August 26, 2011

Rankings reflect SIUC’s commitment to diversity

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Recently released national rankings reflect Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The magazine “Diverse:  Issues in Higher Education” published its annual Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers and its Top 10 Degree Producers: Graduate and Professional rankings in recent issues.  SIUC earned recognition in 29 undergraduate and 15 graduate categories.

“The history of our University is one of embracing, celebrating and advocating diversity,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.  “These rankings reflect the culture of our campus and the commitment of our faculty, students and staff.  I am encouraged by the rankings, but also know we must continue to make even greater progress.”

As was the case a year ago, the University again earned the top ranking for awarding education bachelor’s degrees to African American students and was fourth for education degrees awarded to all minorities.  SIUC was third for both African American and total minority bachelor’s degrees, sixth for Asian American and Native American degrees and ninth for Hispanic bachelor’s degrees in engineering technologies and engineering-related fields.

Linda McCabe Smith, associate chancellor for institutional diversity, noted that SIUC has broken into the top 100 for bachelor’s degrees in all disciplines awarded to minority students.

“That’s a very positive factor.  In the past, we never made this list, so this is progress.  It really shows our diversity and inclusivity,” McCabe Smith said. 

She said she’s also quite proud of the other rankings, including SIUC’s rank of 49th among all universities in conferring baccalaureate degrees in all disciplines to African-Americans.  When separated by type of institution, SIUC ranks 30th for African-American bachelor’s degrees awarded by traditionally white institutions.  McCabe Smith said this is another strong indicator of the University’s standing when it comes to fostering diversity and success.

Additional SIUC bachelor’s degree rankings include:

•  Sixth for Hispanic and total minority degrees in transportation and materials moving

•  Seventh for African American, Hispanic and total minority and ninth for Asian American degrees in health and medical administrative services

•  15th for African American degrees in transportation and materials moving

•  16th for Asian American, 20th for Hispanic and 23rd for Native American education degrees

•  20th for African American and total minority communication disorders, sciences and services degrees

•  22nd for African American and 28th for total minority degrees in legal professions and studies

•  28th for Hispanic and 43rd for total minority agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences degrees

•  30th for Hispanic allied health, diagnostic, intervention and treatment professions degrees

•  41st for African American health professions and related programs degrees

•  45th for African American communication, journalism and related programs degrees

•  46th for African American marketing degrees

The University’s diversity successes extend to the graduate and professional levels as well.  In the first professional degree category, SIUC placed 22nd for Hispanic degrees in rehabilitation and therapeutic professions and 48th for African-American degrees in medicine.  At the master’s level, there were strong showings, too.  The University was 20th for African Americans and 36th for total minority degrees in engineering technologies and engineering related fields.

Other master’s degree rankings include:

            •  22nd in Hispanic rehabilitation and therapeutic professions degrees

            •  25th in Hispanic degrees in foreign languages, literatures and linguistics

            •  29th in Asian American degrees in allied health, diagnostic, intervention and treatment professions

At the doctoral level, SIUC was 12th in total minority degrees in business, management, marketing and related support services degrees and 28th in African American health professions and related programs degrees.  The University also earned 66th place in the awarding of all types of doctoral degrees to African Americans.

The success evidenced by the rankings is the result of a sincere commitment to diversity, inclusion and an environment fostering minority academic success, coupled with the hard work of the students and the faculty and staff at SIUC, McCabe Smith said.  She noted that the University offers numerous resources, including the Center for Academic Success, Student Support Services, Upward Bound, and resource centers, operated by the Provost’s office, to help students succeed.  Likewise, the Future Scholars program gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to come to campus during the summer for a program that gives them a boost toward academic success.  Departments and units throughout the campus also sponsor helpful initiatives.

While SIUC has much to be proud of, the University isn’t satisfied but will continue to strive to both increase enrollment for racial and ethnic minorities and do whatever possible to foster student success, McCabe Smith said.

The Diverse Top 100 is a national analysis based upon the most recent statistical data from the U.S. Department of Education.  This is the 20th annual rankings and utilizes the 2009-2010 academic year statistics.