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Southern University System

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Southern among the nation's top producers of African-American undergraduates, engineers - Thursday, July 1, 2010

Southern University is the sixth highest producer of African-Americans with undergraduate degrees in engineering in the country, according to a new report by a national education magazine.


The magazine also found that when all of the education disciplines it surveyed are combined, Southern is the ninth highest producer of African-Americans with bachelor degrees in the country.


The results are published in the June 10 edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education. The information, the magazine said, is based on bachelor’s degrees awarded to students of color in academic year 2008-2009.


According to the Fairfax, Virginia-based magazine, the data for the analysis "are collected by the National Center for Education Statistics from all U.S. postsecondary institutions as part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Set.”


In the area of engineering, the report said Southern awarded 58 undergraduate degrees to African-American students in engineering during 2008-2009, placing Southern in sixth place. That number placed Southern ahead of schools such as Florida A&M University, Howard University, Michigan State University, Jackson State University and LSU.


HBCUs, such as Southern, were five of the top six producers of African-Americans with baccalaureates in engineering.


The report lists the standings of schools that are graduating African-Americans in a number of disciplines, such as social sciences, history, business management, marketing and related support services, education and others. When all of the disciplines are combined, Southern graduated 852 African-American students during the 2008-2009 year, placing the university in 9th place among all schools in the nation, according to the survey.


Southern’s 9th place ranking placed the school ahead of several HBCUs, including, Hampton University, Texas Southern University, Morehouse College, Tennessee State University, Prairie View University and Morgan State University.


"This, coupled with our Top Tier ranking among HBCUs by U.S. News and World Report magazine, illustrates that Southern University continues to be among the leaders in producing high quality, committed and capable graduates who go on to serve in leadership roles in Louisiana and throughout the country,” Southern Chancellor Kofi Lomotey said.


"With the staggering state budget cuts we have endured and still face today, we will be challenged to maintain our standing in the education community,” Lomotey said. "But Southern has faced daunting obstacles before and has succeeded. Our students, faculty, staff and alumni will get us through again.”


Historically Black Colleges and Universities accounted for six of the top 10 producers of African-American undergraduates.

The report also showed that Southern ranked:

-25th in the number of biological and biomedical sciences undergraduate degrees awarded to African-Americans.

-33rd in business management, marketing and related support services undergraduate degrees awarded to African-Americans.

-29th in education undergraduate degrees awarded to African-Americans.


Diverse Issues in Higher Education pointed out that the number of degrees conferred is closely related to the size of the institutions. As such, the largest universities, such as Arizona State, Penn State and The Ohio State universities and the universities in Central Florida, Florida and Texas, top the overall numbers. "However, these institutions generally do not lead our Top 100 counts for students of color. None of them appear in the top 10 for degrees conferred to African-Americans.”