Arizona State University continues to lead the way in ethnic minority enrollment and degrees granted to minorities. This year it is ranked among the best in the U.S. for graduate degrees granted to ethnic minorities.
According to the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, ASU is number one in the nation in doctoral degrees granted to Hispanics in the field of mathematics and statistics based on the magazine’s annual rankings of top 100 graduate degree producers.
ASU’s rankings reflect the number of degrees awarded to ethnic minorities in various disciplines compared to other universities across the nation.
According to ASU, the rankings reflect an effort by President Michael Crow to become the “New American University.”
ASU recruits and works to retain students who might otherwise be underrepresented in the student body as part of the University’s Diversity Plan.
As part of Michael Crow’s “New American University” initiative, in 2005 a council was charged to define and develop a “Diversity Plan” for the university. This plan was then announced and put into effect in 2007.
Delia Saenz, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, said the plan is a “broad statement on diversity at ASU which acts as a guide for the university.”
Saenz believes the current ranking is a good indicator that ASU values diversity.
Eileen Diaz McConnell, associate professor with the School of Transborder Studies, believes that a contributing factor to ASU’s ranking could be the recession.
“In this economy people realize education and training are vital,” McConnell said. “The recession might fuel graduate students looking to wait out the economy.”
Nevertheless McConnell believes “ASU absolutely realizes that Hispanic and Latino groups are growing and the importance of education.”
Carlos Vargas, a student from Bolivia majoring in electrical engineering, believes that it does not matter if you are a minority or not, but that it’s through personal hard work that someone gets a degree.
“If you think that because you are Hispanic, Black or Native American and are less because you are outnumbered, then you are lying to yourself,” Vargas said.
Vargas believes that although for some people financial or mental support might be necessary to attend a University, it is through one’s own decisions and hard work that you graduate and succeed.
“The plan is working but I don’t think it’s all because of the program,” Vargas said. “The students and their effort also deserve some credit for the stats at ASU.”