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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

UTA among nation’s most diverse colleges

Education knows no race, religion, gender, etc.

The University of Texas at Arlington is proof as the school once again ranks among the best in the nation for diverse education that prepares students for the workforce, according to an annual report from “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” magazine.

“With the population growth, it’s important we educate more Texans,” said Dr. Troy Johnson, UTA Vice President of Enrollment Management. “The reality of a recognition like this is you have to have great academics. They’re looking for that, everyone is. When you have that, you attract all kinds of students.

“The first thing you have to have is a university that’s great with academic offerings. Plus, UTA students do well when they graduate.”

UTA ranks No. 1 in the state and No. 17 nationally for master’s degrees awarded to all minority students, representing an 82% increase in degrees conferred since the 2012-13 academic year. That’s an increase of five spots from No. 22 previously.

The school also ranks first in Texas in the number of degrees earned by African-American students at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. Nationally, UTA is No. 11 for bachelor’s degrees awarded to African-American students and No. 14 for master’s degrees.

UTA was ranked No. 11 and No. 23 nationally, respectively, last year in these categories

Since the 2012-13 academic year, the number of bachelor’s degrees earned by African-American students at UTA has increased 32.9%, with 61.1% growth for master’s degrees.

As for Hispanic students, UTA is No. 17 nationally in bachelor’s degrees and No. 11 for master’s degrees, an improvement from No. 19 and 18, respectively, from the previous year. And, since 2012-13, the number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees earned by Hispanic students has increased 86.8% and 107.5%, respectively.

“The increase in the number of degrees awarded to African American, Hispanic and minority students, as well as being ranked the top institution in the state in a number of key areas, is a testament to the dedication of our faculty and the efforts being made by our purpose-driven students,” UTA President Vistasp Karbhari said. “I’m extremely proud of, and grateful to, our faculty and staff who make it possible for UTA to be a catalyst for socio-economic mobility, meeting the needs of the communities we serve and of our great state.”

Jason Shelton, Director for the Center for African-American Studies at UTA, added, “UTA continues to welcome African American students and support their educational journey to success. To be No. 1 in the state of Texas for our undergraduates and graduates is a major sign of our commitment to empowering people from all backgrounds with tools necessary for making it in 21st-century America.”

Johnson also noted that UTA is strong in promoting first-generation/low-income graduates.

“When you look at our graduates, a lot are first-generation/low-income, and that’s getting noticed and making an impression,” he said. “Some of them, too, are adults. For example, several have come back to our nursing school.”

It also helps attract students of all types when past graduates have gone on to success.

“People just hear it, ‘My brother-in-law, sister, whatever, went to UTA and got a great job at Lockheed-Martin. It does make an impression,” Johnson said.

For nearly three decades, “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” has identified the top 100 institutions awarding degrees to minority students, using the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education.

UTA is no stranger to the magazine’s rankings. In 2018, UTA was tops in Texas for bachelor’s and master’s degrees earned by African-American students, and master’s degrees awarded to all students of color. Nationally, the University was among the top 25 four-year institutions for bachelor’s and master’s awarded to African-American students, Hispanic students and all minority students.

Other honors involving diversity for UTA include:

*UTA is one of only 14 universities in the nation to achieve designations of both Hispanic-Serving Institution and Carnegie R-1: “Very High Research” in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

*”U.S. News & World Report” ranked UTA sixth among national universities for undergraduate ethnic diversity.

*”Hispanic Outlook on Education” magazine ranked UTA among its top 100 universities nationwide for Hispanic students. It was No. 24 in total graduate degrees and No. 26 in total enrollment.

“Hispanic Network Magazine” ranked UTA among the nation’s Best of the Best Schools for 2018.

“Winds of Change” magazine named UTA to its 2018-19 list of top 200 schools for Native American students pursuing STEM degrees, the fourth consecutive year it has been recognized.

“If a student wants to understand the world, from Oklahoma to Zimbabwe, UTA is the place to be, regardless of ethnicity,” Johnson said. “When we treasure that, protect that, keep it our strength, that is a key to the future.”

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