institutions that enroll larger number of students. The lists do not indicate how well each institution does at graduating minority students, “given its size.” To address this issue, we present in this year’s edition a special list of Top 10 minority bachelor’s degree producers indexed by institutional size, where size is based on total undergraduate degree-seeking enrollments. More specifically, we examine minority bachelor’s degree production for the 2005-2006 academic year in four size-based groups, according to the institution’s Fall Semester 2002 enrollments: less than 2,500; 2,500 to 4,999; 5,000 to 9,999; 10,000 to 19,999; and 20,000 students or more. We use Fall 2002 enrollments to accommodate the time-span involved in matriculating toward a degree.

To further control for size differences, we present two views of productivity: the percentage of bachelor’s degrees conferred to minority students, and the total number of bachelor’s degrees conferred to minority students. Both tables list the Top 10 institutions, within size group, showing the name, state, Fall 2002 enrollment and the total number of bachelor’s degrees conferred in the 2005-2006 academic year.

Looking at the Top 10 percent table first (Table 1), the five right-most columns show first the Total Minority column (upon which the ordering is based) followed by the percentages of bachelor’s degrees for each minority group.

Table 2 presents the Top 10 within each institutional size category, according to the total number of bachelor’s degrees conferred to minority students. HBCUs are not as dominant in the smaller size categories, as they represent just 12 of the 30 institutions.

– Olivia Majesky-Pullmann

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