Tech is Top Producer of African-American Engineers

Georgia Tech is the top producer of African-American engineering graduates at both the undergraduate and master's degree levels, according to rankings from Black Issues in Higher Education magazine's annual college rankings report.

Tech was ranked No. 1 in Baccalaureate degrees awarded to African-American engineering students for the 2003-2004 school year with 126 degrees, up from No. 2 last year. Tech remained on top for master's degrees awarded to African-American students in engineering, rising to 34 degrees from 31 the previous school year.

Other top five bachelor degree producers include No. 2 North Carolina A&T State University with 110 degrees awarded; No. 3 Tennessee State University with 102; No. 4 Florida A&M University with 81; and No. 5 North Carolina State University at Raleigh with 79.

In engineering Ph.D. degrees awarded to African-American students during the 2003-2004 school year, Tech rose to No. 1, up 700 percent to 16 graduates from 2 graduates the previous school year.

"These rankings confirm Georgia Tech's strong commitment to attracting and graduating minority students in engineering and science," said Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough. "Given the growing need in our state and around the nation for talented citizens, we are proud of Georgia Tech's role as a national leader in creating and maintaining a supportive educational environment for minority students."

Considered by Georgia Tech to be an important tool to measure the success of campus diversity endeavors, the Black Issues rankings underscore Tech's efforts to create a diverse campus through strong recruitment and retention practices, rather than relying on quotas to boost minority enrollment.

One of Tech's most successful minority recruitment projects is FOCUS, an annual event designed to attract the country's finest minority undergraduates to its graduate programs. Each year, African-American students from more than 80 colleges and universities across the nation attend the three-day series of lectures, tours, panel discussions and social events. The event, which is held annually during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, is now in its 15th year.

In addition, Georgia Tech has a solid relationship with the historically-black institutions in the Atlanta area that make up the Atlanta University Center, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, Spelman College, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Black Issues, a publication that covers minorities in American higher education, used statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Education to compile the rankings edition. The special report identifies the top 100 minority degree producers among institutions of higher education and is the only national report of U.S. colleges and universities awarding degrees to African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Native-American students.

The report was released as a two-part series spotlighting undergraduate and graduate statistics. Graduate and professional degree statistics appear in the July 14 edition of Black Issues. Undergraduate statistics were released in the magazine's June 2 edition.